43 easy pumpkin painting ideas
Spooky season is upon us which means one thing - pumpkins! Discover over 43 easy pumpkin painting ideas for kids and adults and where to buy painting supplies in our guide.
The leaves are falling, the nights are chilly and there's the smell of pumpkin-spiced lattes in the air which means one thing. Fall is here! And what screams fall more than pumpkins?
Whether you're into traditional pumpkin carving or a more modern form of pumpkin painting, you can't deny that pumpkins are the ultimate autumnal decor.
Pumpkins can be displayed both indoors and outdoors. Pop some pumpkins filled with fairy lights on your doorstep or light your garden path for trick-or-treaters to spot. You could even turn them into sweetie pots for little hands to dive into. Or decorate your windows with some spooky-faced pumpkins to scare passersby!
Smaller pumpkins make great centrepieces for dining tables, mantelpieces and shelving. Put beeswax candles inside for a glowing edge or put your oil diffuser/wax melt burner inside and let the fall scents drift out from your pumpkins.
Whatever your pumpkin style be inspired by lots of pretty, modern pumpkin designs as well as spooky, creepy designs.
How to decorate a pumpkin
Once you've found the perfect spot for your pumpkins it's time to decorate! We've collected some easy pumpkin painting ideas to leave you feeling inspired and ready to get creative.
You'll need painting supplies, we've included lots of cost-effective choices in our list. If you are painting onto a real pumpkin you'll need to start with a base colour and finish with varnish.
Ceramic pumpkins and foam pumpkins will last year after year and can even be re-painted to allow for different designs.
Pumpkin painting for kids
Discover easy pumpkin painting ideas for kids which make for great October half-term entertainment. Sit them down with a pumpkin, some paint pens (less mess!), and our easy ideas, and let them get creative.
You can pick traditional pumpkins up from most supermarkets, convenience stores, and gas stations. However, for pumpkins made of more durable materials like ceramic, foam, or glass craft stores and online retailers are the best place. Hobbycraft, Joanns, and Amazon all sell pumpkins that you can paint and decorate yourself.
Polystyrene pumpkins are a great option for kids or for those who have kids because they're sturdy and safe. The lightweight material also makes them much easier for kids to handle as opposed to heavy pumpkins that can easily fall and cause damage.
These foam pumpkins from Amazon are cost-effective too, often being cheaper than ceramic and glass. They're a fab buy for the long-term because you can easily repaint them white and let kids decorate year after year.
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Foam is also the go-to material for needle felt and sequin art allowing you to securely attach 3D materials and textures to your pumpkins. If you're wanting to steer clear of messy pumpkins then we'd highly recommend buying a set of foam pumpkins for this fall.
Ceramic pumpkins are a wonderful option for pumpkin painting. Delicate and simple, they can easily be decorated with a range of paints and pens. Ceramic pumpkins also tend to come in some realistic shapes and sizes adding height and dimension to your decor.
They already have a clean, cream base meaning you can decorate them straight away, no prep required! Paint pens are an easy, cost-effective way of decorating your pumpkins and are suitable for older teens to use.
There are lots of ceramic pumpkin options on the market at a range of price points. We love Amazon's fairy light pumpkins which come with ready-made holes, allowing tealights or fairy lights to glow from within.
Glass pumpkins are a beautiful option for adults who want to add a classy touch to their fall decor. While they're not suitable for kids, they're perfect for delicate centrepieces or for elegant shelving. They're great for those of you with a more modern or minimal home, showing autumnal touches don't have to be orange.
Glass pumpkins tend to be on the pricer side but the paired back style means you could display them year-round without your home seeming Halloween obsessed!
Add finishing touches with paint pens or glass paint and let the tealight inside show off the true beauty of your work.
You can buy paint in most craft stores and supermarkets. All acrylic paints will work on both real and fake pumpkins just ensure you leave them to dry in between layers/details and finish with a coat of varnish.
Fast drying and creamy textured, acrylic paint is perfect for pumpkin painting and can be applied to a huge range of materials. Acrylic paint is easy to come by but we love this kit because it comes with small brushes that are great for painting details.
There's also a huge colour range included allowing you to paint a rainbow pumpkin if you wanted! The paints are non-toxic too so if you don't mind the mess, kids can easily use them too.
For an even easy painting experience why not try paint pens? These are great for newbie artists and for kids thanks to the easy grip. This 30-pack from Amazon can be used for all the pumpkins we've included above (and traditional too just paint a base layer with acrylic first).
Once you've finished painting and decorating your pumpkins finish with a layer of varnish. This step isn't essential if your pumpkins are being displayed indoors and away from potential spills but it does give a nice finish to your designs.
Your decoration may also fade year after year if varnish isn't applied. If you're planning on displaying your pumpkins outside, then this clear gloss varnish is essential.
With an easy spray application, it will keep your designs locked and looking great. Choose a matte and semi-gloss version if you'd prefer an alternative finish.
Now you've got your materials it's time for the fun part. Decorating! Here are some easy pumpkin painting ideas for you to take inspiration from. Grab your pumpkin and hot choc and let's get painting.
1. Floral pumpkin painting
Becki Clark shows you how to paint pumpkins right here on Gathered with her three-in-one tutorial. Her pretty floral design is an easy pumpkin painting idea for you to recreate and display year after year.
2. Thumbprint pumpkin painting
How sweet is Belle of the Ball's thumbprint designs? They show you how just your thumb and acrylic paint can make some really cute designs. The little ghosts are our favourites!
3. Colourful pumpkin painting ideas
Think Make Share blog has loads of easy pumpkin painting ideas on their site including this beauty! This colourful creation is great for modern homes that want to steer away from the traditional fall palette.
4. Gingham pumpkin painting
Kelly in the City has loads of great fall decor ideas on her blog and we especially love her gingham pumpkins. Make yours in whatever colours suit your theme and get into the spirit of autumn with plaid!
5. Bold pumpkin painting ideas
For funky pumpkin painting ideas, Doodle Moo is the place to go. They show you how to paint these graphic pumpkins and even have downloadable slogans for you to print and stick onto your pumpkins.
6. Rainbow pumpkin painting
Easy pumpkin painting ideas don't have to be boring. All you need is a little colour to turn your pumpkin into fun decor! Super Simple have a tutorial for these rainbow pumpkins on their blog.
7. Fall-inspired pumpkin painting
Celebrate the season with PMQ for Two's beautiful pumpkin painting idea. Decorate your pumpkin with swirling seasonal flowers for a pumpkin your guests can't help but admire.
8. Patterned pumpkin painting ideas
The queen of craft Lovely Indeed has loads of easy pumpkin painting ideas on her blog. Use paint pens to recreate their patterned designs for minimal style decor.
9. Pun-kin painting!
Studio DIY is at it again with the easy pumpkin painting ideas and this time they're punny! Paint your pumpkins a base colour then download and print their puns to stick on. They're super easy and will give your guests a good giggle this fall.
10. Poison pumpkin painting
Natalie from the Ariel & Adler blog has created this cool poison apple-style pumpkin and we just love it. This will make for great Halloween decor, especially when paired with our crochet spider webs.
11. Paint splattered pumpkin painting ideas
Paint splattered pumpkins are a super easy pumpkin painting idea. We love these stylish ones by Homey Oh My.
12. Mini slogan pumpkins
Lovely Indeed is back with another easy pumpkin painting idea. Pick up some mini pumpkins from the supermarket and decor with mini sayings for an extra cute touch.
13. Doodle pumpkin painting
Let your creativity fly with Inspiration Made Simple's doodle pumpkin idea. Decorate yours with whatever themed doodles you'd like. You could draw Halloween motifs, autumn leaves, fall animals, scary movies, or even autumnal treats!
14. Marbled pumpkin painting
Marbling is a beautiful and easy pumpkin painting idea. Alice and Lois show you how to do this gorgeous blue marbling over on their blog. You could use orange or red dyes for a more fall/Halloween effect.
15. Crackle paint pumpkin
Better Homes & Gardens have loads of pumpkin painting ideas including this fun crackle paint effect. We love the textured effect this technique provides and think the cracks look quite Halloweeny!
16. Brushstroke pumpkin painting ideas
The Merry Thought shows you how to recreate these easy pumpkin painting ideas with just a brushstroke. Fab for beginners, we think these pumpkins will look chic sitting on your porch.
17. Metallic pumpkin painting
Add a shine to your pumpkin painting with The Craft Patch's metallic tutorial. Perfect for foam pumpkins, the ombre effect allows you to play with different colours and match your interior theme with fall tones.
18. Swirling pumpkins
Go all Tim Burton with your pumpkins by following Bespoke Brides tutorial. Creepy, colourful and super easy to recreate.
19. 90's pumpkin painting ideas
A Kailo Chic Life is bringing the 90s back with her funky pumpkin painting ideas. Paint retro shapes and squiggles (along with some cute Halloween characters) for some fun pumpkin decor.
20. Pastel pumpkin faces
Turn your pumpkins into clown characters with The House That Lars Built. She has uploaded the templates for these sweet faces to her blog for free. Download, print and use as stencils for your own pumpkins.
21. Watercolour pumpkin painting
The Craft Patches pumpkins look beautiful but the best part? They're really easy to make. Head over to their blog to find out how to make this watercolour effect using just sharpies.
22. Spooky tree pumpkins
We love artist Arianna McKnight Bliss's pumpkin painting idea. These spooky trees against a white background make great Halloween decor that also looks super minimal and classy.
23. Rhinestone pumpkin painting ideas
Add extra flair to your pumpkin painting with Dans le Lakehouse's rhinestone tutorial. Perfect for those of you who want to a touch of sparkle to the spooky season.
24. Colourful leopard print pumpkin painting
EttaVee's Instagram is a colourful masterpiece and you have to give her a follow. We adore her rainbow leopard print design - it's a thing of beauty!
25. Pastel pumpkin painting ideas
Girl Mom and Moore show you how to turn plain pumpkins into pastel beauties. These are perfect for pretty Halloween decor that will charm all your guests.
26. Flying letter pumpkin painting
Go letter crazy with The Beauty Dojo's easy pumpkin painting idea. They use premade vinyl stickers (you can find these in most craft stores) for the letters making this tutorial even easier!
27. Terrazo pumpkin painting ideas
Replicate the terrazzo trend with Ctrl Curate's tutorial. This easy pumpkin painting idea is really pretty and will look elegant sitting on your shelves this fall.
28. Mid-century geometric pumpkin painting ideas
Incorporate geometric patterns into your pumpkin painting with Kalico Chic's tutorial. These will look great in any mid-century modern home.
29. Butterfly pumpkin painting
Add a touch of regality to your pumpkin painting with Craft Berry Bushes butterfly design. We love the holes which allow the fairy lights to shine through.
30. Art deco pumpkin painting
Bold shapes and graphics with Oh Joy's tutorial. Their easy pumpkin painting idea is simple but effective.
31. Striped pumpkin painting
First Day of Home shows you how to paint onto foam pumpkins in their simple tutorial. Their stripes and gold-dipped top make for a glamorous yet spooky design.
32. Henna pumpkin painting ideas
Henna is an affordable and easy material to paint pumpkins with. Babasouk has some really beautiful henna designs over on her blog.
33. Glitter pumpkin painting
Ok, this one isn't really painting but it's too pretty not to include! Follow Happy Happy Nesters tutorial and make your own glitter pumpkins.
If those pumpkin painting ideas were a little tricky for tiny hands then here are some easier ones. Browse our collection of easy pumpkin painting ideas for kids and keep them entertained on rainy days.
1. Pokemon pumpkin painting
Gotta catch them all! And in this case, 'them' refers to pumpkins. Help your kids paint their own Pokemon-themed pumpkins using Happiness is Homemade's free tutorial.
2. Monster pumpkin painting ideas
How cute are these monster pumpkins by Aubree Originals? Her easy pumpkin painting tutorials are teen and tween-friendly and will look really sweet lined along your mantelpiece.
3. Drip pumpkin painting
Pumpkin painting for kids doesn't come easier than this colourful drip technique. Super Simple shows you how to pour paint over your pumpkins to get this dripping effect. Kids will love pouring the paint and it's suitable for young children as there are no hard lines to trace or fill in!
4. Cyclops pumpkin painting
Turn your pumpkin into a spooky cyclops with this tutorial from Parents. Trace the design for your kids then let them fill in the eye!
5. Earbud pumpkin painting ideas
Projects with Kids has come up with a really easy pumpkin painting idea for kids! Take your paints and give your kids some earbuds to use as paintbrushes. They're much easier for little hands to grasp and create a cool dotted pattern.
6. Sugar skull pumpkin painting
Another great pumpkin painting idea for kids from the Parents blog. Less messy than paint but just as fun, let your kids get creative with stickers and recreated this colourful sugar skull design.
7. Handprint pumpkin painting ideas
Fun Handprint Blog's pumpkin painting idea for kids is an old favourite. Your little ones will probably be familiar with handprint painting already so why not use that skill to decorate Halloween pumpkins? Turn their handprints into spiders and ghosts.
8. Glow in the dark pumpkin painting ideas
Kids will love these glow-in-the-dark pumpkins and they're really easy to make! Follow I Love To Create's easy pumpkin painting tutorial and get creative with your kids.
9. Scribble pumpkin painting
Pumpkin painting ideas for kids don't come easier than The Nerd Swife's crayon scribble tutorial. You just need a pumpkin, some crayons and an eager helper!
10. Party pumpkin painting
Handmade Charlotte's easy pumpkin painting ideas for kids are ones you'll want to proudly display in your home. Kids will love painting these simple, funny faces onto their pumpkins.
Pumpkin painting to suit your spooky style
Choosing Halloween decor starts with what sort of Halloween theme you'd like to create. Do you want to keep it creepy or have the cutest display on your street? Going for a minimal or plain style suits well to a modern home. Going crazy and colourful suits well to a busy family home bustling will little ones. Everything else falls somewhere in between, what style do you have?
Explore a world of DIY Halloween decorations with Gathered
Pumpkins are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Halloween decorations, there's plenty more crafting to be done. Try creating a Halloween wreath to make your front door pop!
Phoebe has worked for Gathered, and our sister magazine Mollie Makes, for 3 years. She manages our Arts & Crafts section and specialises in social media and content strategy. She has a background in all things marketing, a flair for Pinterest and a knack for finding the next big craft trend. Previously she worked as Digital Campaign Executive for Fat Media. You may recognise her name from Mollie Makes Social Media magazine, where she shared her expertise and top tips on becoming social media savvy.