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23 Things To Do With Pumpkins [Beyond Recipes and Decorating!]
Growing pumpkins in your garden can be lots of fun but it often leads to a surplus. Which may leave you wondering - what on earth can you do with so many gorgeous pumpkins?
We're here to help with 23 fun suggestions. After all, pumpkins are very versatile and can be used for more than just eating (although that's a great use in its own right!). They can be used to express your inner creativity and to decorate your indoor and outdoor spaces. These festive fruits can be utilized to spruce up your special events such as weddings and baby showers. Some of these decorative options are complex DIY projects that will take up quite a bit of your time (and in some cases, your money too), but others are as simple as buying a pumpkin and doing something special to it.
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 huge amount of free ingridients? You can make practically anything out of that yummy pumpkin flesh. From pumpkin bread to soup, pancackes 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. We'll start you off with this link, and this one too.
2. Try adding shredded pumpkin to your favorite recipes.
Not in the mood for looking up recipes? That's perfectly ok. You can use your pumpkin in your kitchen all the same. Just shred some pumpkin into any cake, stirfry, soup or bread and experiment! Consider the liquid content of your mix and remember that as a vegetable, your shredded pumpkin adds moisture too. Once you account for that, the sky is the limit. And you'll be adding tons of goodies, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber to any dish - yummy and healthy too!
3. Why not drink your pumpkins?
Pumpkin latters are always popular in Starbucks during the season, but did you know you can make them at home too? This recipe for homemade pumpkin latter calls for fresh pumpkin puree - just what you have plenty of! It's a healthier version than the commercial one, so well-worth giving it a try.
Then there are pumpkin shakes to try. From healthy vegan pumpkin smoothies to decadent pumpkin pie shakes and glorious ice-cream-based pumpkin milkshakes. There are even pumpkin cocktails that you can try - cheers!
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 follow a guide like this one and learn the secrets to successfully preserving your leftover pumpkin.
5. Share the love (and the pumpkins)
Pumpkin is so popular during that time of year. Why not ride the theme and offer a whole pumpkin to a friend, relative or neighbor? Depending on the type of pumpkin you have in your garden, the gift might be small or large - but either way, is sure to be appreciated.
Bonus tip: Research the type of pumpkin you have and print out a small leaflet with recipes for your giftee!
6. Use your pumpkins as soup bowls.
If you're crop consists of small-to-medium-sized pumpkins, you may be able to turn them into serving dishes. Just take out the seeds, and brush the inside of the pumpkin with olive oil. Then grill until you have a nice crust inside. Fill up with thick soup right before serving time.
Buttercup squash pumpkins, or Turban Squash varieties can make gorgeous soup bowls for one person. A single weird-looking knucklehead pumpkin could make a good central serving dish - and will definitely get the conversation going.
7. Turn a pumpkin or squash into a vase
If you have a thick-skinned pumpkin or squash of the right size, you could turn it into a flower vase. Just empty the contents as best you can, fill up with water 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. Challenge kids to a guessing contest
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 Jack-O-Lanterns inside out. Stack miniature pumpkins inside old lanterns for best results. If you carve a sad face onto the pumpkin and illuminate it with an LED lamp, it will look super creepy. To make the design feel more authentic, make sure to light up the lantern. 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. Our preferable arrangement would be a pyramidal design. You will need at least four miniature pumpkins for this design. Each pumpkin should have different colors to pop out in any room. Now add glitter to the sides of the pumpkin, make sure to add glitter to only one side for cohesiveness. 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 you should 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 Pathways
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 (the cute orange ones) next to the pumpkins for a more adorable result.
15. Paint with Golden Luster
Moving on to decorating with your pumpkin overstock - who says a pumpkin has to only look big round and orange? You can add tons of flair to your pumpkin by painting the skin with 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 decide to fully coat the surface with gold or decide to paint it halfway, the pumpkin will look like the perfect center piece in your living room.
16. Wrap the Pumpkin in Bandages
Want to make your pumpkin extra creepier? Why not wrap it up in strips of gauze from the pharmaceutical store (you can make do with a few bandages too). In order to make the strips stick to the surface, you will need hot glue and two buttons to serve as the pumpkin’s eyes. The more pumpkins you decorate in this style, the merrier.
17. Create a Polka Dotted Pumpkin
Cover the entire pumpkin in white or dark color. Any neutral color will do the trick really. Next, draw perfectly round circles in a color that contrasts the pumpkin’s new skin. A good alternative is to buy a few uniformly round stickers from Amazon and then stick them on the surface of the pumpkin. The result isn’t creepy, but fun to look at.
18. Cozy up your Pumpkin
Got some leftover sweaters that no one uses? Weather getting particularly cold where you live? Then why not make your pumpkins warmer instead of bearing out the icy cold weather. Wrapping the sweater around the pumpkin is no easy task and will require some knitting skills. 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’s Imprint on the Pumpkin
Believe it or not your hand’s imprint will leave a lasting impression on your pumpkin. A good idea is to take handprints of your friends and family, and install 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 works best if the size difference between the handprints is significant, which is only going to be the case between an adult and a child.
20. Design and Decorate with Two-Toned Pumpkins
What if you’re targeting a more minimal décor and don’t want to go overboard? Pumpkins are so incredibly versatile that you can actually end up doing this with them. For this idea to properly work, you will need to make use of two tones, each contrasting the other. A good choice would be to pair up black with white for best results. You can make use of more than one pumpkin for the best results.
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 skilled 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. Your guests will feel so sad for the poor fellow.
22. Or Just Choose a Traditional Pumpkin Face
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Remember this rule? Well it’s not going to hurt if you decide to go with a traditional pumpkin face with no extra bells and whistles. It always gets the job done when it comes creeping other people out.
23. Save seeds for next year
Finally, don't forget to save some of the seeds for the following planting season! Your pumpkins did so well this year, you can definitely stick with the same variety. Using your own seeds is always fun and you can mix them with one or two new types of pumpkins. We have some suggestions for online stores where you can buy pumpkin seeds if you need them.
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 - do let us know about them all!
Maybe you'll find these types of squash very interesting!