It's the Great Pumpkin Decorations, DIYers

A pile of pumpkins, waiting to become decorations.

Pumpkins and Halloween go together like peanut butter and jelly, but once you complete your jack-o-lantern you’re just getting warmed up. There are lots and lots of ways that pumpkins can be used for DIY crafts to spruce up fall decor.

Serving Dishes

When all the seeds and guts are scraped away, pumpkins become very handy serving bowls. They’re available in a wide variety of sizes, making them perfect for chips, dips, soups – a whole array of edibles.

Cut the top and stem off the pumpkin first. You won't need the top again, so throw that away. Slice a ring off the top to make the pumpkin bowl wider around the mouth. Next, scoop out all the seeds and guts. The innards of the pumpkin can be saved and used for cooking of all kinds. Rinse out the inside and wash down the outside to complete the pumpkin bowl.

In many cases, it’s best to line the pumpkin before filling it with food. The inside of the pumpkin will still be a little moist. Colored foil looks festive, and creates a perfect thin barrier between the inner walls of the pumpkin and whatever you're serving. For pumpkin-flavored soups and dips, however, an unlined pumpkin bowl may actually enhance the recipe.

Once you’re done using your serving bowl pumpkin, the entire thing can be thrown away – easy clean up!

Fall Decorations

Pumpkins are the perfect fall decoration, and they’re more affordable to buy than the fancy stuff you’ll see on store shelves.

Hollow out a tall pumpkin to create a festive fall vase. Cut just a small circle out of the top, scrape the inside thoroughly and half-fill the pumpkin with water. Add fall flowers, branches and berries to the display to create a distinctly fall look. For added "wow" factor, surround the base of the pumpkin vase with fall leaves and pine cones.

Small pumpkins make perfect candle holders for tapers or tea lights. Cut the top out of the pumpkin and hollow it out. Fill it halfway with sand or putty and press the candle down inside. The filler will keep the candle in place and prevent the small pumpkin from tipping over. Always place candles on a fire-safe surface, and remember that any open flame is a potential fire hazard.

Party Starter

Instead of filling your hollow pumpkin with food or pretty fall decor, fill it up with ice. Place beers (or apple cider!) inside to create handy fall mini coolers. The little pumpkin coolers can be placed all over the party, or grouped together in a specific place. They’re functional, but they also double as interesting fall decorations.

Fill your hollow pumpkin up with apple cider, a fall favorite, to create a fun drink dispenser. Cut a small, angled hole near the top of the pumpkin. Plug this up with a cork (or maybe the stem cut to size, for the experienced DIYer) and pour drinks at will!

Make your pumpkins functional this fall, and make your home even more festive for the season. Turn those gourds into serving dishes, decorations and anything else you can DIY.

Photo by Rich Bowen