As Halloween draws near, long afternoons are spent carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, monsters, and spooky scenes. But if you want to avoid the messy pumpkin guts or don’t want your children handling sharp knives, painting pumpkins is both easier and less messy than carving. Don’t let the idea of painting frighten you—you don’t need to be an artist to master these designs. Rather than freehand each style, let geometric makeup sponges stand in for block prints, or let leaves collected from the backyard serve as stencils. Little ones will enjoy ditching form entirely and flinging paint to create a Jackson Pollock-inspired pumpkin.
Geometric Print Pumpkins
- Choose a variety of makeup sponges in geometric shapes, or use a pair of scissors to trim sponges into different shapes.
- Dip the sponge into a shallow dish of acrylic paint, then blot on a scrap piece of paper until the sponge is evenly coated with a thin layer of paint.
- Stamp the sponge onto the pumpkin surface, starting near the stem and working down to the bottom of the pumpkin. Reapply paint to the sponge as needed, and wash the sponge thoroughly or switch to a fresh sponge when changing colors
Falling Leaves Pumpkins
- Paint the pumpkin a solid color and allow it to dry completely, or about one hour.
- Collect fallen leaves from the backyard and trace the outline of the leaves onto the pumpkin surface using a ballpoint pen.
- Fill in the outlines with acrylic paint and let dry. If desired, outline the leaves with a paint pen and draw on veins.
- Sketch a punny phrase onto the surface of the pumpkin using a highlighter. Use a damp paper towel to erase any mistakes.
- Using a paint pen, trace over the guidelines and fill in the letters. Outline each letter with a paint pen in a contrasting color.