By: Elizabeth Stark
Don’t toss your extra pumpkin seeds — repurpose them for a fun kid-friendly fall craft instead! Learn to create inspired pictures, seasonal jewelry and so much more with our ideas.
Preparing Pumpkin Seeds
Before getting started, prepare the seeds:
- Place the stringy pumpkin seeds in a large bowl of water
- Swish them with your hands and fish out the clean seeds as they float to the top
- Set seeds in a strainer and rinse well with cold water
- Dry the seeds by blotting with paper towels and spreading out on a cookie sheet to dry for several hours, blotting again and flipping them halfway through
Once you get your seeds ready to use, try one of these four ideas!
1. Create a Picture
Transform well-dried pumpkin seeds into the perfect rainy-day craft. Dry your seeds overnight, and then use tempera paint or nail polish to color them. Draw out a picture and then glue seeds in place to fill in the color.
Have your kids help glue the pumpkin seed picture to a cardboard backing or shadowbox for a fun take on storage and décor. You can even give it as a gift!
2. Give Them to the Birds
Pumpkin seeds make an ideal bird food! Simply wash your seeds, dry them overnight and place them in a bird feeder.
You can even create your own birdfeeder by attaching a long piece of twine to a foam craft ball. Cover the ball in crunchy peanut butter and coat with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Hang your feeder outside and enjoy watching the birds!
3. Design Something Wearable
To make some truly unique jewelry, dry your seeds for five hours (you don't want them to be too dry), and then get a strong needle and jewelry cord or thread. String the pumpkin beads into an eye-catching necklace.
Seeds can be strung end-to-end or flat, depending on the look you're after. Pumpkin seed “beads” can also be painted or colored for a vibrant pops of your favorite hues.
4. Roast Them
Roasted pumpkin seeds make for a fun and filling fall snack. Use this basic recipe and try a few unexpected spices like Cajun seasoning, curry powder or cumin. If you want to take a sweeter route, add cinnamon and a bit of honey.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Yields: 1 cup
Difficulty: Very easy
1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Preheat the oven to 375 F
- Toss the seeds to coat with the butter or oil, salt, pepper and paprika
- Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until seeds are a light golden color
- Give the pan a good shake halfway through the cook time
- Let sit and serve warm or at room temperature
Do you have any uses for pumpkin seeds we didn’t mention? Log in or sign up for P&G everyday and let us know in the comments section below!
Elizabeth’s work can be found with her husband, Brian’s, on their blog, Brooklyn Supper — a story of a family eating with the seasons in Virginia and Brooklyn. They believe strongly that good, local food and wholesome meals should be for everyone.