Your fall pumpkins can dress up for Halloween too with these cute felt DIY masks.

Pumpkin carving: as a parent, you either love it or hate it. If you’re in the latter group, try this cute pumpkin alternative (and avoid the inevitable post-carving cleanup) this October. They don’t light up in the dark, but these animal-masked pumpkins will delight zealous trick-or-treaters who visit before the sun goes down.

First, gather supplies—if you’re new to crafting, make a quick trip to your local art store. You’ll need a felt marker, a craft knife, scissors, stencils, a cutting mat, ruler, felt, felt glue, tailor’s chalk, and of course, several pumpkins or gourds. In this video, we show off our three favorite cute pumpkin creatures.
1. The owl: First cut stencils in the shape of its part: head and ears, tails, nose, etc. Trace on brown felt the shape of the owl’s head and ears using the felt marker. Cut out the shapes using different colors of felt (here we use yellow for the eyes, black for pupils, and orange for the nose), and glue the owl’s eyes and nose to its face. Get as creative as you’d like here. Next use the ruler to measure and cut two vertical strips of brown felt, each 2½-inch wide. Turn the owl’s face over, and glue the long strips to the back of the mask, creating a “headband” for the acorn squash. Gently tie the strips behind the squash with a simple knot or bow, then glue on the owl’s felt wings to the felt along the sides.
2. The spider: For best results, use your widest pumpkin here. Use stencils to cut out the basic spider shapes: long spindly legs, a head and fangs, and its abdomen. Trace the legs on black felt, then cut them out. Cut 20 vertical strips, each ½-inch wide. Cut a notch to divide half of the strips into uneven pieces so they can bend without breaking. Glue uneven halves to an uncut strip—this gives the flexible appearance of the legs. Repeat until you have eight legs total. Taper the longer ends using a craft knife so they’re pointed and not square at the bottom. Glue eyes to face. Glue one long, intact strip to the pumpkin, tying in the back. Glue the spider’s head to the front. Finally, tuck in the “legs”—they should bend at the joint where the notch divides the strips.
3. The black cat: Cut stencils on black felt to create cat face and pointed ears, and a long tail. Use yellow felt for the eyes. Glue eyes to the face. Cut two long strips of black felt then glue them to the back of the mask. Tie a bow around your gourd of choice—here, we use butternut squash. Hint: your tallest and thinnest gourd will work best for the cat. Glue tail tab to mask tie and stick on the side and bottom of the squash, creating an illusion of a tail that’s wrapping around to the side.
This cute pumpkin idea is perfect for artsy kids and their parents!