6 Easy & Beautiful No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas

Pumpkins covered in dried flowers

I do love pumpkin season, don’t you? I’m not the hugest fan of Halloween itself, but styling up for autumn and decorating with pumpkins and fall leaves is one of my favourite things on earth. Halloween doesn’t have to be all ghosts and ghouls, not that there’s anything wrong with that. However, I tend to base my displays on harvest, erring to the prettier side of the season. As a big advocate for seasonal styling ,I feel it’s my duty to you all to go pumpkin crazy this time of year. The season gives us so many opportunities for fun! Today and later this week on Instagram I showcase my new ideas for pumpkin decorating and styling on @jpslifeandloves – Here’s 6 easy and beautiful no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas for you to try this season.

No-Carve Cottagecore Pumpkins

These are so easy to do and give a real country feel to your autumn decor. I love the idea of taking natural pigment paints to decorate the pumpkin first and then adorning it with real dried flowers and grasses. What I’ve tried to create is the feeling of a flower meadow, or the grassy edge of a cornfield set aside for the bees. Gluing the flowers on can be a bit fiddly, but it’s not at all hard. Can’t wait to see yours!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. A medium sized pumpkin, preferably with stalk.
  2. Any paint you can find hanging around at home. I used Farrow and Ball Old White in Estate Emulsion to give a really chalky matte look.
  3. A mat or newspaper to do it on.
  4. A glue gun and glue sticks. Mine is a Bosch cordless glue gun.
  5. A selection of dried flowers and grasses.
  6. A pair of scissors.

First charge your glue gun if it is cordless like mine. Then paint your pumpkin and leave it to dry. Once dry, take your scissors and cut the stems of the dried flowers so that some are long enough to go from top to the bottom of the pumpkin and cut others shorter. I worked on having 3-4 different lengths.

Then take your glue gun and whimsically start to glue the dried flowers and stems onto the pumpkin vertically, so they appear to be in a meadow once grouped together. Continue around the pumpkin till you’re done. That’s it, a fabulously stylish cottagecore pumpkin that will be the envy of all your friends.

No-Carve Gold Leaf Pumpkins

Again, these are super easy, but I did find them the most annoying to do as I managed to get gold leaf over absolutely everything including my hubby, who wasn’t even in the room! I also got them all over my fingers and annoyed Mr C to death by running around the kitchen chasing after him singing Goldfinger in my best Shirley Bassey voice.

What you’ll need:

  1. An assortment of faux mini pumpkins. You can use real ones too if you want.
  2. Gold leaf.
  3. A small paint brush.
  4. A large mat to do it on, or a tray.
  5. Spray adhesive.
  6. Patience and quite a bit of cleaning up afterwards (I’ll be finding gold leaf debris for years).

Simply spray one pumpkin at a time with the adhesive, then one by one attach the gold leaf squares. I found it easier to keep one side of the gold leaf within its wrapper and then used the pressure from my hand to press down onto the pumpkin. Just keep going till it’s all covered in gold loveliness. Use the small paint brush to press down edges and brush off any residue. Voila!

No-Carve Pumpkin Dried Pressed Flower Decor

This is a different take on the Cottagecore pumpkins and, actually it’s my favourite. I used pressed dried flowers and leaves. With this one you can go totally freestyle and knock yourself out with your crafting wizardry! These have a more botanical feel and remind me of my grandmother who used to collect flowers and press them. She’d then use them for decorating cards and whatnot. I remember as a child begging for a flower press for Christmas instead of a cowboy outfit. I did also ask for a Girl’s World and a Barbie, but I think I was pushing it. The flower press appeared on the big day, but not the latter two – meanies!

You will need:

  1. A medium pumpkin.
  2. Paint.
  3. A selection of dried pressed flowers and leaves.
  4. Spray adhesive or a glue gun.
  5. A paint brush for painting and a small brush for dabbing the flowers onto the pumpkin and also a flower tweezer, which usually comes with the pressed flowers you buy.

Do exactly the same as for the Cottagecore Pumpkins and then simply glue your troubles away using the pressed flowers. Hours of fun to be had here!

No-Carve Pumpkin Marbling

Marbled effect white pumpkins.
Go on! You know you want to give it a go!

Pumpkin marbling is so easy! Anyone can do it, I promise! Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. A selection of mini white pumpkins, faux or real. I used faux ones from Amazon.
  2. Some Indigo Blue nail varnish, or a colour of your choice.
  3. A plastic bowl that you no longer need (It’s going to get messy!)
  4. Warm Water
  5. Kitchen Towel

Fill the bowl with Luke warm to warm water (not too full). Pour a little nail varnish into the bowl in a swirling motion. Take one of your pumpkins by the stork and immerse in the varnish/water solution and swirl around till covered. Remove it from the bowl and place on a piece of kitchen towel to dry. Repeat with the rest of your pumpkins. Wait for an hour or so for them to dry and then style them up like a pro!

Watch this 15 second video on pumpkin decorating.

No-Carve Pumpkin Decoupage Using Leaves

The art of decoupage is decorating something using pieces of paper, glue, paint and other decorative paraphernalia. Decoupage is the perfect choice for pumpkin decorating. I’m going to be using natural leaves that I picked from my garden. I chose fern leaves of various shapes, mini maple leaves and Muehlenbeckia stems. The latter has the tiniest little green delicate leaves on black stems.

Decoupaged white pumpkins.

Don’t pick leaves that are too large, remember you are decorating mini pumpkins. The other tip I would give is to try and place the leaves on the flat parts of the pumpkin flesh, rather than the indents.

Now, I’m not going to lie, these are quite time consuming. It’s in no way difficult, but some leaves can be tricky to apply and so it just takes patience and a steady hand. The effect is so utterly beautiful though I think it’s worth it.

You will need:

  1. A selection of real or faux mini white pumpkins. I used real ones this time as I’m going to be using them to create a natural harvest-inspired table setting in my next blog post tomorrow.
  2. A selection of small leaves.
  3. PVA glue or/and spray mount glue.
  4. A craft brush/small paint brush.
  5. Kitchen towel.
  6. Patience.

Make sure your leaves are dry by patting them with kitchen towel to absorb excess moisture. Take one leaf and turn it upside down onto a sheet of dry kitchen towel. Use the spray mount to apply glue to the side facing you. Using your fingers, place the tacky side of the leaf onto a white pumpkin, with one end of each leaf facing the central stork. If you’re using a vine like the Muehlenbeckia, then you can go free-style.

Now, you can either use spray mount again to spray over the top of the leaf or use PVA glue ( I used Anita’s Tacky Glue, which I found on Amazon) to secure the leaf. Use the craft or painting brush to firm down the edges of the leaf. Continue like this until you have covered the pumpkin. If I could give one little tip, then it would be that less is more! Leave to dry and then style how ever you deem fit. I’ll be back tomorrow with how I chose to style them up.

Watch my mini video for how I made my decoupaged pumpkins.

No-Carve Simple Painted Pumpkins

One of the easiest, but most effective ways to decorate pumpkins is just to paint them using whatever you have at home. I used Farrow and Ball tester pots that I had left over to decorate faux mini pumpkins that I bought online. By carefully choosing a colour scheme you can create a really pleasing display. I replaced the plastic stalks with real twigs from the garden. To secure them I used a glue gun.

You might also like to read how I used the decorated white pumpkins in this post to create a stunning pumpkin-inspired autumn table.


  1. Chriss Lewis
    October 3, 2021 / 11:09 am

    Fun post today JP! Not into carving pumpkins, unless it’s a pumpkin pie🥧this is perfect!!! 👻🎃🧡💛🍁🍂🤩😘

    • JP Clark
      October 9, 2021 / 5:25 pm

      Thank you my love xx

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