How to decorate your Halloween pumpkin

Two young girls show off painted pumpkins. The small pumpkins they're holding each have a spooky face painted on, and don a witch hat.
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How to decorate your Halloween pumpkin

2023: the year of decor-eating pumpkins

Isn’t it weird that every year millions of pumpkins are bought and carved, but not eaten? Pumpkins are often only remembered for their role as jack o’ lanterns, and their true purpose is overshadowed – dinner! And dessert. 

Decorating your pumpkin instead of carving means less mess, less waste, and your whole pumpkin will stay fresh until you’re ready to eat it – everything is edible except the stalk.

So, ready for a new Halloween tradition? Check out these edible, sustainable decoration ideas:

These tips are part of something bigger. At Hubbub, we want to see a world where everyone makes choices that are good for the environment. Check out what we do and how your actions add up.

Spooky... and scary fresh come time to eat your pumpkin!

1) Keep it sweet

What better way to combine sweet treats at Halloween than decorating your munchkin pumpkin with candy? Toothpicks studded with jelly, chewy or squishy sweets make an easy combo to decorate your pumpkins this year. Get poking, and use your sweets to make a scary face.

2) Pumpkin... or cake?

Your pumpkin might get baked into a cake later, but the icing can come now! Icing pens and sprinkles are an easy way to add flair to your pumpkin, come in all different colours, and can help you be quite detailed too! You could even mix up your own icing at home (just icing sugar and a splash of water!) & pipe it with a zip lock bag for a cheaper alternative – go for a thicker mix so it doesn’t drip, and hardens quicker.

3) Get sticky

You might be able to find an edible glue in the cake decorating section of local shops, or a simple mix of icing sugar and water could make an easy alternative to help stick on details like googly eyes or paper features. Double sided tape is perfect for sticking on paper features like wings, horns, ears, and more. Draw, colour in and cut out your design in paper and then use double sided tape to bring it all to life in 3D.

4) Craft don’t carve

If you have toilet paper and 2 buttons for eyes…then you have a mummy pumpkin! Wrap up that pumpkin and tuck in some buttons for eyes. Don’t let us decide what your pumpkin will be this year (apart from food!), look around your house and put old craft materials to use again!

5) Paint Your Pumpkin

Still up for a bit of mess this Halloween? Paint your pumpkin! Whether you’re keeping it creepy or it ends up totally abstract, anything goes with paint. It’s fun and safe for all ages and you can still eat your pumpkin after by opting for edible paints and pens.

Top tip: buy to eat

Sometimes, size does matter! Carving pumpkins are often grown for size, rather than taste, so they’re often waterier and more fibery. As a general rule, smaller the sweeter, so choose quality over quantity and buy (and decorate) to eat.

We love Jack be Little and Crown Prince pumpkins, or Kabocha squash!

How to eat your pumpkin

When the decorating’s all done, Halloween’s over and you’re feeling peckish.... here’s how to eat your pumpkin. Simply pick, wipe or wash off the decorations and poof, like Cinderella’s carriage it’s turned back into a humble pumpkin. You can peel the whole thing if you’re unsure, but otherwise it’s good to go!

And we’ve got a bumper book of pumpkin recipes for you, from warming curries to pumpkin brownies.

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What to wear to scare?

Did you know most readymade Halloween costumes are made from plastic? Extend the creative vibes to your costume this year with these easy and sustainable ideas.

Pumpkeen for more?

Now you've got your pumpkin decorated, check out the #EatYourPumpkin campaign. We've got plenty of tricks and some tasty treats for Halloween.