Pumpkins make a wonderful canvas for bright and beautiful designs. When designing your pumpkins let your imagination run wild. Try everything! There’s no wrong way to decorate a pumpkin. I’m sharing some of my favorite pumpkin decorating techniques, along with some of my favorite decorating art supplies. I hope you’ll find some fun Halloween inspiration.
KAWAII INSPIRED PUMPKINS: I was inspired to make fun Kawaii pumpkins after making these pen holder mason jars that I use in my craft room.
I used mini orange pumpkins because I liked their shape, but it would have been easier to paint the pumpkins if I had chosen white ones.
This is not required, but you can use a primer if you want to make painting them a little easier. I didn’t use a primer, and it did require me to use 3 layers of paint.
Use acrylic paints to cover your pumpkins. My favorites paints are Martha Stewart Living acrylic paints. I did the first layer with a foam brush to easily cover the surface. For the additional layers I used a regular paint brush.
Once your paint has completely dried, use a pencil to draw the faces on your pumpkins. Use black, white, and light pink acrylic paint for the features.
RAINBOW PUMPKIN: A pumpkin is the perfect surface for making a rainbow color wheel. This is a also great decorating idea for children and is a fun way to teach young children about colors.
Choose a mini white pumpkin to start.
Use acrylic paints and a foam paint brush or a regular paint brush. You might need several coats of paint. My favorite paints that always turn out bright and beautiful are Martha Stewart Living acrylic paints.
I don’t typically seal my painted pumpkins, but if you want to, use an acrylic sealant.
Drawing on Pumpkins
STORYTELLING PUMPKIN: For this whimsical pumpkin I used Chalk-o-Rama chalk crayons. I love how smoothly and beautifully these chalk crayons cover the pumpkin surface. The idea for the storytelling pumpkin came about from my love of making story stones for children. This was a fun pumpkin to collaborate with my 5-year-old son, and a great way to help him with creative storytelling.
I used a faux white pumpkin from Michaels craft store. With my Chalk-O-Rama chalk crayons I covered the surface. I love that these chalk crayons work on almost any surface. They also work on real pumpkins.
DOODLE PUMPKINS: It’s hard to go wrong with a doodle pumpkin. Your doodles don’t have to be complicated. They can simply be straight lines and it will still turn out beautifully.
If you’re crafting with children and want to keep the mess to a minimum I recommend Chunkies Paint Sticks. I paired those with Sparkle Watercolor Gel Crayons on a faux white pumpkin, and the end result was beautiful.
MANDALA PUMPKIN: If you want to make a big, visual impact with your pumpkin, use a faux black pumpkin or cover a real pumpkin with chalkboard paint.
I covered my faux black pumpkin with mandalas using Color Lustre Metallic Markers. I love that these markers also work on glass and tile so you can get a lot of use out of them besides just decorating pumpkins. Another great option for decorating black pumpkins are Neon Chalkables Liquid Chalk Markers. I used them at Easter for decorating faux Easter eggs, and they turned out beautifully.
GLITTER PUMPKINS: “When in doubt, add more glitter!” If you want something that is eye-catching and will make people smile, just add glitter to your pumpkin.
Start by covering your pumpkin in Mod Podge with a foam brush.
Place a paper underneath your pumpkin and pour glitter over it. My favorite glitter is Recollections Extra fine glitter. Use one color at a time and return the remaining glitter into the container.
Let your pumpkin dry completely. If you like, add an additional coat of Mod Podge over the dried glitter. I didn’t add this layer, and my glitter still stayed on without shedding.
GEMSTONE PUMPKINS: If you want something that shines bright, a gemstone pumpkin is the perfect solution.
Making a gemstone pumpkin looks easier than it is. While I thought that regular tacky glue was the best solution, it actually took much longer to dry than expected and I kept having to move the gemstones back in place as they slid down the pumpkin. A better option would have been quick drying tacky glue or the very powerful e6000 glue.
Melted Crayon Pumpkin
Making a melted crayon pumpkin is a fun and unique project to do with kids.
Start by unwrapping your crayons and cutting them in half.
Using tacky glue or another glue that is quick drying, glue about 16-20 crayon pieces around the pumpkin.
After the glue has dried, use a hair dryer to melt the crayons. I recommend using a tarp underneath the pumpkin, covered in garbage bags.