Pumpkin Picasso


Unleash your inner artist with some pumpkin painting

pumpkin painting
Traditional decorations for the Day of the Dead, sugar skulls are trending for Halloween and the fall season.

The time has come to decorate the inside and outside of your home with pumpkins. From mini pumpkins to 20-pounders, let the orange background be your canvas as you explore how to display the season’s favorite squash.

Paintbrushes, stencils, sponges, paint pens or markers are great for detail but acrylic paint will be your best bet. Easy to clean and it’s thick enough to coat the pumpkin. If you want your masterpiece to last longer, try adding a protective sealant over the pumpkin after the paint has dried so you can get a few more days against the outdoor elements. Pick your pattern and get painting.

Sugar Skulls

Colorful, cute and not at all creepy, traditional Mexican sugar skulls are populated all over during Day of the Dead celebrations. Join in on the fun by adding one to your own home. Simply paint the entire pumpkin white, detail the eyes, nose and mouth in black and then get to work colorizing. The more color the better.


Let the pumpkin embody the character. Jack Skellington, Spongebob Squarepants, Angry Birds, Minions, Pokémon, and of course, any Disney character is always a safe, adorable bet for the kids. Or keep it simple with a superhero logo as a nod to your favorite crime fighters and cute animals for your little ones.

Patterned Pumpkins

Harlequin pattern pumpkin by Kimberly Dijkstra

Stripes, chevron, polka dots, checkerboard, damask, paisley and swirls are the most fun patterns to paint on your pumpkin. Use painter’s tape or masking tape to outline your pattern and stay in the lines when mixing paint colors. Stay in season with black, white and purple or create your own colorful masterpiece with pinks, reds, blues and greens. If you want to go the metallic route, spray painting a whole pumpkin might be the easiest and less messy way to sparkle your squash.


(The Starry Night pumpkin courtesy of Alexa Westerfield)

Have you ever seen Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” on a pumpkin? How about Piet Mondrian’s famous black, white and primary color block work, “Composition II?” If you’re up for a challenge, try to replicate a famous painting onto your pumpkin. We happen to think “The Scream” by Norwegian expressionist artist Edvard Munch is perfect for Halloween. 


Turn your pumpkin into another food. It’s the perfect shape to transform into a doughnut, M&M, cupcake, apple or candy corn. Or, go the other way and create larger than life baseball, basketball, golf ball and tennis ball pumpkins.


All about the phrases of fall? Quotes, lyrics and seasonal sayings painted on a pumpkin can sometimes be the prettiest and most simple way to decorate your home for fall. Choose colors that match your home and keep your painted pumpkins out until Christmas.


Love the look of raised glass on mason jars and pint glasses but want it on your pumpkin? Grab a hot glue gun, doodle or craft letters (or use stickers), on to the pumpkin, let it dry and get to work painting. A unique, vintage look that is a classy way to display your pumpkins indoors.


Floral? Spooky? Under the sea? Paint a group of pumpkins to a theme, allowing a broader scope for your creative juices to flow.

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