Literary Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

A list of literary pumpkin decorating ideas with materials lists plus how to have a Literary Pumpkin Decorating Contest at your school.

My daughter’s school library held a Literary Pumpkin Decorating contest and I was able to view them all at our school’s fall festival.  There are so many creative ideas I just HAD to share some of them today. But first, here are the rules and prize ideas for the contest.

How to Have a Literary Pumpkin Decorating Contest

This was an optional school event at our school.  The students had two weeks to come up with and create their idea.


  • All entries should be based on a book or character from a book. Please no movie characters unless the book came before the movie.
  • Entries will be judged for their creative use of materials and how well it relates to the book. The winners are chosen by the teachers, without knowing who it belongs to.
  • Pumpkins should be plastic. No freshly craved pumpkins are allowed.
  • An index card with the name of the book and author should accompany the pumpkin.
  • Place your name on the bottom of the pumpkin only.

Prize Ideas:

Our school gave away Book Fair gift certificates to the top three winners in the amounts of $10, $5, and $25.

Kids got very creative using different sized and shaped fake carving pumpkins. They were painted, spray painted, and glued together. Other materials they used to help with their creations were: pipe cleaners, felt, Styrofoam balls, yarn, foam crafts, and fabric. Some of the affiliate links I listed are recommended products.

Literary Pumpkin Character Ideas

Charlotte’s Web (1st Place)

  • Author: E.B. White
  • Grade Level: 3-8

Materials: Pant, Fabric, Craft Fur, Pipe Cleaners, Spider Web, Foam Letters, Paint


Flora the Dress Up Fairy

  • Author: Daisy Meadows
  • Grade Level: 4

Materials: Paint, Yarn, Wiggly Eyes, Marker, Craft Flowers



Fly Guy

  • Author: Tedd Arnold
  • Grade Level: 2

Materials: Paint, Paper, Pipe Cleaners, Styrofoam Balls, Egg Cartons, Felt



Clifford the Big Red Dog

  • Author: Norman Bridwell
  • Grade Level: 2

Materials: Paint and Felt



Fancy Nancy

  • Author: Jane O’Conner
  • Grade Level: K – 3

Materials: Paint, Pipe Cleaners, Pompoms , Boa, Plastic Accessories, Feathers, Costume Wig



Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (3rd Place)

  • Author: Bill Martin
  • Grade Level: PreK -1

Materials: Small Pumpkins, Paint, Craft Foam, Craft Foam Letters



Captain Underpants

  • Author: Dav Pilkey
  • Grade Level: 2-5

Materials: Paint, Marker, Ribbon, Paper



Harry Potter

  • Author: JK Rowling
  • Grade Level: 5-6

Materials: Paint, Glitter



Diary of a Wimpy Kid

  • Author: Jeff Kinney
  • Grade Level: 3-7

Materials: Pipe cleaners, Paper



Madeline (2nd Place)

  • Author: Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Grade Level: PreK – 2

Materials: Yarn, Felt, Paint



Pete the Cat

  • Author: Eric Litwin
  • Grade Level: PreK -2

Materials: Paint, Cardboard, Paper, Beans, Pipe Cleaners, String




  • Author: Mo Willems
  • Grade Level: PreK- 2

Materials: Paint, Paper, Toothpicks, Marker




  • Author: Victoria Kann
  • Grade Level: PreK – 2

Materials: Plastic Tiara, Yarn, Wings, Glitter Paper, Marker



The Gruffalo (Honorable Mention)

  • Author: Julia Donaldson
  • Grade Level: K – 2

Materials: Paint, Tennis Balls, Cardboard, Paper



The Lion and the Mouse (My personal fave)

  • Author: Beverley Randell
  • Grade Level: K – 3

Materials: Paint, Felt, Wiggly Eyes



There were many more, but I didn’t want to move them to take pictures in fear of dropping or ruining one. Hope you like them! We will definitely need to participate in this contest next year.

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