Alternatives to carving a pumpkin include painting bat silhouettes on the surface, stacking small pumpkins to create pumpkin people, decorating a pumpkin with glitter and puff paint, and using gauze and googly eyes to create a mummy pumpkin. Creative individuals can also make one-of-a-kind decorated pumpkins using found objects, flowers or colorful leaves. Decorating a pumpkin with stickers or using an ink pad and stamps to create a pattern on the pumpkin are other options.
Painting is a popular alternative to carving pumpkins. Some ideas for what to paint on a pumpkin include dots, stripes, scary faces, animal faces and abstract designs. To maximize the life of the painted pumpkin, coat the pumpkin with an aerosol or brush sealer before painting it with acrylic paint, and coat it with sealer after painting it.
Some other ideas for decorating a pumpkin without carving it include stretching lace fabric over the pumpkin, attaching starched doilies and gluing on yarn rosettes.
While a carved jack-o-lantern only lasts five to 10 days, an uncarved pumpkin can last up to 12 weeks. Both carved and uncarved pumpkins last longest when kept in temperatures around 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep a decorated pumpkin dry and out of direct sunlight, as both moisture and rain can cause a pumpkin to rot more quickly.