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15 Unexpected Ways To Use Pumpkins Photo by Melissa Doroquez (Flickr)

Carving a pumpkin into a jack-o'-lantern for Halloween is something you might do around this time every year, but there are plenty of other fun, creative ways to use pumpkins, too. Check out these 15 unexpected ways you can use pumpkins this fall.

  1. Brew Some Beer. Put together the right ingredients and you can brew your own pumpkin beer. But don't keep your brew to yourself: Invite some friends over for a fall gathering and share your creation.
  2. Cute Pumpkin Bowls. Make a pumpkin bisque and serve it in bowls made from pumpkins that have been cut in half. The presentation is perfect for fall!
  3. Feed the Deer and the Birds. After Halloween, cut your jack-o'-lanterns into five or six large slices and put them out in your yard for passing deer to snack on. Roast some of the seeds from your pumpkin, and put the rest into your bird feeder. The birds will appreciate it, and you may even see a few squirrels drop by for a treat.
  4. Pumpkin Art. This is something you can do with your kids. Make a tree out of brown construction paper. Then, glue pumpkin seeds on to represent the leaves of the tree. Don't forget to display the tree on your refrigerator!
  5. Pumpkin Body Scrub. Combine sugar, pumpkin puree, honey, and sweet almond oil to make a batch of pumpkin sugar body scrub. Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants for your skin.
  6. A Pumpkin Planter. Dress up your yard by creating a pumpkin planter. Be sure to make a drain hole in the bottom of your pumpkin so the moisture can move through the soil. These planters add color and are the epitome of fall décor for your yard! I made planters out of my pumpkins last year, and they added such a beautiful orange glow to the area around my front door.
  7. Prepare for Spring. Take the seeds you scoop out of your pumpkin and store them in a dry, safe place so you can plant them in your garden next spring.
  8. Make a Pumpkin Vase. After scooping the guts out of your pumpkin, put a glass container inside of it. Then, place a pretty bouquet of flowers in your pumpkin vase. Orange flowers such as orange gerbera daisies, marigolds, or zinnias are great for playing up the orange in your natural vase.
  9. Paint Pumpkins. Don't throw your jack-o'-lantern out the day after Halloween: The back of it is a blank canvas. Paint the pumpkin in bright colors, or use a template to paint leaves, acorns, or even a scarecrow onto your fall fruit.
  10. Pumpkin Place Cards. If you're planning a fall wedding, try using miniature pumpkins in place of traditional place cards on your wedding reception tables. Use a black marker to write each person's name on a pumpkin. Use a template of script letters to make your unusual place cards look more elegant.
  11. A Pumpkin Seed Necklace. Create a pumpkin seed necklace with dried pumpkin seeds, a large needle, a long elastic string, and a block of wood. You can color the seeds to make it more decorative.
  12. The Pumpkin Seed Game. Dry the seeds you take out of your pumpkin, count them, and put them in a Mason jar. Ask the guests at your Halloween party to guess the number of seeds in the jar. Be sure to have a fun prize for the winner!
  13. Compost. Slice up your jack-o'-lantern and put it on your compost pile. Cutting it up helps it to compost more quickly.
  14. Make Your Haunted House More Creepy. Are you hosting a haunted house in your home or garage for little guests at a Halloween party? If so, save your pumpkin guts, put them in a bucket, and have the kids reach into it to touch the slimy "monster's brains." Be sure to put a cloth over the bucket so the kids can't see what they are touching.
  15. Make a Donation. Load your pumpkins and jack-o'-lanterns into your car's trunk and take them to a local farmer. Farmers use pumpkins to feed some of their livestock.

I hope you try some of these interesting ideas this fall!

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