Ideas to Decorate and Paint Pumpkins

Whether you are decorating for a Halloween party, autumn harvest gathering or Thanksgiving dinner, pumpkins bring an organic element to your display. With the added availability of white pumpkins and pumpkins of various sizes, you can look at pumpkin as a blank canvas on which you can express your creativity. Adding paint or other decorative elements to your natural orange or white pumpkin takes your decorating up a notch from the norm to the exceptional.

Fall Foliage

Use the autumn season itself to be your pumpkin-painting inspiration. Use white, reds or gold paints to mimic the colors of fall and hand paint a leafy design around your orange pumpkin. Tape a leaf or leaf stencil to a white pumpkin and sponge or spray paint on black or orange paint to create a festive look. Make a more dramatic leaf-look by using black paint on an orange or white pumpkin and painting leaves together very tightly to cover the majority of the pumpkin. Cut out the unpainted pumpkin sections and light with a candle to make an eye-catching table decoration.

Lace Doily Stencil

Add a touch of delicate class to your garden party or Thanksgiving table by using common paper doilies as a stencil for your black paint. Purchase paper doilies from a party or craft supply store and then cut to create a top and bottom stencil. Tape or pin the stencil around the pumpkin and press black or white paint onto the stencil with a sponge stenciling brush. Place several doily stenciled pumpkins together to create a stunning table centerpiece.

Animal Silhouette

Classic Halloween icons, such as the arching black cat, big scary spider and the foreboding crow, can all be represented in black silhouette on an orange or white pumpkin. Hand paint with a brush or make or purchase a stencil to create a crisp depiction that will inspire the neighbors to greater holiday displays. Browse through your children’s ghost story books and get some inspiration from spooky illustrations for a more unusual pumpkin image.

Color Coordinate

Spray paint pumpkins metallic colors or flat black to coordinate with your autumn party decorations or displays. Use pumpkins that are painted to match colored dishware or color coordinate mini-pumpkins to serve as placard holders. Hand paint an abstract design on pumpkins for more variety within the same color palette.

Matching Elements

Gather your inspiration from your own country-home accessories and hand paint pumpkins to match your favorite plaid blanket, cherry blossom tablecloth or polka dot curtains. Start with a white pumpkin and use your familiar motif as a band around the middle of the pumpkin, or paint the whole pumpkin with purple, greens and gold paints to match the design elements in the rest of your home. Paint separate pumpkins for each room to mirror the design elements already in that space. For example, match the design of a guest bedroom comforter or copy a basket weave pattern from a living room accessory.

Glitter or Glass

Add a touch of glitz to your dinner table or mantelpiece display by using spray glue and glitter or colorful beads on mini-pumpkins. Paint an orange mini pumpkin a metallic color first, and then shake a matching or coordinating glitter over the top of the pumpkin to add brightness. A mini-pumpkin can be dressed up by pinning threaded seed-beads or small glass beads around the top or bottom of the pumpkin. When you use sparkly pumpkins and white lights or candles on a table you create a beautiful and memorable seasonal display.

Keywords: pumpkin decorating ideas, painted pumpkin ideas, decorating pumpkin ideas

About this Author

Diane Steinbach has been writing for a variety of professional, educational and entertainment publications for over 15 years. Her work consists of three books on art therapy including : "Art as Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas" (Steinbach, 2005.) She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in art therapy and behavioral science from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.