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Take the Mess Out of Halloween with No-Carve Pumpkin Art Projects

The director of Santa Barbara's KidzArt offers drawing and decorating ideas for kids

If spending hours scooping out seeds and stringy pumpkin isn’t on your list of fun things to do this Halloween, decorating a pumpkin without carving is a fun option. Forget the knives and break out the permanent markers, along with other household craft items to decorate your pumpkins.

“Decorating pumpkins without carving is a great alternative for younger children who can’t use carving utensils,” said Onolee Zwicke, director of KidzArt, an international children’s art education franchise in Santa Barbara. “Without carving, your child’s decorated pumpkin will last a lot longer and it can be displayed in your home throughout the fall season.”

Zwicke offers clever pumpkin art projects that will excite the kids, minus a big mess.

» Stenciled pumpkin designs: Go online and peruse the hundreds of pumpkin template designs available, but instead of carving, kids can use a stencil to trace a pattern on the pumpkin. Use colored permanent markers (Sharpies® work well) to color, draw patterns, etc.

» Glitter pumpkins: For kids who love shimmer and sparkle, cover gourds and pumpkins with a coating of glitter. Using craft glue that dries clear, “paint” the entire pumpkin with glue. While the glue is wet, sprinkle your favorite colored glitter over the pumpkin. Let it dry for an hour, and then shake off the excess sprinkles.

» Pumpkin people: Kids can create “pumpkin people” by using a variety of household items. Draw eyes, a nose, a mouth and cheeks on the dry, clean pumpkin. Or get creative and use fruits or vegetables for ears, eyes or a mouth, glue on raffia for hair, add a hat, a bandana, glasses, ribbons or felt to give each pumpkin its own personality.

» Black on white: For a dramatic effect, kids will get a kick out of drawing with black markers on a stark white pumpkin. Try tracing and coloring in simple black silhouettes such as bats, cats and spiders.

For more creative art projects or for information on fall and winter art classes, click here or call KidzArt at 541.653.8089.

— Onolee Zwicke is the director of KidzArt.

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