A mother carves a pumpkin for Halloween with her young daughter.

One of the most beloved symbols of Halloween is the carved, glowing pumpkin. Like the many faces of Halloween, some pumpkins are silly, while others are downright spooky. Some adorn porches with a fall festive flair, while others are ideal props for ghoulish garden graveyards.

Pumpkin carving may seem as American as apple pie, but its origins are from England, Ireland, and Scotland, according to the organization English Heritage. In the UK, people used to hollow out turnips and place a burning candle inside.

Called punkies or Jack o’Lanterns, the glowing turnips looked like spirits of the dead that were said to haunt marshes and bogs. When English immigrants arrived in America, the omnipresent autumn pumpkin, much easier to carve, replaced the once traditional turnip.

Pumpkin carving is a fun and creative activity for the whole family. You will need a sketch of your design, a marker to draw it onto the pumpkin, a knife, and a scooper. Here are five easy pumpkin decorating ideas, and some do not even require carving!

Pumpkin fairy houses

Halloween is a time for goblins, elves, and fairies to appear. So why not provide a sturdy dwelling for your visiting fairies? This creative invention, from nesting.in.hope, is described as a ‘positive pumpkin,’ and is fun for developing children’s imaginations and for playtime.

Carve out a front door, a few windows, and a step ladder. Adorn your fairy home with dried flowers.

Melted crayon rainbow

This gorgeous pumpkin is bright and happy. Instructions on colormademehappy are straightforward. Using a white pumpkin, unwrap crayons and cut them in half. Glue them to the pumpkin with tacky glue, then use a hair dryer to melt the crayons.

Glow in the dark pumpkin

These pumpkins do not require carving and they glow in the dark! Inspired by the Color Made Happy blog, this project uses glow in the dark fabric paint that is activated by UV light. You can first spray paint your pumpkin black and then create your design. These pumpkin decorations look great by day and by night.