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15 Fun Things You Can Do With Your Pumpkin

A vase is just one craft you can make out of your pumpkin.

A vase is just one craft you can make out of your pumpkin.

15 Fun Things You Can Do with Your Pumpkin

We all know that pumpkins can be used for jack-o'-lanterns. But why just carve a pumpkin when you use it as a photo prop, bird feeder, or beautiful table centerpiece? Here are 15 fun things you can do with your pumpkin besides simply carving it.

Stop! Please Answer The Poll!

#1: Bird Feeder

pumpkin-ideas

Why should the birds get left out of the trick-or-treating action? They don't have to be any more with this pumpkin bird feeder.

Supplies:

  • Pumpkin (approximately the size of a bowling ball)
  • Rope
  • Bird seed

Directions:

Cut off the top half of the pumpkin except for two "handles" on either side. The result should look like an upside-down football helmet. Then carve a hole into either handle. Tie the ends of the length of rope to the handles, fill the pumpkin with the feed, and you have yourself a bird feeder!

#2: Hamburger Bun Platter

pumpkin-ideas

Why serve your food from an ordinary platter when you can turn your pumpkin into a serving platter bun and serve food from it? This fun idea is perfect for barbecues and Halloween parties and looks great on a buffet table!

Supplies:

  • Pumpkin
  • Oven (for hamburger bun look)
  • Food

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut a vertical slice of about two inches from the midsection of the pumpkin. This will remove the stem of the pumpkin, while allowing both halves of the pumpkin to still fit together.
  3. Scoop out the insides of the pumpkin. If you are simply doing a pumpkin serving platter, you are done! Place your food inside one half, and place the other half over it as a lid. If you are making a "hamburger bun" serving platter, save the seeds and continue the directions.
  4. Spread out a handful of the seeds on the baking tray. Place in oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Take out seeds (they should now be dried) and glue them on the top "bun" of the pumpkin to resemble sesame seeds. Your serving platter bun is ready!
  6. You probably have some seeds left! Toss them with salt and olive oil and stick them back in the over for 20 more minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Then remove them and eat!

#3: Gift Basket

pumpkin-ideas

Make gift baskets out of your pumpkins. They make great gifts for teachers, mothers, grandmothers, co-workers, bosses, neighbors, etc.

Supplies:

  • Pumpkin
  • Decorative supplies (for example, a permanent marker and a bandana)
  • Gift stuffers, such as flowers, candy, baked goods, balloons, etc.

Directions:

  1. Cut off the top of the pumpkin and clean out the inside.
  2. Decorate the outside. Try playing off of a traditional jack-o'-lantern by drawing on a face and tying a bandana around its "neck." (Glue will be needed to hold the bandana in place.)
  3. Fill the pumpkin gift basket with gifts that remind you of the person to whom you will be giving the basket.

#4: Fireplace Decorations

pumpkin-ideas

Buy pumpkins of assorted shapes and sizes and paint them to make festive decorations for your fireplace.

#5: Smashing Pumpkins

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How about some good ol' fashioned pumpkin smashing?

#6: Slip 'n Slide

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After you do all that smashing, break out the slip 'n slide and have some more fun!

#7: Photo Props

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Pumpkins can be used as photo props. Look at how cute it can be! Small dogs can also be used instead of the kids.

pumpkin-ideas

Use your pumpkin as a vase and turn it into a beautiful floral arrangement.

#9: Pumpkin Wagon

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Decorate your lawn with a pumpkin wagon! This works just as well with miniature wagons.

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#10: Candle Holders

Make candle holders out of your pumpkins, then fill them with pumpkin-scented candles to fill the home with the smell of fall.

#11: Plant and Grow

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Start a pumpkin patch! This takes some time, but it's great to keep in mind for the upcoming Halloween. Plant your seeds in late May to early July. You can grow them in a plot or a five- or 10- gallon bucket located in full sun. If you do not have a lot of space, consider planting a miniature variety.

By the upcoming October, you will have your own pumpkin patch.

#12: Paint

pumpkin-ideas

Paint your pumpkins, then dress them up with fun things like hats, wigs, ribbon, and straw. This is a great rainy day project for the kids.

#13: Place Card Holders

Pumpkin place card holders.

Pumpkin place card holders.

Let everyone know where to sit with these cute little pumpkins—a great idea for weddings, dinner parties, Thanksgiving dinner, and Halloween parties. An added perk is that everyone gets to go home with a gift!

#14: Bake

Oh no!

Oh no!

If you have ever stepped into a Trader Joe's around October, you can attest: there are an endless number of pumpkin recipes. You can make pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, or pumpkin soup (yum!), but that's just scratching the surface. The Pumpkin Cookbook, below, is an entire book of pumpkin recipes, so that you never run out of ideas. But first, here's a recipe for a classic:

Pumpkin Pie Recipe Using Fresh Pumpkin

Ingredients:

  • 9-inch pie shell
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 c mashed pumpkin

Mashed Pumpkin Directions:

  1. Cut the pumpkin in half.
  2. Clean the insides of all seeds and strings.
  3. Cut the remaining pumpkin into chunks.
  4. Boil a pot of water.
  5. Add 1 1/2 pounds of the pumpkin chunks to the water and wait for the water to return to a boil.
  6. Turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin has turned soft and tender (you can test this by inserting a fork).
  7. Drain the water out and use a large spoon to scrape the pumpkin flesh from the peels.
  8. Mash the pumpkin flesh with a potato masher or a food processor.

Pie Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients (brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt) in a small bowl.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
  4. Add the pumpkin and dry ingredients to the large bowl.
  5. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk.
  6. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.
  7. Bake the pie sat 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, then at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-50 minutes (until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean).

Enjoy your homemade pie!

#15: Silly Lawn Decorations

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Surprise your neighbors with silly lawn decorations!

Stop! Please Answer The Poll!

Before you go... - Please sign the guestbook. Tell us your best pumpkin ideas.

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on October 14, 2013:

Who knew pumpkins could moon? Made me laugh out loud. Really wonderful, clever ideas here. Enjoyed my visit.

myspace9 on October 31, 2012:

Good lens and good ideas.

anonymous on October 29, 2012:

I like carving Pumpkins into cute things this halloween i am going to carve my 1st pumpkin! :D

katrinakaifg on October 10, 2012:

a very good lens

katrinakaifg on October 10, 2012:

a very good lens

Brandi from Maryland on September 28, 2012:

What fun ideas! I love the ideas for photo props and wagon decorating...on my to-do list! :)

ask-abigail on September 19, 2012:

Wow! Weird, awesome, and awful ideas! Great lens!

KidsToyTeaSets LM on May 25, 2012:

Oh my goodness gracious. I've always enjoyed decorating with pumpkins but what wonderfully creative ideas you have here. I'm adding this to pinterest later this week (running outdoor now)! Thank you!

dahlia369 on October 31, 2011:

I definitely want one of those pumpkin vases on the table in my dining room. And painted pumpkins look even better than carved ones to me. :)

rainbowruffles on October 24, 2011:

Very cute lens! I loved the creative ideas you offered here!

KonaGirl from New York on October 04, 2011:

I had such fun here. There are such great things and links to great things it was a fun pumpkin hayride! i can see how you received LOTD! *Squid Angel Blessed*

JoyfulReviewer on September 29, 2011:

Hollow out a pumpkin like you'd do if you were going to carve it. But use it as a soup tureen [maybe use some of that pumpkin from inside to make a delicious soup].

Heather B on September 25, 2011:

Wow, love the pumpkin hamburger! Absolute genius!

LaurieKristensen on September 14, 2011:

Love this lens...! I shared it on my Facebook. :o)

plrsource on September 10, 2011:

Great lens....

Indigo Janson from UK on August 09, 2011:

I've been here before but just came back and got even more smiles from these fun and creative pumpkin ideas.

Bellezza-Decor from Canada on February 08, 2011:

Oodles of great pumpkin carving ideas!

jvsper63 on February 08, 2011:

Hi, you have some real creative idea;s. Nice lens!

sousababy on February 08, 2011:

Oh, I really love the pumpkins near the fireplace, I never would've thought of that - so colorful and a nice reminder that winter is on the way. Cute is the idea of having a small dog (or cat) pose for a photo inside a pumpkin. Great lens!

SuperZoe LM on November 08, 2010:

This is a great lens! I love all the ideas and photos are beautiful!!

Jimmie Quick from Memphis, TN, USA on October 20, 2010:

What a great collection of ideas. And I especially like that they are not all Halloween ideas. Many are simply nice fall/autumn decorations.

bead at home mom on October 17, 2010:

Love the lens. Great ideas. I am posting this fabulous lens on my squidboo 'Pumpkin Decorating' lens.Thanks for the inspiration.

spritequeen lm on October 16, 2010:

Cute ideas!! Can't wait to try some!

RebeccaE on October 05, 2010:

this is a great lens, a lot to learn in it, and I LOVE, LOVE the bird feeder idea, we have so many birds around here... it might be pretty impressive to see.

Tarra99 on October 05, 2010:

What a great lens...I love the bird feeder idea and will probably duplicate that after Halloween...thanks for putting together so many different ideas! Thumbs up & my blessings :o)

encouragingwords on September 30, 2010:

I'm going to fill up my fireplace this weekend - fabulous ideas.

clouda9 lm on September 25, 2010:

Fantastically fun ideas to make "owning pumpkins" tons more fun! I love this lens...it inspires AND make me smile!

Seeking Pearls from Pueblo West on September 24, 2010:

These are delightful ideas~I am lensrolling to My Family Halloween Guide. Congratulations on yourLOTD.

Lisa-Marie-Mary on September 23, 2010:

I love all of these ideas! The scared pumpkin about to be made into pie is hysterical! My favorite, though, is the vase at the very top of the lens!

Spook LM on September 20, 2010:

I had no idea there were so many uses for a pumpkin. Blessed by an Angel.

JHFSEO on September 19, 2010:

Great Ideas. The pumpkin vase is a no-brainer that I never thought of. Good one! Don't forget #16 - saving the punkin' seeds and bake them with a little salt.

WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on August 28, 2010:

Fabulous! Belated congrats on LOTD.

VarietyWriter2 (author) on November 05, 2009:

[in reply to janices7] Thank you!!

squid-janices7 on November 05, 2009:

I'm back to tell you that I've featured this fantastic lens on my The Best Pumpkin Desserts Ever lens (http://www.squidoo.com/the-best-pumpkin-desserts-e... that I entered in the Thanksgiving Cook-off for Charity. So glad that I found this fun and festive lens about pumpkins!

mitchking on November 03, 2009:

My kids would love the slip n slide idea.

Artemus-Gordon on November 03, 2009:

These are some creative ideas! I have to admit before I simply just tossed them out.

wayfarer lm on November 02, 2009:

What a fun list! Think I'll pass on #6 though. ; )

myraggededge on November 01, 2009:

Great lens. Congratulations on all its (your) achievements!

Treasures By Brenda from Canada on October 30, 2009:

Very nicely done & blessed with belated congratulations on your Lens of the Day!Many great ideas here ~~ I wonder if the birds have any interest in eating the pumpkin after the birdseed? Brenda

justholidays on October 27, 2009:

I like the painted pumpkins idea as well as the couple in the yard! Both are quite original - the painted ones for kids and the couple for adults! Great ideas!Dom.

Deb Kingsbury from Flagstaff, Arizona on October 26, 2009:

Hey, that pumpkin platter is a hoot! Love the fun ideas, and congratulations on LOTD. I can certainly see why this lens was chosen. Also, thank you for stopping by my lens as well. I appreciate it!

lasertek lm on October 25, 2009:

There are really so many things you can do with your pumpkin. Like the one you've listed here. Great job!Do visit my lens if you got time. Thanks

newchildsafety on October 25, 2009:

This is by far the MOST CREATIVE lens I have seen on Squidoo - wonderful job, great ideas and such a beautiful lens! Just made it a favorite and ranked with 5 stars. I hope every one gets a chance to see this lens before Halloween.For Halloween child safety tips visit http://www.squidoo.com/newchildsafety

carolkelly lm on October 24, 2009:

Love your lens. What Fun! Halloween is my favorite holiday, hands down. Boooootiful work!

squid-janices7 on October 24, 2009:

Congrats on LOTD! Well deserved.

MissDanaBanana on October 23, 2009:

Haha, love the last one!

nukemdomis lm on October 23, 2009:

The bird feeder looks like a winner for sure because after carving pumpkins, I could just line the bottom with something to prevent the bird food from falling out of the carved pumpkin.I guess I'll have to go and make a bird feeder pumpkin carving pattern and add it to my list.

anonymous on October 23, 2009:

You did an excellent job with pumpkins --I liked the fireplace also using the candles and pumpkins together.

DonnaK on October 22, 2009:

I really enjoyed your lens! I'm a Squidoo newbie and had a similar topic for my first lens. I was tempted to abandon mine since you already covered the topic so well, but I decided to press on just for the experience. Thanks for the inspiration! Great photos, love the lawn décor!

KonaGirl from New York on October 21, 2009:

Well done! 5 stars for you. You found so many great ideas and I had to laugh out loud at some of the photos! As everyone said the pie photo is very cute, but the lawn ornament is just way to funny. My husband got a great belly laugh from that one too. I lensrolled you to all of my Halloween lens.

Sue Dixon from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK on October 21, 2009:

What a great lens!LOTD- brilliant- so pleased for you.

Kate Loving Shenk from Lancaster PA on October 20, 2009:

Congrats on LOTD and ####Blessed####

mockingbird999 on October 20, 2009:

I love the picture of the pumpkin in horror of the pie crust. Made me laugh. :)

Joan Hall from Los Angeles on October 20, 2009:

This is gorgeous. I like the pumpkin looking at the pie ingredients the best. My kids cracked up!

WhitePineLane on October 20, 2009:

Congrats on LOTD! Fun lens!

Mickie Gee on October 20, 2009:

What cute ideas. I will lensroll you to my Great(est Carved) Pumpkin lens. Between the two of the lenses, some people might find some really good resources for carving or decorating pumpkins.

eccles1 on October 20, 2009:

What a great job you did I love all your ideas!! congrats on LOTD

kathys55 on October 20, 2009:

Congrats on being LOTD! Love the silly lawn decorations. LOL Great Ideas!

Bambi Watson on October 20, 2009:

Congrats on LotD!

Macs LM on October 20, 2009:

What a fun lens! I never would have thought of some of the ideas you came up with.Congrats on LOTD!

anonymous on October 20, 2009:

congrats on LOTD. The "oh no!" pumpkin cracked me up. Did you take that picture? Hah!

anonymous on October 20, 2009:

nice fun lens. some interesting things to do with pumpkins.

ShortSaleRealtor on October 20, 2009:

I like the hamburger pumpkin the best hi 5

anonymous on October 20, 2009:

Woww a super lens..well deservent of LOTD ...fabulous ideas which i may just try out myself..Tinax

happynutritionist on October 20, 2009:

I never thought there were so many uses for a pumpkin...delightful lens and congrats on LOTD:-)

anonymous on October 20, 2009:

Loved your lens! Keep up the good work.

Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on October 20, 2009:

Beautiful pumpkin lens. Congrats LOTD Smashing!

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on October 20, 2009:

Love it! "Small dogs can be used instead of kids" for photo props. That cracked me up! Congrats on LOTD!

VictoriaNTC on October 20, 2009:

Oh, my home school-ers and self love your great ideas!Just adorable!Victoria

justduky lm on October 20, 2009:

Wow - Kudos to you! So original and something for everyone. Really enjoyed it!

dawnsantiquesan on October 20, 2009:

Great Lens, love all the ideas. Congrats. on lens of the day. You deserve it!!!

Marelisa on October 20, 2009:

I love the idea of using little pumpkins to hold little cards telling everyone where to sit. What a cute lens! And congratulations on lens of the day.

anonymous on October 20, 2009:

Congrats on LOTD! Well deserved...this is an awesome lens!

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on October 20, 2009:

Congratulations on your LOTD! This really is a fun lens. It will be lensrolled into my Pumpkin Carving and Gifts lens.

Frankie Kangas from California on October 20, 2009:

Great lens. Love the photos and the decorating ideas. Congrats on LoTD! Bear hugs, Frankie

Patricia on October 20, 2009:

This lens is so fun!

EpicFarms on October 20, 2009:

Congratulations on LOTD. I'm thinking it's definitely earned ~ this is a terrific lens! I absolutely love the vase. Very nicely done :o)

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on October 20, 2009:

Congratulations on Lens of the Day!

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on October 20, 2009:

I love all the ideas of things to do with pumpkins especially the pumpkin bird feeder. Each year after Halloween we leave our Jack O'Lantern out in the garden for the animals until it disappears into the ground.Before carving we like to count the pumpkin seeds..

WebSpinstress on October 20, 2009:

What a great pumpkin lens...beautiful showcase of festive pumpkin ideas and congratulations on LOTD! :-)

savypat on October 20, 2009:

I loved all the great ideas, but what I love most is to cook with this wonderful winter squash, it can be used just as you use any other winter squash and during the Halloween season can be purchased very cheaply.

The Party Animal from Partytown USA on October 20, 2009:

I really love the Bird Feeder Idea - well done and congrats on LOTD - glad to have it back. You have been Blessed by The Party Animal. Party On....

Dianne Loomos on October 20, 2009:

What a great lens on what you can do with your pumpkin. Really good ideas. I especially like the vase in the intro. Congrats on LOTD!

Lisa-Marie-Mary on October 20, 2009:

Awesome lens - I love it! I absolutely adore the black pumpkins at the very top - those are so pretty! Great job on the lens and congrats on LOTD! :)

killerwebs on October 20, 2009:

Excellent!! I love it!!

wayfarer lm on October 20, 2009:

What a fun lens--and such creative uses! Love the lawn decorations.

Mary from Chicago area on October 20, 2009:

Nice job; congrats!

Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on October 20, 2009:

Love this lens and love your use of photos! Congratulations on Lens of the Day!! Well deserved. blessed by a SquidAngel!

Robin S from USA on October 20, 2009:

Congrats on LOTD!

Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on October 20, 2009:

love this lens! congrats on LOTD!

SherryHolderHunt on October 20, 2009:

Wonderful ideas!! Rolling to my Halloween lens.

anonymous on October 20, 2009:

Congratulations on getting Lens of the Day. This is a very imaginitive lens!

GrowWear on October 20, 2009:

Congratulations on Lens Of The Day!

anonymous on October 20, 2009:

A great Len

seashell2 on October 20, 2009:

Unique and fun ideas.. great work and awesome photos!

KimGiancaterino on October 20, 2009:

Great photos! Congratulations on LOTD!

ChloeComfort on October 20, 2009:

Awesome lens! Who knew there were so many options for pumpkin use. My fave by far - the lawn decorations - hilarious. Kudos!

enslavedbyfaeries on October 20, 2009:

I totally love it! My daughter actually did the pumpkin slip n' slide in our kitchen when she was 4! She was a total mess, not to mention the kitchen, but looking back I would let her do it all over again just for the memories. Congratulations on LOTD. :)

Joan4 on October 20, 2009:

Fun! Congratulations on Lensof the Day! Celebrate!

JodiTraxler on October 20, 2009:

Very creative! Loving it! 5*s and favorited.