I'm terrible at carving pumpkins. No, really. Most people could do a better job with their feet. I might be in luck, though, because it seems there's a new trend emerging: Halloween succulent pumpkins. All over social media, you can find pictures of the everyone's favorite seasonal squash topped with the desert-friendly plant. No carving required, no muss, no fuss. If you're like me and hate the feeling of stringy pumpkin guts caught in between your fingers, this is a beautiful alternative that makes you look like Martha freaking Stewart even though you're definitely not.
Unless you enjoy trying to copy some ornate design you found on Pinterest while trying not to stab yourself, succulent pumpkins are a great way to go. You can make them as simple or as elaborate as you want, and it works with pumpkins of any sizes. If you're not totally DIY-home-project inclined, there are pumpkin-making kits available online, if you'd like the materials gathered for you; or you can even buy them ready-made and then lie and tell everyone you made them yourself.
Fear not, though, because tackling them yourself is pretty darn simple. This how-to from Better Homes & Gardens requires just a handful of items: a pumpkin, spray adhesive, moss, clear gel crafting glue, a hot glue gun and glue sticks, and your succulents of choice. The directions are pretty simple: start glueing all that ish together, and presto; but you can get the full directions here.
The results are nothing short of fab.
Succulent pumpkins are completely awesome for a number of reasons. For starters, you don't even have to cut the pumpkin open, which means it's going to last a lot longer and you can keep your Halloween directions up through Valentine's Day of next year, like you really want to. Secondly, caring for succulents is ridiculously easy, particularly if you're prone to killing any plant you bring into your home. Most species prefer dry climates, don't need to be watered often, and can even survive with less sunlight than other plants. Basically, if there's not a green thumb in sight at your home, go with succulents. Lastly, this makes for the ultimate Friday night project with your ghoulfriends (see what I did there?) while you get wine drunk and watch Hocus Pocus.
While carving pumpkins is an old Halloween tradition, these days, people are opting for all kinds of fun alternatives. Sometimes, a few layers of paint do the trick. Check out these beauties.
You can glue on all kinds of fun decorations and accessories to jazz your pumpkin up.
If you really want a fool-proof plan, glue some artificial flowers to your squash. You can never go wrong with flowers.
Or if you've got a sweet tooth and you're craving something tasty, these magnificent doughnut pumpkins are just what you need. Behold.
Or! You could try the stupid easy DIY pumpkin project that I'm currently partaking in: buy a pumpkin and let it sit on your counter until it starts to smell funny or grow hair.
While some of these projects are fairly new, carving pumpkins is an older tradition. It started in Ireland, where they first began decorating with large turnips and potatoes. In fact, the word "jack-o'-lantern" originally came from an Irish folktale about Stingy Jack, a man who messed with the devil and, as a result, was sent off into the night with nothing but a burning coal to give him light. Jack put the coal in a carved turnip, and his ghost supposedly roams the earth to this day. The Irish first called him "Jack of the Lantern," but later shortened it to "Jack O' Lantern."
Whatever project you go with, be careful with sharp objects, don't inhale too much glue, and have a blessed Halloween.