What to Do With Pumpkins After Halloween

Just because Halloween is over doesn't mean your jack-o-lantern should be thrown away! Check out these clever ways to repurpose the holiday staple.

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roasting pumpkin seeds
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Roast the Seeds and Eat Them

You can use most parts of the pumpkin if you’re willing to take some extra time. If the pumpkin you have isn’t already carved out, roast the seeds, also known as pepitas, and eat them. They are a deliciously healthy snack. They go great it kids’ lunches or just to have at the ready in a bowl on the counter.

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Save The Seeds For Planting

If you have a jack-o-lantern that’s fully intact, you can take advantage of the guts once Halloween is over. Scrape out the seeds, wash them, towel dry and then store them in a brown paper bag for a month. After a month, discard any seeds that show signs of rot or mold, then label your good seeds and store them in a dark, cool place until spring rolls around and you can plant them.

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Compost It

Wondering what to do with pumpkins after Halloween if you don’t have space to keep them? Toss that jack-o-lantern in your compost pile if you’re using a heap method to compost. For more delicate composting, be sure to cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces first.

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Make a Pumpkin Bird Feeder

DIY your own bird feeder by simply filling up your old jack-o-lantern with a layer of bird feed. Place it in the yard where you’ll get a good vantage point of the birds coming and going. You can also hang the pumpkin, carving out a large section of the back of the pumpkin to see the birds eating.

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Save Them to Make Pumpkin Snowmen

If snow is around the corner in your part of the country, why not save your pumpkins and reuse them as heads for your DIY snowmen?

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Try a Pumpkin Cannon

You’re not the only one wondering what to do with your leftover jack-o-lantern! See if there’s a local pumpkin cannon party in your neck of the woods and plan to show up and shoot your pumpkin through the sky. You could also build your own pumpkin catapult or trebuchet.

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Have a Pumpkin Smashing Party

Another fun way to use your jack-o-lantern is to host a pumpkin smashing party. It’s a great excuse to get friends together and have a little outdoor fun in the fall. Ask your guests to bring their old pumpkins over and something to damage it with: slingshot, hammer, broomstick, etc.

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Make a Pumpkin Flower Planter

Hollow out a jack-o-lantern that wasn’t carved and transform it into a festive fall flower pot. You can also put a whole plant in the pumpkin, then place the pumpkin in the ground. The pumpkin will deteriorate in the ground, fertilizing the plant as it breaks down.

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Make Pumpkin Potpourri

Fill your house with the smell of pumpkin pie by using your leftover pumpkin as indoor potpourri. If it’s not already carved, add some vents once you’ve hollowed it out, then burn a candle inside once you’ve rubbed spices in the lid.

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Feed Wildlife

Do you live in an area with an active wildlife population? Make use of your old jack-o-lantern by bringing it into the woods or to the edge of your lawn, away from the road, and allow deer, raccoons, squirrels and other animals to eat it the pumpkin.

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Make a Thanksgiving Tablescape

One last idea for what to do with pumpkins after Halloween: think outside the box! Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween. Keep a pumpkin or two around and add them into your tablescape for Thanksgiving. Add candles, pine cones and leaves for a beautiful setting.

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: livingbylex.com