64 Creative Pumpkin Decorating Contest Ideas to Elevate Your Fall Celebrations

by | Oct 20, 2023

As the air turns crisper and the leaves begin to change color, it can only mean one thing: fall is here! And with fall comes the beloved tradition of pumpkin decorating.

Whether you’re hosting a neighborhood gathering, a school event, or simply want to add some festive flair to your home, a pumpkin decorating contest is a fantastic way to embrace the season’s spirit.

In this blog post, we’ll explore a variety of creative and unique pumpkin decorating ideas that are sure to make your contest a smashing success.

What are some essential supplies to have on hand for a pumpkin decorating contest?


To ensure successful pumpkin decorating, it’s crucial to have a variety of supplies available. Some essential items include:

Pumpkins: Choose the size and shape that will be the best able to host your design.

Paints and Brushes: Provide a range of acrylic paints and brushes so you can create intricate designs.

Carving Tools: Carving kits with different blade sizes are the best choice

Decorative Items: Include items like glitter, sequins, stickers, googly eyes, and fabric if you want to embellish your pumpkin.

Natural Elements: Gather leaves, twigs, acorns, and other autumnal items for nature-inspired designs.

Crafting Glue: Have strong crafting glue available for attaching items to the pumpkins securely.

Stencils and Templates: Offer stencils and templates to help create designs, especially for intricate patterns.

Markers and Pencils: Provide washable markers or pencils to sketch out your ideas before committing.

Halloween pumpkin decorating contest ideas - no carve pumpkins for school and the classroom. Painting ideas that kids will love!

How can you come up with creative pumpkin decorating ideas?

Generating unique pumpkin decorating ideas is part of the fun! Here are some ways to spark creativity:

Explore Captivating Themes

Ever thought about bringing your favorite fairy tales, movies, or historical eras to life on a pumpkin canvas? Choosing a theme can be a fantastic way to kick-start your creative process.

Imagine crafting a pumpkin that tells the story of a classic tale or represents the essence of a bygone era. Themes provide a solid foundation for your design and give you a unique direction to follow.

Let Your Passions Guide You

Think about the things that light up your or your child’s world – hobbies, beloved books, movies, or cherished characters. Personal interests hold a treasure trove of inspiration waiting to be tapped into.

Whether you’re a sci-fi aficionado, a history buff, or a devoted fan of fantasy novels, letting your passions guide you will ensure your pumpkin design is infused with your own unique style.

Draw from History, Culture, and Stories

Ever wanted to be a storyteller with your pumpkin? Now’s your chance! Draw inspiration from historical events, cultural symbols, and folklore to craft a pumpkin that tells a tale.

Whether it’s a scene from history or a representation of a cherished legend, your pumpkin can become a captivating story in its own right.

What are the Benefits of Your Child Participating in a pumpkin decorating contest?

Pumpkin decorating contests aren’t just a fun and festive activity for adults – they’re also an incredible opportunity for children to explore their creativity and imagination.

From developing essential skills to fostering a sense of accomplishment, let’s dive into the fantastic benefits that children can gain from participating in pumpkin decorating contests.

Creativity – Children are naturally imaginative, and a pumpkin decorating contest provides the perfect platform for them to unleash their creativity.

Skill Development – Pumpkin decorating isn’t just about making something look pretty; it involves a range of skills that can be valuable in various aspects of life.

Patience and Perseverance – Pumpkin decorating contests require a certain level of patience and perseverance. Children learn that creating a masterpiece takes time and effort.

Expressing Individuality – Every child has a unique perspective, and participating in a pumpkin decorating contest allows them to showcase their individuality.

Teaching Littles Favorite Pumpkin Decorating Contest Ideas Curated Just For You

Pumpkin decorating contests can be so much fun! Here are some of our favorite ideas for your next pumpkin!

Character Creations

Bring a touch of pop culture to your pumpkin decorating contest by encouraging your little one to transform their pumpkins into their favorite characters.

Oscar the Grouch

How cute is this one? Using some plant filler, a pie tray, and a grey bucket for the trash can, making Oscar the Grouch isn’t so hard!

Cookie Monster

Grab some blue crinkle paper and paste it all over your pumpkin for this simple Cookie Monster pumpkin.

The Cat in the Hat

The Cat in the Hat pumpkin is made complete with Thing 1 and Thing 2 pumpkins by his side! I love this one!

Tafiti (Moana)

Halloween pumpkin decorating contest ideas - no carve pumpkins for school and the classroom. Painting ideas that kids will love!

Scooby Doo

Ruh Roh! This Scooby Doo pumpkin is awesome and doesn’t take that much work. Paint the pumpkin brown, along with a paper bowl as the snout, and some other cardboard for the accessories and other parts.

Lion from Wizard of Oz


This pumpkin is perfect for anyone who loves the Wizard of Oz! First, carve out the mouth and eyes, then cut a mini pumpkin and attach it to the face for the lip. Next, you can attach another mini pumpkin on top for the ears! Add some flowers for the mane!

Winnie the Pooh

Don’t forget your small honey pumpkin for this awesome Winnie the Pooh creation!



This pumpkin decorating idea brings the magic of Cocomelon to life in a whole new way! It’s time to sing, dance, and decorate with Cocomelon flair!

Evil Queen Witch

Mini Mouse

With a few simple decorations and a touch of creativity, your pumpkin can become a Mini Mouse masterpiece that’s sure to bring smiles and Disney charm to your fall festivities.

If you give a mouse a cookie…

Charlotte’s Web

Weave the magic of ‘Charlotte’s Web’ into your pumpkin by crafting a delightful spider design that pays homage to Charlotte herself!

Finding Nemo

@The Harris Sisters

You can find Nemo and win prizes with this fun character-inspired pumpkin decorating contest idea!

Pout-Pout Fish


@The Keeper of The Cheerios

You can watch this video and learn how to create these colorful trolls! Bonus! No carving is involved! Plus, how cute are they?!

Spongebob Inspired Masterpiece

@Creativity for Days

How adorable are these Spongebob inspired painted pumpkins? If you have a Spongebob lover these would be the perfect choice for any pumpkin decorating contest.


Sesame Street Inspired


This is an easy and fun way to decorate even the smaller pumpkins for your Sesame Street loving little one!

3 Little Pigs

Baby Shark

Camilla Cream


Studio Ghibli


This cute pumpkin decorating contest idea is perfect for anyone who is obsessed with Studio Ghibli! Plus it is super simple to do! Just paint fuzzy looking circles and add some eyes!

Star Wars Theme


BB8, Baby Yoda, and R2-D2! If your little one loves Star Wars, you can’t pass up this idea for a painted pumpkin!



Gotta catch them all! Transform your fall pumpkin into a bright and electric Pikatchu! You can even add a cute little pokeball if you have a mini pumpkin on hand!



Cruella Deville

5 Little Monkeys and Their Mama

Nursing Mama

Dinosaur Hatching

Mo Willems Pigeon and Duckling

Chick and her eggs



Ratatouille Chef

Painted Masterpieces

Painting pumpkins offers a world of creative possibilities. Set up a paint station with an array of vibrant colors, brushes, and stencils, and watch the magic happen!

Ice cream bowl


S’mores roasting at a fire


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Abstract Art

Via Pierce_Paints

This is a fun and easy way to decorate any pumpkin, and with the abstract design your little one could easily create a masterpiece all their own.

Faces for Days


Simple but powerful, these painted faces make a perfect pumpkin decorating contest idea!

Ice cream cone

Gumball machine

Drip Painting


Drip paintings are popular and drip-painted pumpkins are no exception! Try this fun drip-painted pumpkin in any color you want! Get the full tutorial here.

Glow in the Dark


These glow-in-the-dark creations are perfect for any pumpkin decorating contest or even your front porch! Use glow in the dark paint pens to achieve this look!

Splattered Paint

@Homey Oh My

Let your artistic side out with these fun splatter-paint pumpkins! Bonus – this would be super easy for a child to create! (Albeit, messy!)

Sugar Skull Painting

@Casa Artelexia

Transform your pumpkin into a colorful symbol of family, music, and remembrance, inspired by the magical world of Coco.

Toddler Time

@Mom Dot

This is an easy and toddler-friendly pumpkin decorating contest idea – finger paints and a pumpkin! Easy Peasy!


Encourage your child to embrace the beauty of the season by incorporating leaves, twigs, acorns, and other natural elements into their creations.

This approach not only highlights the essence of fall but also allows for stunning and intricate designs that celebrate the outdoors.

Sweet Nature Smile


Embrace the beauty of the outdoors by crafting a pumpkin smile face using leaves, twigs, and other fall treasures. Watch as the warmth of autumn combines with your creativity to bring a heartwarming, eco-friendly smile to your pumpkin.

Fall Leaves


Transform your pumpkin into a rustic masterpiece by adorning it with a colorful assortment of fall leaves. Capture the essence of the season as the leaves create a breathtaking display that celebrates the beauty of nature.

Embellished With Flowers


Add a touch of nature’s beauty with delicately arranged flowers covering your entire pumpkin! You can choose any flowers you want and glue them on with hot glue.

Garden of Zen


Decorate a pumpkin with all-natural materials! Here there are Vitex seedheads for hair, hot glued beautyberries for eyebrows, acorn caps and rosehips for eyes, pine cones for ears and the nose, and a Hyacinth Vine seed pod for a mouth. All gathered from the yard for free!

Woodland Creatures

@Simple as That Blog

These are the cutest no-carve pumpkins around! These nature-inspired pumpkins are created with felt for an easy and simple idea.

Pumpkin Dioramas

This three-dimensional approach can turn a simple pumpkin into a captivating scene. The depth and creativity of these dioramas are sure to impress both judges and onlookers.

Dino Diorama


Turn your typical jack into a delightful dino diorama. Kids can totally decorate this prehistoric pumpkin with items found in their toy boxes. 

Fairy Garden


Creating an enchanting fairy scene with this cute and whimsical fairy diorama idea!

Complete the look with a carvable foam pumpkin, flowers, fairies, and foliage.

Carved Pumpkin Ideas

Turn your pumpkin into a masterpiece with our imaginative carved pumpkin ideas. From spooky silhouettes to intricate patterns, these designs will light up the night with creativity.

Cookie Cutter Pumpkins


This is such a fun and easy pumpkin carving idea, and would make a perfect pumpkin decorating contest entry! All you need is some metal cookie cutters and a rubber mallet!

This would make a super simple way for your little one to enjoy pumpkin carving!

Carved Monsters


Carve some fun mouths and add some interesting monster eyes for this easy and simple pumpkin carving idea!

Angler Fish


This is a chance to really show off your carving and artistic talent! You will need both a large and small pumpkin to pull this pumpkin decorating contest idea off!

Wilted Pumpkin

If you time it just right these wilted pumpkins will be even spookier than when you first carved them!

Unique Pumpkin Contest Decorating Ideas

Elevate your pumpkin decorating game with our unique contest ideas that go beyond the ordinary.

Washi Tape

@Made With Happy

Washi Tape is good for everything! This unique pumpkin decorating idea is mess free and easy!

String Art

@Lovely Indeed

String art just got a little more interesting! Map out your design and get to creating with this fun and unique pumpkin decorating contest idea!

Modge Podge & Fabric

@Love Sweet Love

You can create anything with a few fabric scraps and modge podge! Let your imagination run wild with all the possibilities for this unique way of decorating.

Vinyl Lettering

Via Lia Griffith

Put your Cricut Skills to the test with this fun and unique pumpkin decorating idea! You can design any image, in any color, and simply peel and stick it to your pumpkin.


Via C.R.A.F.T

Use thumbtacks to create a fun design on your pumpkin, this fun and original idea would be a great way to work on those fine motor skills!

Crayon Melt Pumpkin

@Crafty Morning

All you need for this fun pumpkin decorating contest idea is crayons, glue, and a blow dryer! This would be a simple choice for even the littlest decorators!


@Mother’s Niche

This is a super fast, easy, and dare I say, unique way, to decorate a pumpkin! All you need is some gauze, google eyes, and a Sharpie!

Google Eyes Everywhere

@She Wears Many Hats

Looking for a simple and budget-friendly pumpkin decorating contest idea? It really can’t get more simple than this!

Amazon Ready Pumpkin Decorating Contest Ideas

Explore hassle-free pumpkin decorating with our curated ideas that are ready for prime creativity.

Pumpkin Face Stickers

Effortlessly bring your pumpkin to life with these fun and expressive face stickers, adding a touch of enchantment to your pumpkin decorating!

Pumpkin Crafting Kit

Your child can choose from ten different spooky designs and explore their artistic side to create beautiful masterpieces that they can be proud of.

Pumpkin Decorating Kit

Pumpkin decorating made easy… and fun! Each set includes 6 or 7 plastic pieces to create your own unique pumpkin design — witches, bats, monsters, and more. Use real or foam pumpkins and pump up the fun when you mix and match sets.

From painted masterpieces to intricately carved designs, the possibilities are endless! Whether you’re transforming pumpkins into beloved characters, paying homage to literature or movies, or adding a touch of nature’s beauty, the journey of pumpkin decorating is an adventure that brings joy to participants and spectators alike.

So gather your supplies, ignite your creativity, and let your pumpkins tell the stories of your adventure.

Happy decorating!

Unleash your imagination and embrace the autumn spirit with our diverse pumpkin decorating ideas, perfect for any celebration.
Unleash your imagination and embrace the autumn spirit with our diverse pumpkin decorating ideas, perfect for any celebration.