Hate Carving Pumpkins?
An Easy Alternative to Carving.

There may very well be less of you reading this post today than normally would.  Hurricane Sandy has ripped through a lot of North America taking some of it with it.  

As I type this on Monday night my power is out and I’m on my last reserves of battery, so if there are typos or errors or weirdnesses with this post at all I trust you’ll forgive me.

~ karen


Hate carving pumpkins?  Me too.

I know you’re probably scoffing right now, but I really do hate carving pumpkins.

I do it.  And I’m good at it.  But it doesn’t mean I like it.

I have a friend.  We’ll call her Wesley, because it rhymes with her real name … Leslie.  Well, Wesley is really good at making pies.  Homemade crust, fresh fruit … delicious pies.  She’s really good at making pies.  So wherever Wesley goes, people ask her to bring a pie.

She does it.  She’s good at it.  But she doesn’t necessarily like it.

But she’s a good person, so she always brings a pie.

Thankfully pumpkin carving happens less often than pie cravings.  I only have to devote one day a year to it.

Last year I didn’t even do that.  I don’t know what happened but I just ran out of time.  Cough.  Sputter, sputter, H a cK!  O.K. I do know what happened.  I didn’t want to carve any pumpkins so I didn’t. So sue me.

I felt bad about it because sometimes people come specifically to see my pumpkins.  I made up for it by answering the door topless.

If you TOO can’t stand the thought of carving your pumpkins do what I did.

Just stick something out of your pumpkin.  You still have to hollow it out but you don’t have to carve a face.  Just meander around your house and look for things you can stick out of your pumpkin.

A skull for instance …


Skull In Pumpkin 2


This is a ceramic skull I own.  I just cut a hole in the pumpkin, approximately the size of the skull and shoved it in.  Since there are gaps between the hole and the skull, light could shine through giving it that eerie look.

Sparkle Skull


And yes those are white pumpkins I had.  You could do the same thing with orange ones.  I know it seems stupid to say that, but someone will ask.  Not you.  Someone stupid.  This skull is actually a candle I got at a garage sale years ago.  BAM.  Shove it in the pumpkin.


Front Walk


I drilled out the eyes a bit so the light inside could shine through them.


Candle In Pumpkin


Yet another ceramic skull … this one is a candle holder.


Clay Skull In Pumpkin


And a prosthetic hand.  Actually I think it’s a mold for a doll’s hand.  You can see about how I acquired it here.

Hand Not Glowing


It looked especially magnificent when lit up.


Glowing Hand


It took no time at all to do this collection.  And I think it still has the effect one wants from a carved pumpkin.  Interesting to look at, makes you feel all Hallowe’eny and fools people into thinking you actually spent time on it.  Speaking of Halloweeny … for those grown up parties there are a variety of things you could stick out of your pumpkin.


Skulls Front Walk


In case you don’t have skulls and baby hands at the ready this would also look completely FANTASTIC with a whole mess of spiders spilling out of the hole.  Little ones.  Like they were just born and are escaping their sac.  Makes my stomach do a flip just thinking about it.

But be warned.  Don’t get too good at this.  Don’t make it too impressive unless you want to be making impressive pumpkins for the rest of your life.  EVERYONE will know that you can do it and you’re good at it and they’ll want you to do it all the time even if you don’t like it.

Like with sex.

Happy Hallowe’en everyone!



  1. Annie Kip says:

    Awesome alternative!!! I hate carving pumpkins too! I didn’t even buy pumpkins yet this year (and tomorrow is the Big Day) because I didn’t want to have to carve them! I will do this next year, for sure!!!

  2. Randy says:

    Love, love, love your blog. Very inspirational! Martha who? ;0)

  3. Elaine says:

    I hate carving pumpkins too so this was great to run into! I pinned it!

  4. Aisha says:

    I thought you should know that whenever I am reading your blog I catch my man behind my back reading it and laughing as well, we love how funny you are.

    And when you can make a man turn away from Monday night football to read a do it yourself blog you deserve a damn metal.

  5. Kristina says:

    Oh, help me! I don’t know which got me laughing harder. Your posting or the whole North America/Canada thing!!! Good grief! LOL

  6. Katherine says:

    Hope you’re safe. Look after yourself. Great post as usual… Thinking of you! x

  7. Jan says:

    Actually, one at the head and one at the foot of the table. Sorry. Not clear in earlier message.

  8. Jan says:

    Brilliant idea for that pumpkin! Easy and scary. I pinned it. Is the worst over for you with the storm? If my guy yelled “Tree down” and it wasn’t and he knew it …well, he would have to do something very nice to make up for it. Like buying that chair. Or a matching set. Wouldn’t it be comfortable to have a couple at the head and foot of a table? If the table was large enough.

  9. No camping stove for coffee?

  10. Kat says:

    Excellent IDEA Karen I have been so busy with other Halloween stuff I didn’t get a chance to try doing your toothy pumpkins, this will fit the bill. Sat. night I won 1’st prize for my costume. If you get a chance you can see a picture of it on the floraltrims.com website under “what customers are doing with our products”. Look for a big monarch butterfly! Thanks again for all your Halloween ideas the kids love everything I copied from you at the store where I work!

  11. Janet says:

    Truly one of the funniest posts and following comments ever. (It was extrememly difficult holding back from adding comments to…just about every comment) Today’s post, just might get me through until you are recharged again. Thanks for you dedication.Stay SAFE!

  12. Brie says:

    “Like Sex”….. he he he.

  13. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Awesome pumpkins Karen..We were very lucky as we did not lose power although over 1 million did in PA..You all stay safe and warm up there..So glad that you have a fireplace..I hope we hear from you tomorrow..

  14. Bonnie says:

    What is scary is the thought that you may not have enough power to send us messages tomorrow!

    Be safe- your readers and you!

    And, so you do not have to waste reading this without the intended kudoes– LOVE the pumpkins–WAY better than the traditional carved ones!

    Do you ever have a day where you don’t think of something exciting (read:COOL) to do? Don’t answer, save your strength, Er, I mean power.

  15. OMG Karen you kill me! And the topless part bet that was scaaarrryyy!!!

  16. Spokangela says:

    I love the skulls! brilliant :) I found a pumpkin this year already shaped like a skull so carving it into one was really easy.

    I wish I could bring you coffee!! I admire your dedication :) Stay safe!

  17. ev says:

    Appreciate you toughed it out, even using up batteries! Be safe and well, Karen. Here in northeastern Ohio it is very windy and wet and I have to drive 60 miles today. In a Jeep Wrangler no less–kind of like driving a “up high on extra big tires square box”! High wind is always an adventure. Happy Halloween, and more POWER to you!

  18. Patti says:

    We had power outages here, too, Karen, but were reassured at work not to worry – they have a generator so there is no risk of us not having to work.

    The storm wasn`t too bad here – just very windy. At 12:30am last night, I woke up suddenly to a very loud crash and then the sound of shattering glass. TheGuy JUMPED out of bed and hollered “Tree’s down!” And ran to the window.

    I almost had a heart attack. I ran around in circles, and then finally realized that the neighbour’s recycling bin had blown over, causing a glass jar inside to shatter.

    The adrenaline kept me up for 2 hours!

    • Patti says:

      I just talked about myself WAY too much there. LOVE the pumpkins, ESPECIALLY the doll hand one – and also, the fact that you hate carving pumpkins! Awesome! Me, too!

  19. Tigersmom says:

    Oh, and I almost forgot. I’m sure your friend Wesley appreciates your stalwart protection of her annonymity. ; )

  20. Tigersmom says:

    Hope you’re weathering Sandy ok and your power gets back on soon. Pretty sucky to have the storm mess up Halloween for so many.

    It gives me comfort knowing you have food that you have canned and plenty of firewood and means to cook things that don’t require electricity.

    I love alternative ideas for pumpkins as the trad Jack-o-lantern has been done to death.

  21. marilyn says:

    wow great karen, but even that is too much punkin carving for this chick..i hung up my boa wreath i made via the art of doing stuff..that will have to do..lol

  22. Reg says:

    oo ooo How about bunches of false teeth breaking through the pumpkin like Alien.

  23. Reg says:

    Great ideas. It just worries me a little that you have body parts hanging about somewhere.

  24. Debbie says:

    Great ideas!! Now to just convince the kids!! Hope you’re not without power today!!

    • Karen says:

      Debbie – I am still w/out power. I’m using the last of my iPhone and computer battery to approve comments. Sitting by the fire dreaming of coffee. ~ karen

  25. Rose says:

    Those are Great! Now to find ceramic skulls in two days! Do you think they’re at Dollarama?

  26. Heather says:

    What a spectacular idea. I absolutely adore the simplicity and ease yet how versatile it really is–allowing for creativity. I too have had demands made on me bc of previous creations. People dont realize the amount of blood, sweat and tears that go into our creations. Sometimes I am not up to it. Thank you for the inspiration for dramatic yet reasonably simple projects. Keep it up!

  27. Karol says:

    Cackle, cackle! Screamy, screamy! Happy, happy Halloweenie! Love it.

  28. Mary Kay says:

    Hello Karen – hope you gain power soon! We are getting tons of rain and wind but so far so good. The pumpkins were great!! I like the spider idea too – but my family keeps stealing the spiders and putting them in places like the fridge to scare the crap out of me. I hate those people. (not really) but at this time of year I do.

  29. Maddy says:

    Aaaaahaaaaaha! Karen you crack me up! Was having a grump but this cheered me up and now I I know why my man leaves the housework up to me- I’m just too damn good at it. But I can change that… Whoops I accidentally bleached your jeans? Broke your favourite beer glass? Vacuumed up your cuff link? Sorry honey, maybe I’m losing my touch?

  30. Kim says:

    Stay safe — guess i’m geographically challenged as I thought you lived in the Canada above Minnesota or something. I don’t know which part “just Canada” or maybe above Washington State….hmmmm heard its pretty there.

  31. Jill says:

    Take care, Karen. Hope a power outage is the worst of it for you. I didn’t realize until this morning how little our news channels say about the affect of the storm on our neighbors to the north. As usual, it’s all about us! :)

  32. Susan says:

    I just love your site and can’t tell you how many times I have used your great ideas……
    I too love to put pumkins out but didn’t want to spend so much time on getting them ready so now we use a small jigsaw to do all the work…..

  33. White says:

    “Like with sex.”

    In context, may well be your best punch line ever! You set it up perfectly, and delivered full-frontal.

  34. Stephanie says:

    Karen I hope you faired well with the weather. Our power just came back on here in fairfax va. And happy day! The first email I had was a pumpkin post. I love the idea of the spiders spilling out, could never do it myself. The lil critters give me the humongous creepies

  35. Kathy says:

    Ceramic skull. Sure it is. ;)

  36. Rhonda "SmartyPants" says:

    The hell with how impressed I am with your uncarved pumpkin decorations – what great ideas, so much safer, repurposing, recycling, revamping the whole carving tradition – but, I was leading away from that track and moving to the fact that your dedication to your blog was what impressed me even more…damn, you take care now, please. I’m sure you’ve got The Fella there next to you, chickens roosting in the dining room on some wowzer of a Dollar-A-Rama roost you constructed by candle light, and you’ve got enough frozen/canned tomato sauce to make it through ten disasters, but I hear this “Sandy” is a real B-I-T-C-H. I’m on the west coast so I can only sympathize/empathize/wring my bony fingers/furrow my already-wrinkled brow. Hey I know what I can do — I’ve got a spare bedroom, if you need it. Just let me know — one if by night, two if by horse or however that went. Seriously, take care, prayers and best wishes for a calm, windy-free Halloween. Best.

  37. andrea meyers says:

    inspired by the spider idea, hmmmmm

  38. Lena says:

    These look great! Gonna try it out.

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