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.

Main image: Think Make Share blog

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.

43 easy pumpkin painting ideas

1. Floral painted pumpkin ideas

How to paint pumpkins

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

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 painted pumpkin ideas

Easy Pumpkin Painting ideas multicoloured pumpkins

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

easy pumpkin painting ideas 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 painted pumpkin ideas

easy pumpkin painting ideas bold graphics

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

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

Fall Painted Pumpkins easy pumpkin painting ideas

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

Patterned easy pumpkin painting ideas

The queen of craft Lovely Indeed has loads of easy pumpkin painting ideas on their blog. Use paint pens to recreate their patterned designs for minimal style decor.

9. Pun-kin painting!

Pun-kin easy pumpkin painting ideas

Studio DIY is at it again with 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

Poison apple pumpkin easy pumpkin painting ideas

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 easy 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

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

Doodle easy pumpkin painting idea

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

Marbled easy pumpkin painting ideas

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

Crackle easy pumpkin painting ideas

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

Brushstroke easy 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

Metallic easy Pumpkin painting ideas

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 pumpkin painting idea

Swirling easy pumpkin painting ideas

Go all Tim Burton with your pumpkins by following Bespoke Brides tutorial. Creepy, colourful and super easy to recreate.

19. 90s pumpkin painting ideas

90's easy 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

Pastel pumpkin faces easy pumpkin painting ideas

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

Watercolour easy pumpkin painting ideas

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

Arianna_McKnight_Bliss easy pumpkin painting ideas

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

Rhinestone easy pumpkin painting ideas

Add extra flair to your pumpkin painting with Dans le Lakehouse's rhinestone tutorial. Perfect for those of you who want a touch of sparkle to the spooky season.

24. Colourful leopard print pumpkin painting

Jessi EttaVee easy pumpkin painting ideas

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

Pastel easy 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

Flying letter easy pumpkin painting ideas

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

Terrazo easy 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

Mid-century geometric easy 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

Butterfly easy pumpkin painting ideas

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

Art deco easy pumpkin painting ideas

Bold shapes and graphics with Oh Joy's tutorial. Their easy pumpkin painting idea is simple but effective.

31. Striped pumpkin painting

Striped easy pumpkin painting ideas

First Day of Home shows you how to paint 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 easy 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

Glitter easy pumpkin painting ideas

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.

10 easy pumpkin painting ideas for kids

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.

34. Pokemon pumpkin painting

Pokemon easy pumpkin painting ideas for kids

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.

35. Monster pumpkin painting ideas

Monster easy 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.

36. Drip pumpkin painting

Drip easy pumpkin painting ideas

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!

37. Cyclops pumpkin painting

Cyclops easy pumpkin painting idea

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!

38. Earbud pumpkin painting ideas

Earbud easy pumpkin painting ideas for kids

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.

39. Sugar skull pumpkin painting

Earbud pumpkin painting ideas

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.

40. Handprint pumpkin painting ideas

Handprint pumpkin painting ideas for kids

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.

41. Glow-in-the-dark pumpkin painting ideas

Glow in the dark pumpkin painting ideas for kids

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.

42. Scribble pumpkin painting

Scribble pumpkin painting ideas for kids

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!

43. Party pumpkin painting

Party pumpkins easy pumpkin painting ideas for kids

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.

Where to buy your pumpkins

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.

Foam pumpkins

Easy pumpkin painting ideas foam pumpkin

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.

Ceramic pumpkins

Easy pumpkin painting ideas ceramic pumpkins with tealights

Ceramic pumpkins are a wonderful option for pumpkin painting. Delicate and simple, they can easily be decorated with a range of paints and pens.

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.

More like this

Glass pumpkins

glass pumpkin

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.

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.

Where to buy paint for your pumpkins

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.

Acrylic paint


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.

The paints are non-toxic too so if you don't mind the mess, kids can easily use them too.

Paint pens

vEasy pumpkin painting ideas paint pens

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).


easy pumpkin painting ideas varnish

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.

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 with 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!

DIY Halloween wreath ideas brother


Phoebe Burt
Phoebe BurtSEO and Communities Editor, Gathered

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.

Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating