Saturday, October 17, 2015

Alternatives to Real Pumpkins

Sadly, not everyone can have a real pumpkin for the Halloween season, carved or otherwise. Some places simply don't have them for sale, or they're marked up at ridiculous prices. Still other people might not be allowed by their landlords to have one, or don't want to deal with disposal at the end of the season. So, what other options do you have if you want pumpkin decor for Halloween and the autumn without all the fuss of a real pumpkin? Here are some ideas:

Plastic Pumpkins

Fake foam or plastic pumpkins are abound in craft stores and now is a good time to pick one up. They come in orange, white, black, and chalkboard at Michaels.  You can leave it plain or give it a makeover with dripped crayons (rainbow on a white pumpkin is great, but black/silver/gray or Halloween colors would be great too), adding craft ribbons or bows, adding a glow-in-the-dark treatmentcovering it in fake gems, or painting it to match your decor.

Velvet Pumpkins

I re-pinned this idea onto my Halloweentown Ideas Pinterest board a few months back and I still absolutely adore it. A stuffed pumpkin made out of a rich, fall-like fabric is a great option and a good way to spend a rainy afternoon. Here's a tutorial from HGTV for easy sewn pumpkins which can be done in velvet, burlap, cotton, or any other fabric you can think of.


Making an origami pumpkin is actually super simple and you can do it with any kind of paper. Patterned scrapbook paper is a wonderful way to add a Gothy touch or to match your own home decor. For a simple tutorial, check here on Origami Instructions.

Mercury Glass

Mercury glass is a very pretty material that works especially well for Halloween decor. Something about the reflective but distorted surface is a really refreshing take on the traditional orange pumpkin and great if you're not crazy about incorporating tons of orange into your Halloween look. This one above is from Pottery Barn, or you can look here for a tutorial on adding a Mercury-Glass look to any glass.

Carved Turnips

If you want an alternative to a large pumpkin but you want something organic still, consider buying a turnip to carve! Turnips are more traditional in certain places and are much more space efficient. For a turnip carving tutorial, check here on Makezine!

Do you prefer real pumpkins for your Halloween decor, or do you add in fake ones as well?


  1. I've seen this cute and easy way to make a punmpkin.

    The fabrics are a bit doo kitchy for my taste, but the idea behind it is brilliant! :)

    1. I love it! I usually find that by re-imagining the surface stuff you can make a lot of crafting ideas suitable for goths. :)

  2. I've got a plastic pumpkin I bought a few years back, but I wanted to carve a real one for some time, but now I'm not going to. I apparently react badly to raw gourds (I was taking out the seeds of a butternut squash this weekend, touched some of the flesh with my bare hands, and my hands have been ON FIRE since....Friends on facebook have warned me to stay away from pumpkins). Those velvet pumpkins are pretty.

    1. That's really unfortunate, I wasn't aware people could be allergic to gourds!

  3. Lovely tutorial, thank you. Going to make one each with the twins :)

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