It's a Halloween decorating milestone: pumpkin carving (using the great free pumpkin stencils below). The seeds. The smell. The mess. Plus those awkward, sharp tools that are a bit dangerous for enthusiastic tiny hands.
Wait a minute, there's gotta be a better way to create a super-festive pumpkin!
Give yourself permission to get creative and push the design boundaries of good pumpkin decorating, especially when the little ones are involved. Put down the carving knife! Instead, consider:
The Magic of Markers -- all kids (big and small) love to color. Use the pumpkin as your canvas!
Stickers and Temporary Tattoos -- Make a pirate or biker pumpkin, and you can even sport a matching tattoo! Or do a quirky design of pumpkin stickers on a pumpkin. It's modern art!
Buttons, Fabric, Yarn and Glue -- make a face by gluing on buttons for eyes, yarn for hair, and for the true fashion prodigy, make a hat or cape from fabric scraps. It's like a special Halloween Project Runway Challenge! For kids!
For more ideas and inspiration, check out these free pumpkin stencils from the Holiday Master herself, Martha Stewart!
Pumpkins with Marbleized Paper Leaves
The stippled skins of this "One Too Many" pumpkin are adorned with marbleized Florentine-paper leaves and millinery-wire tendrils. Mini "White Ball" gourds nestle at their feet, while "Baby Boo" pumpkins find a spot at the table as place markers.
Because none of the pumpkins in this subtly colored centerpiece are carved, they can last well into the fall, perhaps even until Thanksgiving.