Although it may be common practice to toss out those fall pumpkins after Halloween, they can still be used in unique and creative ways during the winter holidays. Here are several ideas to recycle and use those pumpkins, whatever their size!
Pumpkin Flower Vase
For this project, it’s best to choose a pumpkin with a flat bottom that can stand upright. Carve out the pumpkin, scoop out seeds and pulp, wash, and pat dry. Place a bowl or glass inside and fill with water. Use a selection of red and orange fall flowers, as well as some greenery and branches, to make an eye-catching arrangement.
Pumpkin Bird Feeder
This activity provides our feathered friends with a seasonal dining experience! Take a small or medium pumpkin and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Pierce holes around the pumpkin’s diameter and use a strong piece of rope or twine to hang it from a tree branch, then fill with bird seed. Don’t waste the seeds, as birds can enjoy those too. But be sure to wash off all debris and roast them first.
Check out https://www.perkypet.com/articles/pumpkin-seeds to learn about roasting pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin Seed Art
After seeds are roasted and dried, children can use gel pens or craft paint to decorate them in vibrant colors. With construction paper and glue, they can create artwork such as trees, animals, or whatever their imagination leads them to make. Finish the seed art with a simple frame and paper backing. The website https://www.education.com/activity/article/pumpkin-seed-art/ offers instructions/download for this project.
Pumpkin Thanksgiving Turkey Centerpiece
This is a fun project children can enjoy with parents and grandparents. Supplies needed include card stock or construction paper of various colors, crayons or markers, scissors, a glue stick, a small pumpkin, foam mounting tape or double-sided tape, and a turkey centerpiece template. Download a sample at https://www.marinmommies.com/create-cute-pumpkin-turkey-centerpiece-thanksgiving.
Pumpkin Snow Man/Woman
Decorate your porch or yard with pumpkins of varying sizes. Supplies include a ¼ to ½ wide dowel (depending on size of pumpkin), white spray paint, artificial snow, glue, a carrot, buttons or markers for the face, branches for arms, and a hat and scarf. Start by removing stems from pumpkins and use the largest one for the base. Find detailed instructions for attaching the three pumpkins using a dowel at https://www.pineconecottageretreat.com/make-a-pumpkin-snowman-for-your-porch/.
Pumpkins are not just for Jack-O Lanterns, Halloween, and pumpkin pie. Using imagination, creativity and effort, children and adults can spend time together on fun creations with pumpkins all holiday season long.