Saint-O-Lantern Idea: St. Francis’ Friends

I wanted to come up with a fresh idea for Catholic pumpkin carving, but I really didn’t feel like scooping seeds and pumpkin guts. I’ve always been more of a fan of painting pumpkins myself. Anywho, I came up with this idea to decorate pumpkins with Catholic kids for All Saints’ day, and I wanted to share it with all of you. You can find all of my All Saints’ Day resources for kids here.

I decided it would be really fun to make a bunch of animal pumpkins and call them the “Friends of St. Francis” since he is the patron Saint of animals. Then we even made a St. Francis pumpkin to be the king of our furry friends pumpkin patch!

Also, you should totally check out my All Saints’ Day food labels! This is the perfect All Saints’ Day party printable as it turns everyday kid snacks into symbols of the Saints, making celebrating a breeze for mom!

My kids instantly loved this idea! We got enough small pumpkins for each of the kids to try multiple animals if they wanted, and I just kinda let them grab whatever from the craft cabinet and let their imaginations run wild!

Lydia made just one pumpkin, and it was a peacock pumpkin. It really turned out beautiful! She painted on cheap craft feathers herself to make them look like peacock feathers.

The peacock pumpkin was made by slicing the end off of a gourd and placing it on a small pumpkin. We attached it with toothpicks, then she painted it a metalic blue. She was proud of this one!

Peacock pumpkin made from 1 gourd, 1 small pumpkin, fun foam, painted craft feathers, toothpicks, and a sharpie marker.

Julian decided to make a whole family of alligators (you never can predict this stuff with kids) and then he didn’t want to have to paint the whole thing green. So he ended up making his alligator from a watermelon that we already had, and then making 2 baby alligators from gourds. I absolutely love how this project allowed for their imagination to run totally wild! (I suppose Julian missed the memo that I was planning to market these as “St. Francis’ Furry Friends”, but hey, I’m sure that St. Francis loves God’s scaly creatures too.)

Alligator pumpkin made from fun foam, hot glue, a sharpie marker, and the baby alligators have googily eyes.

For whatever reason, and again these things can never be predicted, Anabelle wanted to make a family of jelly fish. Well you know what… I mean I guess St. Francis loves God’s creatures of the sea as well, so she did just that! Haha!

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Jelly fish pumpkins were made from a pumpkin, fun foam smile, googily eyes, curled wrapping paper ribbon, and they are hot glued to the top of upside down disposable cups. The cups were clear and Anabelle’s had lights underneath hers. She loved that!

Ok so Violet I feel like really captured my original vision of this project. She just made a plethora of furry little creatures to her heart’s desire, and I love her buffet of little animal friends!

Violet is pictured here with a gourd starfish, a pumpkin lamb, a pumpkin bear, and a little gourd mouse. Supplies used were googily eyes, sharpie marker, hot glue, fun foam, construction paper, felt, cotton balls, styrofoam balls, and of course paint. She really had a good time with these!

I think Violet’s lamb pumpkin looks a bit like a furby! But ya’ll don’t tell her I said that.

My kids absolutely loved this project! It was a favorite here! In fact, every kid that has walked past my computer while I was typing this post cried out “OOOHhhhh! I remember those from last year! That was so much fun!!!” We are definitely making more this year haha.

Here is St. Francis with all his pumpkin animal friends!

This was super fun and I think decorating animal pumpkins would be a super fun activity for an All Saints’ day party! It would also make for a really cute pumpkin display at a Catholic school with a sign for St. Francis’ pumpkin patch! Real Life At Home has 10 more ideas to celebrate St. Francis with young kids!

Be sure to check out all of my All Saints’ Day resources here

Find more ways to celebrate the feast day of St. Francis with your family here. I even have some recipes for humans. 😉

Check out my All Saints’ Day Resource Page here.

Be sure to check out all of my other October feast day resources as well!


  1. They did an awesome job. I love the jellyfish! They are so creative!