Pumpkins are an inexpensive source of outdoor decor.

This fall, why not transform your porch or patio with some seasonal décor? Mums, wreaths, and other autumn elements can add instant warmth to the outside of your home, welcoming visitors with a festive feel. Pumpkins in particular are an affordable way to add color and texture to your outdoor living spaces. These fall staples can be used in your décor from September through Halloween and beyond. Set a festive harvest tone on your porch or patio with some of these fun DIY pumpkin decorating projects!

Pumpkin Planter

Showcase colorful fall flowers from your garden in a homemade pumpkin planter. While large, round pumpkins with flat bottoms work best, nearly any pumpkin can be transformed into a flower pot. After slicing off the top, scoop out the innards and fill the hollow pumpkin about two-thirds full with potting soil. You can choose to plant seeds in the pumpkin or transplant established flowers, such as pansies or goldenrod.

Personalized Pumpkin

Use an oversized pumpkin to display your name or address. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. You can stencil or freehand your inscription on the pumpkin with paint. You can also use vinyl stickers, which are available in most arts and crafts stores. You may also choose to etch the letters or numbers directly into the pumpkin: With the help of a stencil and pumpkin carving tools, remove thin layers of the skin without cutting all the way through the shell.

Painted Pumpkins

With a little paint and a brush, you can create stylish and sophisticated pumpkins. White pumpkins are particularly great for painting, as their pale skin creates the perfect backdrop for color. Try simple designs like metallic gold polka dots or glittery silver spiderwebs. With practice, you can take on more complex designs like floral prints or calligraphy.

Pumpkin Topiary

Pumpkin stacks or topiaries are a visually interesting way to decorate your porch or patio. Topiaries can be made from foam, plastic, or real pumpkins, which makes this project versatile. To make a topiary, you ideally want pumpkins in three different sizes. After removing the stems and cutting a hole in the bottom center of each pumpkin, slide a dowel through all three stacked pumpkins. Monograms, fall florals, and bows can be used to adorn the topiary.

Pumpkin Candle Holders

Transform small pumpkins and gourds into functional candle-holders to illuminate your favorite outdoor space. Simply cut off the tops and hollow out the centers. Place your new candle-holders on a tray with items like pine cones and hedge apples to create an outdoor fall centerpiece for your patio table.

Pumpkin Lanterns

Create a spooky scene on or around your porch or patio with pumpkin lanterns! After removing the innards and carving scary faces on your pumpkins, insert sturdy wire into the sides to create a handle. You can then hang your jack-o’-lanterns from hooks along your walkway, from trees, or around your porch or patio. Add candles or battery-operated lights to illuminate your pumpkins and create an eerie ambiance.