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No-carve pumpkin decorating

By Krissy Tiglias, RealSimple.com
updated 7:38 AM EDT, Thu October 27, 2011
Create a plaid pumpkin using colorful Washi tape.
Create a plaid pumpkin using colorful Washi tape.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Make a customizable pumpkin with chalkboard spray paint
  • Use extra candy and a hot glue to make a "sugar rush" pumpkin
  • Personalize pumpkins with monograms or house numbers using tacks

(RealSimple.com) -- Mad for Plaid

Move over, Scotch, there's a new tape in town. Washi is similar to masking tape but available in tons of patterns and colors. Ready, set, get stickin'!

Supplies:

Dry erase marker in a light color (avoid black)

Scissors

Washi tape, happytape.com

Instructions:

1. Using the dry erase marker, create your design, which will guide you when placing the tape. (The marker is great for this project because it lets you draw, rinse, and repeat!)

2. Once you're set with your design, begin applying tape to the pumpkin's surface. Try using longer strips when possible, because piecing together too many short strips will look sloppy. For this design, begin at the stem and run your tape down the side of the pumpkin, erasing the markings as you adhere the strips to the surface. Finish at the bottom of the pumpkin. After all of the vertical stripes have been made, apply tape around the circumference of the pumpkin to complete your pattern. (If you'd rather stick with stripes, skip the final crisscross step.)

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Writer's Block

Can't commit to one look for the season? Thanks to chalkboard paint, nothing needs to be permanent.

Supplies:

Newspaper

Damp rag

Chalkboard spray paint, homedepot.com

Chalk

Pencil (for Cat)

Scissors (for Cat)

Black construction paper (for Cat)

Glue gun (for Cat)

Instructions for Ghost:

1. Take supplies to a well-ventilated area and place newspapers on a flat surface. Before beginning, wipe pumpkin with a damp rag to remove any dirt.

2. Hold pumpkin by the stem and spray the entire surface area. Allow pumpkin to dry, and then apply a second coat. Stand and let dry for at least 24 hours. Once dry, take your chalk and start drawing.

Instructions for Cat:

Follow steps 1 and 2, above.

3. Create Cat's ears by tracing two triangles on a piece of black construction paper. Cut out.

4. Make a flap on each triangle by making a ΒΌ-inch fold on the longest side of the triangle. Cut a slit in the middle of each flap so the ears will sit on the rounded pumpkin.

5. Glue ear flaps on either side of the stem. Break out the chalk and draw Cat's face.

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Sugar Rush

A perfect example of what to do with that extra stash of Halloween sweets. Just one thing: Please don't eat the props.

Supplies:

Dry erase marker in a light color

Candy: black and white licorice pinwheels; coconut jelly beans; black licorice jelly beans

Hot glue gun

Instructions:

1. Using your marker, first create a design. This marker allows you to draw, rinse, and repeat as many times as you'd like. We picked one floral pattern to repeat across the pumpkin.

2. Once you're happy with your pattern, use your glue gun and adhere the candy to the pumpkin's surface. Set aside to dry for at least 24 hours so that the candy can set in place.

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Going Batty

Look what just landed on your pumpkin. No paintbrush (or paint!) required.

Supplies:

Paper and pencil

Scissors

Masking tape

Permanent Chisel Tip Sharpie in black

Instructions:

1. Draw a bat design on any scrap of paper; cut it out. For this project, stick to classic icons that are easier to recognize -- and draw. (We also like ghosts, cats, and spiders!)

2. Tape the paper template to the pumpkin.

3. Trace your "stencil" with the marker. Then remove the paper and color within the lines using that same permanent marker.

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Tack-fully Yours

Spotted: Yet another New Use for a Household Item. Give a favorite home office supply a new turf to play on while personalizing pumpkins with your monogram or house number.

Supplies:

Dry erase marker in a light color

Tacks

Instructions:

1. Using your dry erase marker, draw the number or letter on the pumpkin. (Once again, this marker lets you make plenty of mistakes that wash right off.) And don't be fooled -- making a straight line on a pumpkin isn't as easy as it looks!

2. Once you're set with your design, begin tacking. You'll want to erase the pen's markings as you stick each pin into its designated spot.

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Put on a Happy Face

Come on, we couldn't go a whole season without seeing this smile. Just like Jack -- but a much easier toothless grin to create.

Supplies:

Black tissue paper

Scissors

Dry erase marker in a light color

Mod Podge

Foam brush

Instructions:

1. First, think about the expression you'd like your pumpkin to wear. Start by cutting three triangles (two for the eyes and a smaller one for the nose) out of the tissue paper, and then make a paper half-moon shape for the mouth. Carefully cut out the spots for the missing teeth.

2. Using the dry erase marker, draw the face as you'd like it to appear.

3. Dip the brush into the Mod Podge and apply to one side of each piece of tissue paper. Adhere to the spots on the pumpkin where you've made your marks.

Cute as a Button

Who says pumpkins can't pull off polka dots? Bet you've got a bunch of buttons that remain unclaimed -- the more mismatched, the better!

Supplies:

Buttons

Hot glue gun

Instructions:

1. Apply hot glue to the back of a button and adhere it to the pumpkin's surface. Hold in place for 5 to 10 seconds to secure. Playful polka dots don't need a specific order, so have fun sticking them wherever you please.

2. Set aside to dry for at least 24 hours.

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