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Decorating Pumpkins With Paint

Updated on August 30, 2010

If you are looking for a good alternative to carving pumpkins for your fall décor, consider decorating pumpkins with paint instead. While these pumpkins will not be as visible at night as a jack-o-lantern, they offer far more options for creativity and are safer than using knives to carve pumpkins. Here are some tips for decorating pumpkins with paint.

1. Choose pumpkins and gourds of different sizes and shapes.

Painted pumpkins look best in groups, so choose several pumpkins or gourds of different sizes and shapes. Consider the type of face or decoration you will want to put on the pumpkin and choose one that will provide a good surface. You can also add more embellishments if you choose pumpkins and gourds of various shapes and sizes.

2. Choose your paint and brushes.

When choosing what kind of paint to use on your pumpkin, consider where it will be located. If it will be inside your house or on a covered porch, use acrylic paint. However, if your pumpkin will be exposed to the elements, you will want to choose a type of outdoor paint that will not be damaged by exposure to the elements. Whichever you choose, select bold, deep colors. Pastels and light colors will look washed out against the pumpkin’s dark orange coloring. Choose brushes of different sizes to give you flexibility in painting the pumpkin.

3. Paint!

When painting your pumpkin, you can paint the entire pumpkin a solid color for a backdrop or leave its natural orange color intact. Then draw cartoon faces on your pumpkin. If you draw the features—eyes, mouth, notes, ears, teeth—in exaggerated sizes or strange positions, it will add comic effect to your pumpkin. To make the features stand out, outline them in black paint first and then color them in with the desired colors. If you want to use traditional colors, use white for the eyeballs and teeth, black for eyebrows, eyelashes, and the opening of the mouth (if the mouth is open), and red for the nose, cheeks, and tongue. Of course, you can use whatever colors you would like to create an outlandish face. Use straw if you want your pumpkin to have hair!

Don’t forget that you do not have to paint a face on your pumpkin. Stripe the pumpkin in the colors of your favorite sports team or the rest of your fall décor. Add ribbons or other embellishments to the pumpkin to make it stand out.

Image Credit: allygirl520, Flickr

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