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The Top 3 Fall Crafts for When You Live in a Dorm and Can’t Carve a Pumpkin

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

Halloween as a college student looks a lot different than it did as a kid. We aren’t carving pumpkins on our parent’s kitchen table anymore. With little space and plenty of rules to follow, it can be hard to achieve the jack-o-lantern of your dreams in your dorm room. With limited resources, being festive takes a little creativity. Here’s a list of fun Pumpkin carving replacements that can still make your Halloween celebrations fun, mess free, and on a budget!

  1. Carve-able Craft Pumpkins: Did you know that many craft shops and major retailers have come out with fake, carve-able pumpkins? Well, they’re out there and they have entered the mainstream! They can be found at Target, Walmart, Michaels, and more. They are a bit pricier than real pumpkins, but they are something that you can keep forever, so it’s definitely a better value, and you still get the experience of carving, without the mess! Your RA, roomies, and housekeeping staff will definitely appreciate it.
  2. Paint Pumpkins: if you simply can’t give up using a real pumpkin, painting them is a great alternative to carving them. Yes, paint can still be messy, but you can skip the knives and the scooping, which sets you up for a much more manageable clean up. You can paint your pumpkins as traditional Jack-o-lanterns, or you can paint spooky landscapes, characters, or whatever else you can come up with! Your imagination is only limited by your palette. I would recommend laying down a trash bag or newspapers for any paint splatter.
  3. Wooden/Ceramics: If you have a craft store or a Target near you, you can easily find cut wood or ceramic pumpkins. They should be found near the acrylic paints, and they are a great alternative to carving pumpkins. They are compatible with acrylic paint, paint pens, any cute things you want to hot glue to them, and finger paints. The best thing about these is that afterwards, you get a little keepsake, so you’ll always have a little keepsake to remember Halloween with your roomies by!

I hope that this list gives you a bit of inspiration to make your Halloween a little more fun. It can be a bummer not to able to carve a pumpkin like you did growing up. But that doesn’t mean your spooky season has to be a bummer. There are plenty of alternative crafts that you can do with your friends, and there are even more than those that I included. A trip to a nearby craft store would definitely be worth your while. You just have to be creative! Happy crafting and spooky season everyone!

Hi I'm Morgan! I use she/they pronouns. I'm a 4th year at the University of Virginia majoring in Art History. My greatest passion is raising my 2 cats. I'm a first gen, low income student living on my own, so if you ever need budget hacks, I'm your gal! Happy to have you here!