It's a rite of passage in the autumn- travel to the local pumpkin patch and scour the field for the perfect, plump pumpkin.  You've already begun thinking about how you will decorate it for the season... will it be scary or silly, happy or angry? There are millions of ways to carve or decorate your pumpkin- here are a few of our favorite ways add those special finishing touches!

Paint Your Pumpkin: Using paint to decorate is a kid-friendly and fun way to create a pumpkin masterpiece! Choose a variety of acrylic paints and paintbrushes and let your imagination go wild! Experiment with stencils and stickers to create a fun contrast between colors: create your own stencil by drawing your shape onto contact paper and placing the sticky side onto your pumpkin. Paint around your stencil, then let completely dry before peeling. Try spooky shapes like spiders and bats, or chic details such as polka dots or an initial.

Bling Your Pumpkin: Utilize rhinestones, self-adhesive jewels, or glitter to make your pumpkin sparkle! Use Mod Podge or tacky glue to coat the area you want to decorate, then apply your design materials.Not feeling glitzy? Create a design by gluing buttons or sticking round gold tacks into your pumpkin.

Mod Podge Your Pumpkin: Mod Podge, the crafty glue mix, can be used as a glue and a gloss for your decorating. Slather it on, then layer designs, such as book pages, tissue paper or lace! Once your design is in place, put another coat on- it will dry clear and become a gloss! Be careful not to use products that are too thick- fabric and stiff scrapbook paper may not mold to pumpkin shape.

Carve Your Pumpkin: The age-old favorite of carving is still the #1 way to decorate; make this activity kid-friendly by providing cookie cutters for little hands to press into the pumpkin. This is a great way to encourage participation while staying safe. To make your pumpkin last, remove dirt and create a bleach solution with bleach and water to spray inside the pumpkin and over all cut areas. Let it set for 20 minutes, then drain excess liquid and dry.

Have fun with your pumpkin decorating and keep these items in mind:

Always allow the pumpkin to dry completely- most need 24 hours. To preserve your outdoor pumpkins' designs, cover the pumpkin with a water-resistant spray.Use the right glue- Mod Podge and tacky glue are best for pumpkins; hot glue may not stick!

Tis the season for pumpkin decorating- any which way you choose to decorate!