Growing pumpkins in your garden is a delightful venture, yet it often results in a bountiful surplus.
Faced with this abundance, how can you creatively utilize every last one?
No worries! We'll give you 23 ingenious uses for these vibrant gourds. After all, pumpkins are very versatile and can be used beyond their culinary charm.
From intricate DIY endeavors to simple yet impactful touches, pumpkins can elevate occasions from birthdays to weddings.
Let’s explore some cool ideas that will help you realize the full decorative potential of your pumpkin.
1. Experiment with New Pumpkin Recipes
What better time to experiment with new recipes than when you have a surplus of free ingredients?
You can make practically anything out of that yummy pumpkin flesh. From pumpkin bread to soup, pancakes to fries, and even ice cream!
With so many recipes available online, it'll be a shame not to give a few of them a go.
2. Add Shredded Pumpkin to Food
Not keen on following specific recipes? No worries! Your pumpkin can still shine in the kitchen.
Simply grate some pumpkin into cakes, stir-fries, soups, or breads for a unique twist.
Just be mindful of the moisture it introduces, as grated pumpkin can affect the liquid balance in your dishes. Once you adjust for that, endless culinary adventures await.
Plus, by incorporating pumpkin, you're enriching your meals with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber – a delicious and nutritious boost!
3. Mix Up a Delightful Beverage
Pumpkin Spice Latte is a popular during the colder seasons. If you love this drink, you'd be delighted to know that you can easily make them at home!
This recipe for homemade pumpkin latte calls for fresh pumpkin puree - just what you have plenty of!
It's a healthier version than the commercial one, so it's well-worth giving a try.
4. Can Away!
If your garden yielded a large number of pumpkins or a number of large pumpkins - kudos!
You may find it difficult to use all of the produce in one season, but the good news is that pumpkins can be canned.
You can search online and learn the secrets to successfully preserving your leftover pumpkin.
5. Share the Love
As the season of giving approaches, consider offering your fresh produce of pumpkins to friends, family, and neighbors.
Better yet, offer them a freshly baked pumpkin pie, which will surely be appreciated.
Bonus tip: With the type of pumpkin you have, print out a small leaflet with recipes together with your pumpkin gift!
6. Use Pumpkins as Soup Bowls
If your crop consists of pumpkins in various sizes, you may be able to turn them into serving dishes.
To do this, take out the seeds and brush the inside of the pumpkin with olive oil. Then grill until you have a nice crust inside. Fill it with thick, creamy soup right before serving time.
Buttercup squash pumpkins, or Turban Squash varieties can make gorgeous soup bowls.
A knucklehead pumpkin could make a good serving dish and will surely be an interesting point of conversation over the dinner table.
7. Turn Pumpkin Into a Vase
If you have a thick-skinned pumpkin or squash of the right size, you could turn it into a flower vase.
Remove the seeds and flesh and fill it up with water. Place some flowers and put your new vase on display. It's a temporary vase, of course, but very seasonal!
8. Add Pumpkins to Hanging Baskets
No, we're not suggesting that you use pumpkins as hanging baskets.
But if you have a good plant container hanging outside your house walls, why not fill them up with a few miniature pumpkins?
This will work best if you already have a few plants living inside the container.
For a more dramatic effect, the bottom of the container should be covered with reindeer moss.
It’s wild and rustic look will contrast the uniform, shiny luster of the pumpkin.
9. Guess the Seeds in a Pumpkin Game
Need to keep kids busy? Take a fairly large pumpkin and create a guessing contest, challenging kids to guess exactly how many seeds it contains.
In fact, adults are likely to want to try their luck at guessing too.
Once you write down everyone's guesses, cut open the pumpkin and help the kids scoop the contents into a strainer.
Wash the seeds and then let the kids spend their time trying to count them.
10. Fill Old Lanterns with Pumpkins
Another bright idea (literally) is to turn stack miniature pumpkins inside old lanterns.
Carve a face on the pumpkin and illuminate it with LED lights to make it look really creepy. Adjust brightness settings in order to make the pumpkins more visible.
11. Build a Miniature Pumpkin Wall
Take several miniature pumpkins and stack them over each other. The preferable arrangement would be a pyramidal stack.
You will need at least four miniature pumpkins for this design. Each pumpkin should have different colors.
Now add glitter to the sides of the pumpkin, make sure to add glitter to only one side. This will draw attention to the pumpkin and its color.
12. Fill Up the Fireplace
Got lots of pumpkin? Have a fireplace but don’t need fire? Then stock up the fireplace with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes.
This will work best if the pumpkins have different colors and textures. You can change the color of the pumpkin yourself if all you can find is orange.
13. Arrange Them on the Staircase
This works best if you have pumpkins of different colors. Place each pumpkin on each step, make sure they are aligned well.
Bonus points if the size of the pumpkins increases (or decreases) as you climb each step.
14. Create Beautiful Pumpkin Pathway
This idea requires you to purchase lots and lots of pumpkins, so prepare to spend a few dollars on this project.
You will need at least 20 to 30 pumpkins depending on how large the pathway to your front door is.
Arrange the pumpkins along the pathway leading up to your house.
For added design points, you can sprinkle autumn leaves next to the pumpkins for a more adorable result.
15. Paint with Golden Luster
You can add tons of flair to your pumpkin by painting the skin in shimmery gold.
Better yet, you can dab the surface with the brush slightly, so that the paint slowly drips below. This creates a natural texture that looks eerily appealing.
Whether you fully coat the surface with gold or paint it halfway, the pumpkin will look like the perfect centerpiece in your living room.
16. Wrap the Pumpkin in Bandages
Want to make your pumpkin extra creepier for Halloween? Why not wrap it up in strips of gauze or bandages.
In order to make the strips stick to the surface, you may need to use hot glue and two buttons to serve as the pumpkin’s eyes.
17. Create a Polka Dot Pumpkin
Paint the pumpkin in white or any dark color. Then draw round circles in a color that contrasts the pumpkin’s new skin.
A good alternative is to buy a few uniformly round stickers and then stick them around the surface of the pumpkin. The result isn’t creepy, but fun.
18. Give Your Pumpkin a Warm Wrap
Got some leftover sweaters that no one uses? Weather getting particularly cold where you live? Then why not make your pumpkins warmer.
Wrapping the sweater around the pumpkin is no easy task. Very few sweaters in their default state will readily wrap around a pumpkin. The sweater will have to be repurposed specifically for this task.
19. Add Your Hand Imprint on the Pumpkin
Another good idea is to take handprints of your friends and family, and place it around the pumpkin.
Or better yet, you could nestle smaller handprints underneath larger handprints.
Make the design pop out by using different colors for each handprint. This also works best with different sizes handprints, such as adult and a child's prints.
20. Design and Decorate with Two-Toned Pumpkins
If you want a minimalist décor, you can achieve this too using pumpkins of various sizes.
Color the pumpkins using two contrasting tones such as black and white, gold and white, or orange and black.
21. Carve a One-Pumpkin-Eating-Another Design
It’s a pumpkin-eat-pumpkin world out there. This is a very creative idea but it will require expert carving skills.
For starters, you will need a miniature pumpkin and a normal sized pumpkin.
Carve a sinister looking mouth two eyes on the larger pumpkin. Now carve a sad face on the miniature pumpkin and place it on the ‘teeth’ of the larger pumpkin.
22. Traditional Pumpkin Face
Go with a traditional pumpkin face with no extra bells and whistles. It always gets the job done.
23. Save Seeds for Next Year
Finally, don't forget to save some of the seeds for the following planting season!
Using your own seeds to grow your next batch of pumpkins is always a rewarding effort.
Which Ideas Have You Tried?
Leave us a comment to let us know which of these suggestions is your favorite!
And if you have additional ideas, that's even better - let us know about them all!
For more information on how to successfully grow pumpkins, read here:
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