Boo-tiful, No-Carve Jack-o-Lantern Alternatives The Kids Will Love

Pulling out the gooey, slimy guts of a soon-to-be jack-o-lantern is an absolute delight, and some detail-oriented folks even enjoy the carving part. But if you shudder at the idea of handing a small knife over to your little one (or doing all the meticulous work yourself), we've come up with a few simple alternatives for you.

MELTED CRAYONS

We tried this first with no glue and a hairdryer, and the results were less than pleasing. And ridiculously messy. The second time around, I got smart. Preheat the oven to 225 F, peel the crayons (I nabbed a pack of 20 at Goodwill for $.50 and luckily the labels came right off), break them in half and hot glue them in a circle to the top of the pumpkin. After the glue dries, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and put the pumpkin on it, then slide it into the oven on the lowest rack. It should take about 20-25 minutes to get the crayons totally melted. Pull it out and let it cool before removing it from the cookie sheet. This would be really cute on the white mini pumpkins.

TEMPORARY TATTOOS

There is a seemingly bottomless stash of My Little Pony tattoos taking up residence in our closet, so this idea seemed like a no-brainer. Simply make sure the pumpkin is clean and dry, have a damp washcloth ready and go to town. The more tattoos, the better it looks, according to my 4-year-old (I agree). It takes longer to get them to adhere to the pumpkin skin than human skin, just so you know. Press the washcloth firmly for a good 90 seconds or so, or until the paper backing starts to wriggle free. I also poked the stem through a hole in an old newspaper and spray painted it gold for a little extra bling.

MAGIC MARKER + PAINT

Write or draw whatever your creative talents allow (mine are limited) with a magic marker or sharpie, then paint the stem with acrylic paint and a sponge brush. It doesn't get any easier than that (the stem hasn't been painted yet in this picture, as you can see).

FALL FOLIAGE

This one kind of happened by accident, and took all of one minute to make, but it might be my favorite. Either head outside and hunt down some colorful leaves and other foliage (an acorn cap would be adorbs), or scoop up some fake options at the store (mine came from Walmart in the silk flower section). Use hot glue to adhere the stuff as you see fit, and a sharpie to make a spooky face if you want.

FAIL: BALLOONS

This was on the cover of Good Housekeeping and it looked completely adorable, like a sweet, colorful, paint-dipped-esque dream come true. No. It's a pain to try to stretch the cut balloons over the pumpkins, then they don't stay put and it just doesn't look anywhere as nice as the magazine version. Save yourself the trouble and just dip it in paint if you want that look.

Let us know if you give any of these a whirl and feel free to share your Instagram or Facebook pumpkin pics by tagging #swmikids. Merry pumpkin making, folks!

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