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How to Paint a Pumpkin for Halloween

Updated on October 19, 2016
Here is one of the miniature pumpkins decorated for Halloween.
Here is one of the miniature pumpkins decorated for Halloween. | Source
White pumpkins are not so rare anymore and provide the perfect natural background for a bold design
White pumpkins are not so rare anymore and provide the perfect natural background for a bold design

Choosing a Pumpkin

Carving out pumpkins can be a lot of fun but within a few days, the pumpkin rots and is ready to be thrown out. This is encouraging many people to simply skip the carving part and go straight to the painting and decorating. Pumpkin painting is also safer for young children who cannot as yet handle the knife but would love to join in the Halloween decorating fun.

There are several ways to paint a pumpkin but you need to start by choosing the appropriate pumpkin. You need a pumpkin that can sit upright, so it needs a flat bottom. It also needs to be even with as much of a smooth surface as possible. Always remember to examine your pumpkin for signs of rot and choose well since you want it to last as long as possible.

When you are ready to start, you need to clean your pumpkin gently, avoid taking off the stalk since this will cause it to rot faster and will ruin part of the beauty of your painted pumpkin. Dry your pumpkin and if you wish you may apply a craft sealer. I usually skip the sealer and do not report any problems in pumpkin painting.

Regular pumpkin painted white and decorated.
Regular pumpkin painted white and decorated.

Ideas to Paint and Decorate your Pumpkin

In the first photo at the top of the page I have used an orange acrylic paint to brighten the natural shade of the pumpkin and a black acrylic for the stalk. When the paint was still wet I sprinkled on some glitter and spread it with the paint brush. Hey presto, lovely miniature pumpkin in just 10 minutes.

If obtaining a white pumpkin proves to be difficult, you can paint the pumpkin white then use stencils to create black solid prints like spider, cobwebs etc. Stencils do make your life a lot easier so if you aren't very artistic you may want to consider using them! White pumpkins always look elegant and provide a perfect contrast for decorating so don't feel limited. Anything goes on a pumpkin. Use your imagination! Maybe you can do it the other way around and paint your pumpkin black and decorate with gems. I once saw a very classy pumpkin decorated in white gems! My daughter, uses craft glue to decorate her pumpkin with sequins and the results are usually amazing. You can also pass a thin sewing pin through the hole of every sequin and directly onto the pumpkin. Younger children may also wish to decorate their pumpkin with stickers and why not!

If you would rather stay on the safe side, you may try painting on the traditional spooky face, although a tip would be that you may want to paint a smiley happy face on the opposite side of the pumpkin so you can turn it around and use as décor for Thanksgiving! You may also want to add some props to your pumpkin face like maybe a wig or a hat!

Finally remember that whatever your imagination creates, a coat of varnish on top will make your pumpkin more resistant to handling and the weather.


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    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 2 years ago from Europe

      Thanks suzettenaples. Time to paint some pumpkins again.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      I love this hub! I have gotten away from carving pumpkins myself and buy decorated or decorate my own pumpkins. Wonderful suggestions and tips and I love the white pumpkins. I have never seen them here where I live, but I am going to be on the lookout for them. They are unusual and beautiful too.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      How to Paint a Pumpkin for Halloween, sound advice here and always a useful hub for halloween