How to Make an Illuminated Pumpkin Topiary : Halloween 2012 Ideas

We turned three plain pumpkins into a glowing centerpiece to light up a front porch, Halloween party or Thanksgiving table.

To make this festive centerpiece, we drilled holes in the pumpkins, painted them silver then added some holiday lights and a few crystals.

Tools and Materials

serrated knife
drill with large bit (optional)
extension cord
3 carving pumpkins (we used faux pumpkins by Funkin)
holiday lights with 25 to 50 clear bulbs
brilliant metal spray paint
3 strands of wire with crystal beads
dry-erase marker
painter's tarp

Carve and Cut

Carve a hole in the bottom and the top of the three pumpkins and remove the innards. On the bottom pumpkin, make the hole a little to the side so the light strand's plug can get through. Do not cut hole near the stem in the top pumpkin. The hole has to be big enough to be able to put your hand in and pull the light strands through the holes.

Mark for Light Holes

Use a dry-erase marker to make small circles where you want the bulbs to come out of the pumpkins.

Cut Light Holes

Use a serrated knife or a drill to cut out the circles. Double check the size by inserting one of the bulb sockets (take the bulb out to test it). Make the hole bigger until the socket can fit through, but not too big — you don't want the bulb to slide out.


Place the pumpkins on a tarp and spray-paint them with the brilliant metal paint. Let them dry.

Prep the Lights

Check that the lights are working and then remove all the bulbs from their sockets. This will make it easier to thread the strand through the pumpkins.

Thread the Lights

Starting with the bottom pumpkin, pull the sockets through the holes and then screw on the bulb to keep it in place. Make sure you leave enough of the strand to come out of the bottom of the pumpkin and plug into an extension cord or outlet. Work your way up the pumpkin and then come out the top and move into the next pumpkin. Leave some wiggle room in between.

Add Extra Sparkle

Wrap the pumpkins with crystal strands (cut to size if necessary) around the bottom, middle and top to give the topiary a little extra glamour.


Font Size
lines height