Appearing in our homes in all shapes and sizes, pumpkins seem to be an old fall favorite when the time calls for scrumptious treats and drinks, home decorations and scary jack-o’-lanterns. When it is time to put up new decorations, instead of tossing pumpkins and unused canned pumpkin puree out in the trash, try composting them or try these creative ideas.


By Harald Bischoff (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Pumpkin Bird Feeder

Instead of throwing out that old pumpkin, why not use it to feed birds? The National Wildlife Federation shared a great DIY project that was featured in a past issue of the Ranger Rick magazine. This is a great project to do with little ones and will require a hollowed-out pumpkin (unpainted), two wooden dowel rods, strong twine or cord, birdseed and the following instructions:

  1. Cut off the top of the pumpkin.
  2. Poke a dowel into the pumpkin a few inches down from the top edge you just cut. Push it straight out through the opposite side of the pumpkin.
  3. Poke the second dowel through the pumpkin so it crosses just under the first dowel.
  4. Cut the twine into four equal lengths. Tie a strand to each dowel, as shown. Then tie the loose ends together in a large knot at the top.
  5. Fill the pumpkin with birdseed, and then hang it in your yard.

For more info: http://www.nwf.org/kids/family-fun/crafts/pumpkin-bird-feeder.aspx

Snacks for Wildlife

Have wildlife in your backyard? Cut it into pieces and leave them out for them to enjoy.

Pumpkin Serving Bowls

Awe your dinner guests with these cool serving bowls made from pumpkin shells! You will need a hollowed-out pumpkin and vegetable oil. Place hollowed-out pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Brush the insides and tops with some vegetable oil and season as desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Now it’s ready to serve soups or dips.

http://www.earth911.com/food/10-uses-for-your-pumpkin/

Pumpkin Beauty Masks

Did you know pumpkins are rich in vitamin A? If you’re not afraid to try this idea, all you need is a mixture of 2 tablespoons of organic pumpkin puree (can be fresh or canned), 1/2 teaspoon of organic honey, and 1/2 teaspoon of skim milk. After mixing them all together, apply to a clean face in circular motions and leave on for 20 minutes.

For more information about this, check out: http://www.beautylish.com/a/vxgpg/diy-pumpkin-face-mask

And, of course, make delicious treats using those leftover pumpkin pulp and seeds. If you have a special recipe involving pumpkins, let us know so we can feature your recipe! Please include sources and a photo of your scrumptious idea, if possible.