Halloween is on Saturday, and we can’t wait! But - what do you do with all of your pumpkins after Halloween? If you are like us, you’ve recently frequented a pumpkin patch. That means you may have quite a few of these popular, seasonal orange gourds just...sitting around come this Sunday.
Rather than tossing them out, we have gathered a number of ways you can use your pumpkins well into November! While you can certainly let them hang around the porch for a while, we also know it’s fun to repurpose them
Firstly, if the wild animals and bugs have stayed away from your pumpkins until Halloween, consider bringing them inside to add some new fall flair indoors! For more ideas on interior fall decor, check out this article.
Back to pumpkins: from crafts to recipes, read on for our favorite ways to reuse your pretty pumpkins!
Pumpkin Crafts: Paint Pumpkins with the Kids
Kids love to get their hands messy, especially with paint! Take advantage of the cooler temps and set up a paint-proof area outdoors. Grab the pumpkins and let the kids get to work! Pro tip: Add dollops of paint to paper plates or small, shallow cups for easy access and easier clean up.
Adults can have fun too! Say goodbye to October-orange and get creative with paint color choices to match your pumpkins with your interior decor. Use painter’s tape and apply the tape to make shapes, stripes or diamonds and squares. Pick some unique paint brushes or sponges, and paint in between and outside the lines. You can always freehand circles and other designs with several paint colors, it’s up to you!
Reusing Your Pumpkin: Chic Lace Details
Want to add some class to your Fall decor? Dress up your pumpkin with a fancy upgrade of lace! Get a can of spray paint, tape, and paper doilies or old lace pattern tights.
Photo: Martha Stewart
Place and tape the doilies on the pumpkin and spray paint the pumpkin. Remove the doilies while the paint is still wet, and you’ll have a beautiful, delicately decorated pumpkin! For a more custom look, paint the pumpkin a solid color before adding a contrasting color for the pattern.
You can also use old lace pattern tights or anything with a lace design you find at the thrift store or craft store. If you’re using tights, cut the tights so only one layer will stretch over the pumpkin. Then place and tape the tights on the pumpkin and spray paint over the material.
Party Decor: The Pumpkin Cooler
Even if you’re opting out of hosting traditional large parties this year, you can still have fun with a fall theme. Introduce some seasonal fun with a DIY pumpkin cooler from your leftover Halloween pumpkins. You read that right! You can turn your larger pumpkins into a cooler!
Photo: DIY Playbook
Cut off the top third of the pumpkin, scoop out the insides (save the seeds for something fun below), and add ice. Pop in your favorite sodas, beers, bottled drinks or several of each for really big pumpkins. It’s an easy and fun pumpkin craft your family will enjoy. Be sure to place the pumpkin cooler on a water-resistant surface like a plastic garbage bag or storage bin in case there are any leaks or spills.
How to Roast Your Own Pumpkin Seeds
If decorating and pumpkin crafts aren’t on your Fall to-do list, you can still make use of those pumpkins before tossing them out. Pumpkin seeds are DELICIOUS - so be sure to prepare a batch!
Simply cut the top of and scoop out the insides and roast the seeds. Our go-to recipes for roasting pumpkin seeds:
Butter and salt: melt two tbsp butter. Gather two cups of raw seeds. Pour the butter and sprinkle salt over the seeds. Mix all the ingredients together and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven at 300 degrees for 45 minutes (or until golden brown).
Sweet seeds: melt two tbsp butter. Gather two cups of raw seeds. Pour the butter, three tbsp brown sugar, one tsp of ground cinnamon, small pinch of nutmeg (a little goes a long way). Mix all ingredients together and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until toasted and crispy.
Salt and pepper: Gather two cups of raw seeds. Toss seeds in a few drizzles of olive oil, sprinkle cracked pepper and salt to your liking. Mix all the ingredients together and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven at 300 degrees for 45 minutes (or until golden brown).
Pumpkins don’t have to be thrown out right after Halloween! Decorate them, then and bring your creations indoors for more fall festivities!
Paint is an easy way to breathe new life into your pumpkins.
Lace and doilies can be used as a stencil for an elegant design.
Pumpkins bring the party, even if there are no guests. Cut the top off and make your old pumpkin a mini festive cooler for the day!
Almost immediately enjoy the fruits of your labor by roasting the pumpkin seeds!
What are your favorite pumpkin crafts? Do you start the pumpkin fun before or after Halloween?
Share with us in the comments below!