Hand Painted Pumpkins

Do you remember the pumpkins I painted for our front porch last year? We had just moved to California, it was our first fall in our new house, and I was feeling the California love. I couldn’t resist showcasing three of my favorite new things at the time: (1) our new state (2) our new address and (3) our monogram.

It's {Finally} Pumpkin Time!

I lovingly painted the images onto my pumpkins by hand, one coat at a time, and then sealed them up with a strong dose of shellac. I loved them so much that I kept them around long past their expiration date. When December rolled around, I just moved them into the garage for storage. When January rolled around and the Christmas tree was out on the curb, I decided it was finally time for the pumpkins to go to. ::sigh::

Not to worry though, as soon as September came this year I was back on the pumpkin bandwagon. I hit up a local produce stand and was amazed at all the different local varieties. It was really hard to choose.

So I didn’t. Big. Little. Orange. White. Round. Tall. I bought them all. #sorryimnotsorry #supportingthelocalfarmers

Tip: Look for pumpkins that are less curved from top to bottom, which makes for easier painting and design transfer.  Arrange your pumpkins together in the store the way you will be displaying them at home so you can make sure the different sizes nest together nicely and don’t block one another from being viewed.

I brought them home, put them out on display out in the front yard, and immediately started thinking of ideas for this year’s pumpkins. I wanted something to give them height and I thought tree stumps would be the perfect platform to display them on. Lucky for me, we have a local tree stump drop off. Whenever the town cuts down trees, they always leave the spare wood piled up for whoever wants to come claim it. As long as you’ve got a chain saw and some muscles, this means free firewood, craft wood, and stumps galore.

Hand Painted Pumpkins

Justin and I took a trip up to the drop off the other weekend and voila, free stumps:

I picked the oldest stumps with the mossiest bark for the perfect fall feel.

After staring at blank pumpkins for the past few weeks and trying to get up the courage to paint them, I finally came to a decision. This year, I was going to cheat and use a paint pen. ::gasp::

I went to the craft store intending to buy a simple black paint pen, but they were out of stock so I ended up with Krylon’s metallic gold paint pen. And let me just say, orange and white pumpkins + metallic gold paint = magic.

I went with “Welcome” and “Friends” for the big orange pumpkins on our front stoop. I was feeling pretty confident with my work-in-progress calligraphy skills so I just free-handed it. It didn’t turn out too bad, but next time {year} I might use a tracer.

Speaking of tracers, I dug out last year’s state of California {you know I couldn’t toss it!}. We are the golden state with the golden gate, so I just couldn’t resist!

Hand Painted Pumpkins

I was considering another monogram for my other big white pumpkin {did you know these are called “polar bear” pumpkins? How cute is that?}, but then I saw this adorable fall printable over at Rooms For Rent.  I quickly downloaded, printed it out, and transferred it to my pumpkin.

Wondering how to quickly and easily transfer images to your pumpkins for painting? You can check out my secrets on last year’s It’s {Finally} Pumpkin Time! post, or scroll below for a brief recap.

Happy painting, friends!


{How to}

1. Print your design on plain white computer paper. Trim off any excess paper around the design.

2. Flip the image over and trace the outline of it with a pencil.  As long as you use black and white printing and regular computer paper, you should be able to see it.  If not, hold it up to a window.

3. Flip the paper around to the correct side and tape it face up exactly where you want the design to sit on your pumpkin.

4. Trace over the design on the front side of the paper.  The force of the pencil will press the lead on the backside of the paper onto the surface of the pumpkin and transfer your design.

5. Peel the paper away slowly to make sure everything transferred before removing the paper. If not, go back and re-rub the parts that didn’t transfer with a bit more force, or just fill in the blank spots free hand.

6. Fill in your design and enjoy!


7 thoughts on “Hand Painted Pumpkins

  1. Pingback: Welcome Fall, Welcome Friends! | With Love, From California

  2. Oh, wow!! I love all your ideas! I still have my Halloween pumpkin on my kitchen table, and now I know what to do with it for Thanksgiving!! ❤ Thanks for the inspiration! I think you have the best decorating style =)

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s