Last weekend we invited some friends over for a Halloween pumpkin decorating party. One of the best parts of the holiday season, to me, is getting everyone together for DIY parties, from pumpkins, to gingerbread houses, to cookies and everything in between!
I remember as a kid loving when we got to carve the pumpkin but always being a tad disappointed that the fun part was hands-off for a kid like me. (And probably still is, not sure I trust myself with a big ol' knife.) A no-carve, kid-friendly pumpkin decorating party lets the little ones come up with their own creation that's both hands-on and totally safe. The only risk you take is if you let them paint with actual paint (that takes some next level parental bravery). And for this party I actually found a "paint" substitute that was even more fun!
STEP ONE | Gather your inspiration. I did a little pre-party research to get inspired on fun pumpkin designs. Not only does this rev the engine of your imagination, it also calls attention to fun craft supplies to have on hand. I found this gallery of fun no-carve pumpkin designs that inspired me to get tinsel wigs and create the gold "punk-kin.
STEP TWO | Gather your supplies. Once you get your craft supply list filled out, head to your local craft store and stock up. Or, you can do what I did and Prime it all. For under $50 we got everything we needed and had tons to spare. Extra crafts are never bad to have on hand for future parties, rainy days, or DIY holiday decorations.
Some people like to pre-wash their pumpkins prior to decorating. The argument is it makes all the crafts and artwork adhere better. I didn't do that but I'm sure it's helpful!
*You can see the full list of supplies I used by scrolling below!*
STEP THREE | Set it out and let the fun begin! I dispersed the craft supplies around the table, splitting some of them on different sides of the table so every kid could reach them. Other items I placed in plastic bowls and tumblers in case anything spilled to the ground. Tip: Nalgene bottles or slim water bottles make great pipe cleaner holders!
Set out a few seasonal, healthy snacks for the kids to munch on while they decorate and after they're done. I set out some sliced apples, graham crackers, peanut butter, and white cheddar puffs. Some fun ideas could include:
Apple dip, including nut or sun butter and caramel
Roasted pumpkin seeds
Clementine oranges with pumpkin faces drawn on them
Cheese cubes with Halloween-themed skewers
Candy corn parfaits: pineapple, clementine slices, whipped cream
Everything we used came from Amazon Prime and was SO cheap! Of course you could go to a craft store and go hog wild but between the prices, the free shipping, and our busy schedule we went with Prime. Super happy with it all!
Note: I set out purple disappearing glue sticks but it didn't adhere to the pumpkins themselves very well. If you're glueing two crafts together (like the teeth on the tinsel) that would work. And yes, it actually dries clear!
Note #2: I also set out washable markers for younger kids to scribble with and older kids to draw any features they wanted!
600 Piece Craft Supply Set (Pipe Cleaners, Googly Eyes, Pom Poms)
This whole kit is just $11!
Great for facial features and accessories.
Foil Tinsel Wigs (4 pack)
What I used for my "punk-kin," extras great for your kid's dress-up collection.
Tip: Grab a few sheets of white printer paper to round out the spectrum!
Mini Hot Glue Gun
Helps secure heavier craft pieces. Adults should help kids with this one!
Glittery Fabric Paint
Works as a glue substitute, easy to spread with a paintbrush, glitter finish without all the mess! Roll up sleeves and wear a smock to prevent clothes from getting glitter-fied.
Neon Sticker Labels
Easy for kids to peel-and-stick, can create larger shapes and designs.
Ping Pong Balls
Make great eye balls!
Make great eye lids, ears, flowers, etc! Easy to embellish with glitter paint (see above).
Waterproof Art Smocks (2 pack)
Large Paint Brushes (4 pack)
Helps to spread the fabric paint. Can be used with standard washable paints -- if you're brave enough to use them!
Plastic Table Cover (comes in 18 colors)
Use this or newspaper to protect your table! A must!