Pumpkins are a must when it comes to fall decorating, but not everyone wants to deal with the mess of carving. Having pumpkin seeds and guts all over the kitchen isn’t the most appealing idea for many of us, no matter how many memories it makes.
But, just because pumpkin carving might not be your thing, it doesn’t mean you have to leave them out of your autumn decor. Pumpkins are a versatile fruit that comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. And instead of carving them, you can turn them into a work of art that you can use as decoration long past Halloween and into the Thanksgiving season.
So, put away that knife or carving kit, and bring out the paint. Here are 25 different ideas for painted pumpkins that you can use for your fall indoor or outdoor decorating.
1. Galaxy Pumpkin
This idea from Allison at Dream A Little Bigger features a black craft pumpkin, Christmas lights, craft paint, and a drill. And, those four items will end up looking like the stars in the sky once you are finished. To make your galaxies, use printouts of constellations and some various blue, purple, gold, white, and pink paints. Then after using your drill to make your constellations, placing Christmas lights inside will light it up for a starry effect.
2. Baseball Pumpkin
If you and your family are big baseball fans — and especially if your favorite team is playing in the postseason — you can use pumpkins to represent your fandom. Back in 2015, when the Kansas City Royals were in the World Series, Jennifer Allwood at The Magic Brush used her front porch to show off her fall decor while rooting for the Royals at the same time. Allwood turned one of her pumpkins into a baseball. She also painted entire pumpkins Royals colors and added polka dots in those same colors to others.
It was a simple and easy project that was so cool and creative, that the local news showed up to do a segment.
Using pastel paint and tattoo paper, this awesome idea from Studio DIY will have you laughing as you decorate. Adding puns to your decor is a great way to keep the mood light during Halloween. It will be impossible for your guests not to laugh when they read, “I’m here for the boos,” or “Witch better have my candy” when knocking on your door during trick-or-treating.
4. Neon Pumpkin
Kimberly from A Night Owl has a great idea that will bring some sweet 80s colors into your fall decor. Start by spray painting your pumpkins completely white before dipping them into Americana NEONS paint. It’s a simple process with bright, dripping colors that is a lot of fun.
5. Donut Pumpkins
Another idea from Studio DIY, you can use paint to turn smaller pumpkins into donuts. Start by using your donut color for the bottom and around the stem, then another color for frosting. You will finish off the project with a tiny paintbrush to create the sprinkles. So cute!
6. Stencil Pumpkins
This project needs stencils, chalk paint, paint daubers, sponge brushes, and some painter’s tape. Create your own mini-painted pumpkin patch like Handmade Charlotte with pumpkins featuring numerous designs and colors.
7. Menu Pumpkin
If you are having a holiday party at your home this fall, a unique way to display the dinner menu is with a painted pumpkin. From The Merry Thought, this idea takes just a little bit of paint and a brush, and it will add some classy, autumn decor to your gathering.
8. Gingham Pumpkins
You can go traditional with orange and black or change it up with your two favorite colors. But no matter which color combination you choose, this idea for painted gingham pumpkins from Kelly In The City will have your neighbors talking.
9. People Pumpkins
For this option, you don’t even have to paint your pumpkins, but you can if you want to. All you need is some black felt, scissors, a glue gun, and various accessories (like sunglasses and hats), and you can turn your pumpkins into people! This idea from Pretty Providence will give your gourds the personality you didn’t know they had.
10. Pumpkin Letter Board
Try turning your pumpkin into a letter board like Kimberly West at A Girl and A Glue Gun. Start by painting your pumpkin whatever color you choose, and then pick up some letterboard letters from a craft store like Hobby Lobby. You can add any message you want to your pumpkin, and then change it up whenever you feel like it.
11. Iridescent Pumpkins
The outcome of nail polish marbling and dipping your pumpkins into iridescent confetti and hologram glitter is nothing short of spectacular. You can find everything you need to make these pumpkins at your local drugstore and craft store, and the only limit on these gorgeous pumpkins from Oh So Beautiful Paper is your imagination.
12. Glitter Pumpkins
This project can get messy, so be careful where you make your glitter pumpkins. But, just because they are messy to make, glitter pumpkins are still totally worth it In addition to pumpkins, all you will need for this idea from I Heart Naptime is mod podge, black and white glitter, a pencil, paint, and a paintbrush.
13. Address Pumpkins
You can make sure your visitors know they are at the right place by using your pumpkins to display your house number and state. North Carolina Charm suggests marking your city with a star on a decal of your state, then apply your state decal and number stickers to your pumpkins before painting them any color you choose. Make sure to let your paint dry before removing the decals.
14. Princess Pumpkins
If you love Disney princesses, this idea from As The Bunny Hops uses the inspiration of Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Elsa. With just some paint and embellishments, you can turn a plain pumpkin into royalty.
15. Blue Porcelain Pumpkins
From Craftberry Bush, this painted pumpkin recreates the look of blue painted porcelain dishes. With some white primer, acrylic paint, and mod podge to decoupage the design, you can turn your pumpkin into a classy decoration.
16. Chalkboard Pumpkins
If you want to send some messages to your friends or family with your decor, try using chalkboard paint or black craft paint, plus a white paint pen or white chalk marker to turn your tiny pumpkins into chalkboards. Lovely Indeed suggests using them as place card holders for a holiday dinner or as a cute teacher gift.
17. Confetti Pumpkins
You can paint your pumpkin first if you want, but it is not a must. Simply using Washi tape, you can create confetti on your pumpkin to celebrate fall. At Homey Oh My, they used a white pumpkin and gold tape for a festive look.
18. Falling Leaves Pumpkin
This is a fun project to do with your kids from Club Chica Circle. Simply pick up a few leaves from your lawn, then trace them onto Silver Fanci-Foil Wrap. Then, cut out your leaves and use mod podge to put them on your pumpkin. The silver leaves will look pretty cool on a white or green heirloom pumpkin, but it works on every color. Finally, etch the leaf veins using a toothpick.
19. Pin Cushion Pumpkin
You can decorate your pumpkin with just a few office supplies, thanks to this simple project from A Subtle Revelry. First, paint your pumpkin, then use push pins or paper brads to decorate them in whatever pattern you can think of. This takes just five minutes, and it looks incredible.
20. Spray Painted Metallic Pumpkins
Using metallic spray paint is an easy way to transition your orange and black Halloween pumpkins into a shimmery gold and silver decoration for Thanksgiving. The V Spot Blog started by adding base coats of white and green before adding the metallic paint, and it gave the project a beautiful result.
21. Mummy Pumpkin
The Teal Pumpkin Project started in 2014 to raise awareness of food allergies. If you display a teal pumpkin by your front door, it is a message that you have non-food treats to hand out to kids with food allergies. A fun way to get involved with the Teal Pumpkin Project is to turn your teal pumpkin into a mummy like they did at Making It Milk Free.
22. Watercolor Pumpkins
If you love watercolors, try decorating your pumpkins with them this fall. This project requires white spray paint, watercolor paints, paper towels, sponges, and a sealant. The white spray paint is necessary so the watercolor paint will stick, and then Lines Across suggests sealing them up with mod podge or clear spray paint once you have the look you want.
23. Decoupaged Pumpkins
A creative way to personalize your fall decor, you can use mod podge and sheet music or pages from your favorite book to decorate your pumpkins. From A Diamond In The Stuff, this idea has a black and white classic look, but it also a bit funky.
24. Sharpie Owl Pumpkins
If you have some artistic talent, using sharpies on your pumpkins to turn them into owls is a fun fall art project. Ashley Hacksaw, or Little Blue Boo, gives a great tutorial on how to use sharpie markers to decorate your pumpkins, and all it takes is an afternoon to finish.
25. Sequin Polka Dot Pumpkin
Sugar and Cloth suggests turning your pumpkin into sequin art for some cheerful holiday decor. Whatever color combination you choose, you start by painting your pumpkin and then adding sequins in a polka dot pattern with some craft glue.
Carving pumpkins might be a Halloween tradition in your home. But, if you want to change things up, try painting your pumpkins in a creative way. It usually means less mess, and you can use them for both Halloween and Thanksgiving.