News — decorating pumpkins


Funky Pumpkin Fun…

We have all heard of carving pumpkins but in areas of the country where October is still fairly warm during the day time, carved pumpkins don’t have much of a shelf life. Sooo you might think about painting your pumpkins instead. Here are some tips:

1.  Make sure to select a pumpkin that is ripe. The rind should be firm and hard and should not puncture when you push your thumbnail into it. The pumpkin should sound hollow when you tap it. Be sure it sits flat and doesn’t roll.

2.  Wash the pumpkin with a solution consisting of one tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water. This helps to remove bacteria and delay rotting, or use Clorox Cleanup with bleach.

3.  Seal the pumpkin with an aerosol or brush sealant. This will not only help preserve the pumpkin longer but will give you a good surface to paint on. Add sealant again at the end when you are done painting. This helps to protect your painting and to preserve the pumpkin.

4.  It's best to keep the pumpkin in relatively cool temperatures (50-60 degrees) and out of direct sunlight, since sunlight will hasten the rotting process. Pumpkins also don't like being colder than 50 degrees and can become mushy in a deep freeze.

5.  Keep your pumpkin dry. If you have it outside, bring it in if it rains.




Some ideas for what to paint on your pumpkin:

  • A portrait of a famous person
  • A self-portrait 
  • All the people in your family (one face per pumpkin)
  • Animal faces
  • Disguise the pumpkin by painting it as other fruits. Make it look like an apple or a pear.
  • Famous portrait paintings.
  • A theme, such as outer space or the night sky.
  • Patterns, as basic or as intricate as you want.
  • Different leaf shapes.
  • Drips of paint. See examples of wonderful pumpkin drip paintings done with toddlers.
  • A landscape or urban scene in the round

Materials for painting:

  • Newspaper for keeping the area clean
  • Rags for cleanup and wiping off mistakes
  • Containers of water for cleaning and wetting brushes
  • Brushes of all sizes; stencil brush for stenciling
  • Soft drawing pencil for sketching out your design and laying it out on the pumpkin
  • Acrylic paint…fluid or heavy-bodied, depending on whether you are doing drip painting from a squeeze bottle, using a brush, or stenciling
  • Acrylic markers
  • Transfer paper for transferring drawing or stencil onto pumpkin
  • Sealant and varnish
  • Masking tape for laying out designs
  • Sharpies for drawing your design on a pumpkin
  • Re-positional adhesive, for stencils or pattern shapes
  • Sticky notes for cutting different re-positionable shapes
  • Stencils. The same stencils that you might use for carving you can also use for painting.