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How to Preserve Pumpkins for Decorating

How to Preserve Pumpkins For Decorating | Creative Cain Cabin By now most of you are probably in full swing with your Fall decorating, I know I am and I like my pumpkins and gourds to last as long as possible. Ideally if you can preserve them you can also use them for your Halloween and even Thanksgiving decor if you live in a cooler climate. 

How to Preserve Pumpkins For Decorating | Creative Cain Cabin Here’s a great tip for extending the life of your pumpkins.

1. Wash in a mild solution of bleach, water, and dish soap. 1 gallon water, 2  Teaspoons bleach, and a drop of Dawn dish soap.

2. Scrub with a soft brush to remove dirt.

3. Dry thoroughly, turning over every few hours.

4. Give them a coat of clear spray paint. 

How to Preserve Pumpkins For Decorating | Creative Cain Cabin This process removes any spores that can cause early rotting. You should get an additional 3-4 weeks out of your pumpkins before they start to spoil. If you live in a hot climate keep the pumpkins in a cool location until you’re ready to decorate such as a basement or garage, and place them on newspaper to absorb any dampness. Happy Fall Decorating everyone. 



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  1. I was just thinking about how you could preserve pumpkins Dawn, I had no clue. Thanks for this great tip. I’m doing this tomorrow.

    1. Karen, you will notice they last much longer.

    1. Susan, it does help them stay around much longer. I know eventually they turn into a pile of mush but I like to get the most out of my money.

    1. Kris, I can’t find the white ones yet this year, but I will keep looking πŸ™‚

  2. Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    Explain the clear spray, please.
    Where do I buy it? Exact name of product?
    Thanks for the tip!

    1. Nan, I use clear spray paint made by krylon.

  4. Thanks for much for this tip… My pumpkins are almost ready to harvest, I can’t wait to try this! πŸ™‚

      1. Dawn, I assume this works with gourds too? I have more gourds than pumpkins that made it and not very many of the gourds either. I have been fighting squash vine borer, stink bugs, and powdery mildew all summer. πŸ™

        1. Amy, yes it will also work with gourds πŸ™‚ I had the squash bugs one year too they are dreadful.

  5. Well, I’ll be!! I did not know this! I will try it!
    xo Kris

    1. Kris, yes in your hot climate it may get you a little more time.

    1. Shirley, yes they give it a nice shiny appearance.

  6. Great tip Dawn…I’m going to do this with my baby boo ones!

  7. Well that’s good to know! Will it keep them from melting? πŸ™‚

    Just kidding, I’ve only bought one. Have to hold off for a little cooler weather.

    1. Stacey, yes purchasing them when it’s cooler is a much better idea.

  8. It’s been on my to-do list to look up how to do this and then I just came across it on your blog! Thanks so much for sharing these tips! Going to try it next time I buy pumpkins!

    1. Allison, I hope you do. For the price they charge it’s nice to get a little more time out of them.

    1. Meredith it really adds more life to them thats for sure.

  9. Would this tip work with the pumpkins that the kiddos carve and decorate?

    1. Heather I don’t think so….once they are carved the rotting process will begin.

  10. So glad to come across this post via On Sutton Place, thank you! Most definitely pin-worthy πŸ™‚ Sue via #AllThingsCreative

    1. Sue thank you for dropping in today, and thanks for the Pin love πŸ™‚

  11. Please remember to dispose of them properly so no animals eat them later. Toxic to them after this process. Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. BB they all go in my compost bin and it’s a sealed unit πŸ™‚

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