An Alternative to Carving Pumpkins

Though Halloween is more than a month away, the stores are already displaying bags of Halloween candy and huge round pumpkins fill large boxes, waiting to be brought home and carved. Except – if you’re like me, the thought of carving a pumpkin makes you cringe.

I dislike the process of pumpkin carving – from the smell of pumpkin (I don’t even like the pumpkin lattes at “that coffee place”) to the act of scooping out stringy pumpkin guts. My children, however, still love Halloween – so what to do?


Paint is an excellent alternative for your Halloween jack-o-lantern.

A nice thick paint works best (watercolors will not work). My favorite option is to buy chalkboard paint from a big box home improvement store.

Clean your pumpkin completely and let it dry before painting it. Set the pumpkin on a piece of newspaper or other protective covering so as not to get paint on your floor or table tops.

Paint the pumpkin in its entirety with chalkboard paint and let it dry.

Once it dries, break out the chalk and have fun! Your “jack-o-lantern” can have a different face every day if you want. Happy drawing and happy Halloween!

What do you think?



  1. 2

    I’m sorry to sound negative, but I’m not sure how else to put it:

    Why not teach your children that it is wrong to buy food you have no intention of eating. The average jack-o-lantern pumpkin can contribute to the nutrition of a family of four for quite some time. Buying one just to set out on your porch is wasteful and disrespectful of those who are in need of a decent meal.

    If you’re going to carve (or paint) a pumpkin, PLEASE, at the very least, cook it when the holiday is past and serve it to someone who will appreciate it.

    • 3

      I do try to avoid going out to eat, primarily for monetary considerations. However, IF I go out to eat, I actually eat the food rather than throwing it in the trash as soon as it arrives at the table–which is what most people do with a carved pumpkin.

      As for jack-o-lanterns, we don’t do Halloween anyway, because we are Jewish and forbidden from idol worship.

      I also save and pickle watermelon rinds, use the flour from rolling out biscuits to make white sauce, and save my vegetable trimmings to make broth. I’m not saying everyone should go to those extremes. What I am saying, is that, if you would not buy a turkey or a steak specifically to throw in the trash, AND would teach your children that such a behavior is wasteful, THEN it is hypocritical to buy a pumpkin just to throw it away a week later.

      If you aren’t willing to eat the pumpkin, tell your kids “tough luck”. They’ll get over it.

  2. 5
    adamswifeamanda says:

    great idea!