DIY Painted Pumpkin Decoration Ideas and Tips for Autumn and Holidays

Pumpkins can be a great staple for the autumn months for interior and exterior design for both home or office spaces. As well, it can be a decoration item for autumn birthdays and anniversary celebrations. Learn fun and simple painting techniques in which you can decorate pumpkins for personal themes or just for fun for the holiday months.

Using pumpkins as a staple for decoration ideas during the autumn months is an inexpensive and personalized way in which people can create an earthy and fun themed home or office space.

Be Bold with Gold

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Gold is a modern and popular color when it comes to autumn decoration and using pumpkins to incorporate it into the decor can be easy and fun.

What you need:

  • Pumpkins
  • 2-3 Colors of Paint (Spray paint works best, or acrylic)
  • Fine Glitter (optional)
  • Stencils
  • Push pins or tacks (optional for embellishment)
  • Newspapers

Depending on the type of paint you use, your work time can vary. Spread out your newspapers giving plenty of coverage, and add additional layers so that they paint does not bleed through, especially if you are using acrylics or paint that could drip. If you are using spray paints, you will need to do your project in a well ventilated area; outdoors is best although it is important to set up your work space where there is little to no wind.

Paint at least two coats of your base color to get even coverage and be sure to allow dry time in between.

Once your base color of paint is dry, you can take your stencils and use the other colors you have chosen to make shapes, designs and textures. Great complimentary colors can include reds, oranges, yellows, browns and black. Other color tones can work including silver or bronze as a way to add even more sparkle and dimension to your pumpkin.

Stencil ideas that can be fun include leaf designs, filigree, shapes like squares and circles, or, you can take simple silhouette images that pertain to autumn such as garden images or animals. To keep the image visually pleasant, it is good to keep the clutter to a minimum by keeping the scene simple. If you want to use more than one theme, you can decorate several pumpkins, each with their own theme or image.

If you are painting with acrylics, you can take a fine powder glitter and add it to the paint or sprinkle it on as you paint your shapes and use stencils. Use a little, but be mindful not to overdo it where it becomes sloppy, especially if you are working in the lines of a design.

As a finishing touch, you can take push pins and push them into the flesh of the pumpkin for added design and embellishment! Some people choose furniture tacks as an embellishment as well.

Splatter it Up

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Using a splatter technique can be a great alternative to using stencils. There is less room for error and visual textures can be applied, similar to how you would apply textures to wall paint.

As in the instructions above, after your second coat of base paint has dried, you can then take your second and possibly a third color to use for your splatter effect. You will want to use acrylic for this or at least a water base paint that you can dilute with water. To get the splatter effect, you will want your paint to be a bit runny but not too runny. And to get the right amount of coverage without big blobs, you'll want to use a large brush that would be ideal for painting a wall. Dip the brush into the paint but only go down about a half inch or less. You do not want to cover the whole brush. Then, tip your brush upside and down and stand about a foot to two feet away from your pumpkin. With your thumb and fingers, pinch the bristles of the brush on the edge farthest away from you. Then, pull your fingers back as if you were pulling back the strings of a bow and arrow. As the bristles release from your fingers, they will plunge forward, flicking the paint at the pumpkin.

Puff it Out

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These pumpkins above may look complicated but they really aren't. You can purchase a white pumpkin or like instructed above, you can spray paint your pumpkins first to establish a base color. When you have your color established, you can take simple puff paints that can be purchased in the craft section of stores like WalMart or Michaels, or you can order them online. These designs can either be applied freehand or, with a marker, they can be drawn out ahead of time before the puff paint is applied. If you make a mistake, you can easily take a napkin and wipe the paint off before it dries.

Do it with Doilies

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Using a simple paper doily stencil, you can also paint elaborate designs on your pumpkins in many colors.

More Ideas

Painting pumkins don't have to just be holiday or seasonally related. For those who have birthdays in the autumn months, using painted pumpkins as part of the birthday celebration designs can be fun and inexpensive for both children and adults. They can be painted with monogram letters for the name of person having a birthday, or they  can be painted with theme colors to tie in the birthday decorations.And for children, having a pumpkin painting party for their birthday can be a lot of fun for friends without having to incorporate additional gift or goodie bags for guests because each guest can take home their creation.

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Debbie Edwards
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Posted on Sep 27, 2012
Ron Siojo
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Posted on Sep 27, 2012