Pumpkins are more than just home decor—they can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some creative ideas to put pumpkins to good use for your Halloween party or any autumn event. Make sure to gently clean the exterior of the pumpkin with a vegetable brush or wet cloth before starting on any of these.
Pumpkin Punch Bowl
This bowl will add a classic seasonal style to your event. Start by finding a very large but low pumpkin. Tall pumpkins will wobble or roll around too much. If you find it moves around too much, try pinning some gourds to the base. Just make sure the pins don’t go too deep or it will leak.
Cut a large opening in the top and remove all the pulp and seeds. Rinse and dry the interior. Add your favorite punch cocktail (or drink of choice). Try freezing some of your beverage to use as ice cubes. Serve with a ladle.
Pumpkin Drink Holder
This will go perfectly with your pumpkin punch bowl (above). People carrying around pumpkin drinks will make a huge impression on your guests and they’ll be talking about it forever. Find several fresh small pumpkins. Make sure the bottom is flat and doesn’t tip over. Cut an opening across the top and completely remove all the pulp and seeds. Rinse and dry the interior. Add a punch cocktail or drink of choice. Serve with a jumbo straw. We suggest writing the name of each person on the pumpkin to avoid confusion when they set it down.
Pumpkin Bottle Cooler
This will also get great reactions from your guests. It’s easy and fun. Simply find a very large pumpkin and saw a large area top with a serrated knife. Remove all the pulp and seeds and your ready to add ice and bottles. These can be placed in various locations around your party. Another tip is to refrigerate the pumpkin before the party. This will keep the pumpkin fresh and help keep the bottles cool.
Pumpkin Dip Bowl
This is a simple and fun idea. Get a small- to mid-sized pumpkin. Cut a large opening in the top, either straight across or tilt your knife down at a 45-degree angle when cutting. For the dip, it’s best to keep it sweet. This will complement the pumpkin. You get bonus points if you use this yummy recipe below…
Pumpkin Pie Dip
8 oz Soft Cream Cheese
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 cup Canned Pumpkin
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Mix in the pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger until blended and serve with Graham crackers, Vanilla wafers, Gingersnap cookies and sliced apples.
Dry Ice Jack-o’-Lantern
This is easy and effective. Get a large pumpkin and use a 45-degree down and inward angle to cut a large opening all the way around the stem. This will allow the top to be placed back on. Next, remove pulp and seeds. Now carve out scary eyes and mouth. Just before your party starts, fill a large tall glass (or cup) with hot water, mix in a cup of salt. Set glass inside pumpkin and use gloves to drop in some dry ice in the glass. For illuminated effect, add some portable lights. Candles may not work here because the CO2 from the dry ice will put them out. Place top of jack-o’-lantern back on.
Mini Pumpkin Candles
For this, you’ll need some mini pumpkins and tealight votive candles. Remove the exterior from one of the tealight candles. Use this to measure around the stem of the pumpkin. Remove the pumpkin stem and place the tealight holder upside down over the stem area of the pumpkin. Make small markings all the way around the edge with a pen or knife to use as a cutting guide. Next, dig in the pumpkin center about as deep as one tealight. A mellon baller tool works well here, or you can use a knife or small spoon. Place your tealight candle in the pumpkin hole and light it up just before your party. These can be placed throughout your party or grouped together as a centerpiece.
Pumpkin Candy Dish
Candy is always fun to have at a party. This dish will work perfect for your adult party guests as well as for trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. Start by finding a very large, low-profile pumpkin. You’ll need to horizontally cut it in half. First, take a string or yarn to wrap it around the pumpkin to create a center line. Make markings around the center line to create a cutting guide. Next, take a serrated knife and cut all the way around the center line. Open up and clear the pulp and seeds. Rinse and dry completely. Place a cloth liner or paper towels inside. Now load it up with your favorite halloween candy. You can use the top of the pumpkin as a lid when not in use. Feel free to decorate it!