Every year I crave my pumpkins but hate how quickly they start to rot. This year I decided to try some non-carve pumpkin decorating. I have seen many examples of painted pumpkins and decided to try it for myself. Painting your pumpkin is a great alternative to traditional carving. The pumpkin itself is not impacted, so the pumpkin does not rot nearly as fast as when you cut into it! I finished my pumpkins several weeks ago and they are still like new! Painting a pumpkin is theoretically as easy or easier than carving and with some tips and tricks, you will be a pumpkin painting pro in no time.
Start your first project with a small pumpkin. A large pumpkin will be overwhelming, plus the larger pumpkins usually more prominent irregularities to try an paint around. The pumpkins I used are the "pumpkin pie" pumpkins, the size was perfect to set in with an array of small gourds and larger pumpkins. Once you have picked the perfect pumpkin as your canvas, clean the surface with a damp paper towel. Make sure it is dry before starting.
You might be thinking "I am not creative", "I would not know what design to do or how to do it". Do not fear, Pinterest is here! The 'Hello Fall' pumpkin, for instance, I searched the saying and found a fun calligraphed piece to use as inspiration. If there is a special phrase or monogram that you do not see, no worries. There are hundreds of free downloadable fonts out there. I would suggest you find a font you like, downloaded it, and use your preferred software to create the phrase. From there you can either freehand based off of the design or print the design out and trace it to the pumpkin.
Now that brings me to the next tip, use a regular tip Sharpie. The felt tip of the Sharpie is great because it does not puncture or dent the pumpkin's skin. Heads up, the surface it needs to dry where you have used the Sharpie. And to my left-handed pals, beware of where your hand is or your pumpkin and hand may gather some smudges. Whether you are free handing or tracing your design, you can create without worry! My biggest tip involves a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol, dip the cotton end of a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and rub any smudges or mistakes off the pumpkin. Now, this will not completely clean off the surface but it is a hack of a lot better than leaving a funky traced seven or H.
Once you have an outline of the design it is time to paint! I love the simple and traditional look of the orange and black, so I picked to use an acrylic black paint. I prefer to use acrylic paints for this project over regular craft paints because of the glossy finish and needing only to paint one coat. Due to the thin lines and details of the designs, I used a stubby and thin brush. This brush helped to keep the edges crisp and the design clean. If you are not sure what brush or brushes you may need, I would recommend buying/having a set of brushes and test your brushes out on a separate piece of paper. If you make any mistakes when painting, again no worries! I got you! Use a damp paper towel and clean off any rough edges or smudges. Just make sure that the area is dry before repainting, if necessary.
Now my pumpkins are either inside or under my little entry area, so I have had no issues with weather damage. I suggest that you keep your pumpkins in a safe place like on your porch or mantel.
Have a wonderful week and happy crafting!!
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Blessings in Birmingham!