Fun Ideas for Painted Halloween Pumpkins
This gourd gets its graphic appeal from Pictorial Webster's ($35; Chronicle)—a volume filled with cool black-and-white illustrations. Choose your favorite drawings from the book (we used approximately 120 for a medium-size Funkin, or faux pumpkin), then photocopy them onto off-white cover stock paper. Next, carefully tear out each photo-copied image, leaving about half an inch of white space around it. (The rough edges will give your finished product added interest.) Using our découpage technique (instruc
Step One: Cover your workspace with wax paper; then pour Mod Podge Matte all-in-one découpage sealer ($7.99 for 16 ounces; plaidonline.com) into a mixing bowl.
Step Two: Using a narrow foam brush, spread an even coat of Mod Podge on the back of a printed or copied image.
Step Three: Press the image onto your faux pumpkin (Funkins, from $19.99; pumpkinzone.com), smoothing out any air bubbles; repeat steps two and three for remaining images. Note: To make an image better fit the contours of the Funkin, you may want to cut small slits at the top and/or bottom of the paper. When covering an entire Funkin, it's also helpful to suspend the faux gourd in a bowl and work on one half at a time (let dry for about 10 minutes before flipping to complete the other side).
Step Four: Once all images have been applied, use a foam brush to spread a thin coat of Mod Podge on the entire Funkin. (Again, it's helpful to suspend the Funkin in a bowl and coat one half at a time; let dry for about 10 minutes before flipping to complete the other side.) Let dry for one hour, then repeat with a second coat to seal. Let dry for one full day.
Decoupaged Pumpkins, Continued
GREEN SCENE (top left): We produced this pastoral idyll by photocopying toile fabric (Waverly's Rustic Life in sage, $39.99 per yard; joann.com). To re-create the effect, begin by painting a faux pumpkin (Funkins, from $19.99; pumpkinzone.com) with two coats of flat acrylic paint, in a shade that matches the background of your fabric; let dry. Meanwhile, photocopy the fabric in color, making enough copies to completely cover your Funkin and resizing the pattern if desired (we shrunk this one by 25 percent). Cut out individual scenes from the toile, leaving about a quarter inch of white space around each. Using our easy découpage technique, cover the entire Funkin.
STAR POWER (right): For this modern take on a classic quilt pattern, download our motif and print out in color. Determine how many stars you'll need to span the circumference of your Funkin and make color copies of the motif, resizing if necessary. Cut out and set aside. Paint the Funkin with two coats of flat white acrylic paint; let dry. Using our découpage technique, apply the stars in a band around the Funkin.
BABY BLOOMER (bottom center): Give even the smallest gourds a cultivated air by selecting a floral fabric with a petite pattern, which will disguise overlapping seams. Our pick: a Liberty of London cotton calico ($36.95 per yard; bandjfabrics.com). Photocopy the fabric in color, making enough copies to cover your Funkin. Measure the distance from the bottom center of the Funkin to the base of its stem. Cut the photocopies into strips of this length, each about one inch wide. Using our découpage technique, cover the entire Funkin with the strips, working from the base of the stem down and overlapping the paper slightly as you work.
Pride of Place Pumpkins
Let revelers know they're at the right address by emblazoning your house number—and hometown—on pumpkins. First, you'll need number stickers ($8 for four; etsy.com/shop/doodlebugdesignstn), as well as a decal in the shape of your state ($4.99; vinyldecals.com). Use Fiskar's star punch ($11.50; amazon.com) to mark your location on the state decal. Apply it to one pumpkin, and the numbers to another, then use a foam brush to cover both pumpkins with two coats of acrylic paint, allowing 30 minutes of drying time per coat. Remove the decals and discard. If you'd like the numbers or state to be a different color than natural pumpkin orange, fill in using a small paintbrush and contrasting acrylic paint, as we did for the green-and-white pumpkin.
You can create all of these nifty designs using acrylic paint and painter's tape. For a two-tone, dipped look, bisect a pumpkin with a strip of tape (angle the tape for a diagonal effect). Use a foam brush to cover one section of your pumpkin with two coats of acrylic paint, allowing 30 minutes of drying time per coat. Remove the tape and discard. Stop there, or repeat the steps to add another color to your pumpkin. To form chevron stripes—whether two or tons—link short strips of tape to make the zigzag patterns, using our photo as a guide. Use a foam brush to cover your pumpkin with two coats of acrylic paint, allowing 30 minutes of drying time per coat. Remove the tape and discard. Clean up the edges with a cotton swab if necessary. If you'd like the second color to be different than natural pumpkin orange, fill in using a small paintbrush and contrasting acrylic paint, as we did for the black-and-white pumpkin.
Black and White Pumpkins
Savannah stylist Liz Demos skipped the carving knife and went straight for a paintbrush to fashion these graphic pumpkins. "With a stark black-and-white palette," Demos said of her trio of bold designs, "you can make any pattern, even creepy insects, look downright chic."
A sturdy bookcase provides the structure needed for this painted-tree idea to take root.
Step 1: Begin by experimenting with the placement of pumpkins on your shelves. Your tree should gradually widen toward the top, with multiple smaller gourds on higher shelves. Also, if there's a good deal of space between two shelves, you may need to stack pumpkins to fill it (as we did on the bottom shelf here). In that case, trim any stems that interfere with stacking stability. Concerned about the heft of pumpkins on a particular shelf? Opt for lightweight, Funkins ($16-$42; funkins.com).
Step 2: Using this photo as a guide, draw the outline of a tree onto the pumpkins with a felt-tip pen. Start at the bottom and branch out as you move up. (You may need to use a stepladder to reach upper shelves.)
Step 3: Working one shelf at a time, remove the pumpkins and fill in your outlines with a fine-tip brush and black flat acrylic paint ($1.29 for two ounces; createforless.com). Let dry and replace pumpkins in your bookcase.
New York City stylist Marissa Corwin put a cheeky spin on the very word jack-o'-lantern with her three glowing silhouettes of old-school lamps. "They're a bit more sophisticated than your average spooky face — something adults can appreciate, too," she said.
A passel of pumpkins provides the backdrop for a quaint village scene.
Step 1: Carve a hole in the bottom of each pumpkin, scoop out the pulp, and return the cut pieces.
Step 2: Print out these house templates. Resize on a copier, scaling the images to fit your pumpkins.
Step 3: Cut out stencils as directed on the templates and affix to pumpkins with masking tape. Trace on the designs with a felt-tip pen.
Step 4: Remove stencils, then carefully carve along the drawn lines of the houses' windows with an X-Acto knife. Fill in the designs using a fine-tip brush and black flat acrylic paint; let dry. Affix a battery-operated votive candle in the base of each pumpkin with adhesive putty.