49 Easy Pumpkin Painting Ideas to Try This Year

pumpkins porch steps
Photo: Carson Downing

These aren't your classic carved jack-o'-lanterns. Check out our favorite painted pumpkins featuring the cute and the creepy. Plus, get our best tips for creating Halloween pumpkin decorations and displays.

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Geometric Painted Pumpkin

white pumpkin with painted stripes and colorblock circle
Carson Downing

These neat and tidy ribbons of color are wonderfully at odds with the pumpkin's irregular contours. We traced the circle with a bowl and used electrical tape ($3, Target) to block out the stripes. The tape's elasticity lends itself to working around curves.

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Bubble Painted Pumpkin

painted white pumpkin with blue marbled effect
Carson Downing

Bright colors and texture variations give a bubble-painted gourd a marbled effect. We used a white-painted paper-mache pumpkin so the delicate paint bubbles would stick. In paper bowls, stir together paint solutions of 4 tablespoons paint, 4 tablespoons water, and 2 tablespoons dish soap. Use a straw to blow lots of bubbles in the solution and gently dip your pumpkin into the foam, working around the pumpkin and between bowls of various colors. We recommend sticking to a limited palette like this range of blues. Dry on waxed paper, then either paint the stem or hot-glue on a real stem.

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Rope Pumpkin

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Carson Downing

We gave a faux pumpkin an allover paint job with matte-finish crafts paint then glued on amoeba-like rope "lines" for texture. Lightly pencil on your squiggles, then apply the fabric cording bit by bit with a hot-glue gun. To match the colors just so, dye white cotton cord to match the paint color or mix the paint to approximate a colored cord or thick yarn.

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Easy Painted Pumpkin Ideas

Learn how to make three pretty no-carve Halloween pumpkins. We'll show you how to decorate festive pumpkins using paint, tape, paper, and straws!

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Sugar Skull Pumpkins

skull pumpkin decorations
Blaine Moats

Sugar skulls are known for their creative patterns, accented with bright colors. These Day of the Dead painted pumpkins are bold and striking. White skulls, painted on black painted pumpkins are a combination of spooky and fun. Choose bright accent colors to pop off of the black and white motif.

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Pour Paint Pumpkin

Pour Paint Pumpkin
Jason Donnelly

This painted pumpkin idea is so easy, you'll have it done in just minutes. Simply pour crafts paint ($12 for 16, Michaels) unto a faux pumpkin and let it drip down the sides. That's it! We'll show you how to create gorgeous pour paint pumpkin designs in any color scheme you like.

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Unicorn Pumpkin

white unicorn pumpkin

This precious unicorn painted pumpkin is not limited to being a Halloween decoration; it is so cute you'll want to look at it beyond October 31. If you use a faux pumpkin and faux flowers, that can be the reality. A cute flower crown and an air clay horn are attached to the pumpkin with a hot glue gun. The rosy cheeks are painted with a round sponge brush.

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Splatter Paint Pumpkins

mini splatter painted pumpkins on splatter background
Carson Downing

This easy pumpkin painting idea is fun and festive. Mix colorful paint with a few drops of water. Dip and flick paint brushes ($6, Michaels) to splatter gourds. For easier cleanup, place pumpkins in a big cardboard box before you tell your kids about Jackson Pollock. Let dry on waxed paper and, if desired, dip the bottom in a solid color.

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Chalk Paint Pumpkin

blue ombre pumpkins
Carson Downing

We'll show you how to paint a pumpkin that's sure to scare! The key to the raised letters on this pumpkin painting idea is a script written in hot glue. After the glue is dry, paint your pumpkin in black paint. The chalkboard paint is applied with a dry brush, from the bottom of the pumpkin. The dry brush technique gives the pumpkin a rustic look. What Halloween words are you going to spell out on your Halloween pumpkin decorations?

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Galaxy Pumpkin

Galaxy Pumpkin

Your Halloween pumpkin decorations are going to be out of this world. This painted pumpkin starts with a plain black coat. Sponge brushed purple and blue hues give a galaxy vibe. "Flicks" of white paint (made with the bristles of a toothbrush) are stars.

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Buffalo Check Pumpkin

pumpkins porch steps
Carson Downing

Who doesn't love a fall flannel? Don't leave your painted pumpkin out of the fun! An overlapping pattern, with different shades of black and gray, is a chic take on plaid for your seasonal pumpkin decorations. This buffalo check pumpkin is Instagram ready, #fall!

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Spray Painted Pumpkins

spray painted white pumpkins
Jacob Fox

Eye-popping ombre pumpkins star as a simple fall centerpiece. The key is to spray from above and move your arm in a fluid circular motion, letting the paint drift down to lighter coverage. If necessary, add more paint only on top. Make a mistake? Spray the pumpkin white and start again!

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Pattern Play

Pattern Play Pumpkins
Laura Moss

These black-and-white painted pumpkins are bold and beautiful. To create, simply mix patterns and word art incorporating one or two colors. Use a paint pen ($5, The Home Depot) to get fine details and clean lines. Invite friends over to all to create their own patterned Halloween pumpkins. Get them started by having the base layer painted and dried before the guests arrive.

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Disco Pumpkin

Disco Pumpkin
Laura Moss

Squares of silver paint shine on this disco-inspired pumpkin. Add even more sparkle by using sheets of silver leaf. Painting the silver paint in a grid pattern gives your Halloween pumpkin decoration the disco ball look. Place this creative pumpkin painting idea somewhere on your stoop that gets some fun lighting. Turn Halloween into disco night!

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Nail Polish Painted Pumpkins

Top view of marble painted pumpkins
Michael Piazza

Swirls of shiny nail polish are a great way to decorate pint-sized painted pumpkins. No need to go out and buy any special supplies for these Halloween pumpkin decorations. Just sift through your beauty drawer. Coloring pumpkins with nail polish creates beautiful marbleized designs.

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Sports Pumpkins

Sports Pumpkins
Cameron Sadeghpour

Are you a football family? Or maybe baseball is more your thing? Let your friends and neighbors know with fun painted pumpkins. Turn regular, orange pumpkins into the ball for your favorite sport. Basketball fans have the easiest paint job.

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Constellation Pumpkin

constellation painted pumpkin display
Marty Baldwin

Don't let the drill holes intimidate you, this painted galaxy pumpkin is easy to DIY. This Halloween pumpkin decoration starts like all painted pumpkins, with a coat of paint. A very fancy technique involving flicking paint-covered toothbrush creates stars. The lights on the inside of the pumpkin mean that this can be Halloween decor indoors or out.

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"Gather" Pumpkin

message painted white pumpkin fall decor
Carson Downing

Is your home the holiday hot spot? Invite your guests in with a painted fall pumpkin that welcomes them. This elegant invitation isn't necessarily a Halloween pumpkin decoration, but it is perfect for the entirety of fall. To make the farmhouse painted pumpkin last longer, use a faux white pumpkin.

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Donut Painted Pumpkins

Donut Painted Pumpkins
Carson Downing

These painted pumpkin decorations are so sweet that you'll want to eat! A ring of pastry-colored paint, with some sprinkles of paint, make precious donut painted pumpkins. Maybe this year's Halloween decorations will be dessert-themed? If white pumpkins are hard to find, just add a coat of white paint before your pastry pastels.

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Mood Ring Pumpkin

painted pumpkin blue accents

Who knew painted pumpkins could tell your mood? A coat of thermal paint (on top of a black coat) is the key to the changing hues. After your pumpkin is painted and dry, have your family take turns creating Halloween "paintings" on the pumpkin with their body temperatures

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Dracula Pumpkin

dracula pumpkin
Dane Tashima

This pumpkin painting idea is "spooktacular"! Spray-paint a pumpkin lime green. Craft card stock features, and glue in place. We used black tape to create the hair and eyes.

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Candy Corn Painted Pumpkins

candy-corn cone-shaped pumpkins
Adam Albright

Spray-painted pumpkins never looked so sweet! Too big to pop in your mouth, these candy corn-inspired painted pumpkins still look good enough to eat. Choose cone-shape pumpkins, and spray-paint with white and yellow to create these Halloween pumpkin decorations.

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Ice Cream Pumpkins

pumpkins ice cream decoration
Carson Downing

Painted pumpkins are just the start of this Halloween pumpkin decoration. Colorful card stock (as sundae sprinkles) tops the painted pumpkin "ice cream" scoops. Ceramic (or plastic) ice cream cones can be found at dollar stores or crafts stores.

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Black and White Stripes

halloween porch pumpkins
Cameron Sadeghpour

Take your Halloween pumpkin decorating inspiration from a Halloween classic: Beetlejuice! The natural lines of the pumpkin serve as guides for your paintbrush. Hope you have a steady hand! If Halloween pumpkin painting isn't your forte, painter's tape can help you get crisp lines.

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Witches Shoes

pointed shoes pumpkin paint
Greg Scheidemann

Tall pumpkins set the stage for this soft-shoe scenario. All you need to keep in step are stencils for the painted pumpkins, black paint, ribbon, and shallow carving. If you love this Halloween pumpkin decorating idea but don't want to get any knives involved, use painter's tape and yellow paint for the witchy stockings.

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Caterpillar Painted Pumpkins

Caterpillar Pumpkin
Adam Albright

These cute painted pumpkins go to great lengths to form a caterpillar. Paint pumpkins melon green, and paint their stems black. Decorate the body with adhesive-felt dots, and denote the head with a pair of googly eyes and curled pipe cleaner antennae. Arrange the painted pumpkins in a creepy, crawling S shape.

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Princess Pumpkins

princess pumpkins
Cameron Sadeghpour

Painted pumpkins fit for a princess! If the goopy hands that result from a carving pumpkins aren't your style, maybe these princess Halloween pumpkin decorating ideas are for you. Pastel pink will pop of your doorstep. Letter stencils allow each princess to customize a message to her subjects (or neighbors).

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Pineapple Pumpkin

pineapple pumpkin painted
Dane Tashima

Give a mini pumpkin a makeover with this easy painting idea. To make, spray-paint a pumpkin yellow and add accents using a black marker. Finish with purchased eye stickers and a glittery foam ($5, Walmart) topper.

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Painted Owl Pumpkin

diy pumpkin decorating
Ann VanderWiel Wilde

Do you find owls cool or creepy? Either way, they're perfect for Halloween pumpkin decorations. An owl on your doorstep is sure to add a dramatic flair to the haunting holiday. Perfectly round eyes, comprised of even smaller patterns are the key to a Halloween owl. Using a paint pen is the key to doing the designs by hand.

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House Number Pumpkin

House Number Painted Pumpkin
Jay Wilde

Give your home a touch of farmhouse Halloween decor with these easy painted pumpkins. To make, simply use stencils to paint your house number on a plain white pumpkin. Display it with seasonal favorites like gourds and mums.

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Best Face Forward

Best Face Forward Pumpkin
Greg Scheidemann

Give your painted pumpkin a different kind of face this year. Print a face profile, then cut it out. Trace around the cutout image with a pencil on your pumpkin. Paint the silhouette black, then spray the pumpkin with varnish to set the paint. Cut a length of black lace to encircle the silhouette, then pin it in place with pearl-head pins.

Editor's Tip: Create a patch of painted pumpkin faces, each one featuring a different member of your family.

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Pumpkin People Stack

Pumpkins with Hair and Hats
Laura Moss

Channel your inner illustrator! Pumpkins, painted with fun faces are a stack of personalties. A paint pen is often easier to navigate than a paint brush. Yarn hair and flat caps add character to these Halloween pumpkin decorations. Use the accessories that match your family.

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Miniature Bats Painted Pumpkins

stenciled bats white pumpkins on hooks
Peter Krumhardt

Take miniature painted pumpkins to bewitching new heights with an aerial display. Paint bats on white pumpkins black paint, or try using a black permanent marker. Cut a length of thick jute and knot one end to a large washer. Tie a loop in the other end. Punch holes in the top and bottom of the pumpkin, and use wire to pull the twine through the holes. (The washer supports the pumpkin's weight, and the loop attaches to the shepherd's hook.)

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Kid Creations

Kids Pumpkin Creations
Peter Krumhardt

With paintbrush in hand, your kid will become a little Pumpkin Picasso. Make sure to put down a drop cloth or plastic table cover; this Halloween pumpkin decorating idea can get a little messy. Make sure that your kiddo has all of their favorite colors to create with. Who says that Halloween pumpkin paintings have to be orange and black?

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Easy Monster Pumpkins

Green pumpkins cauldron googly eyes
Jason Donnelly

Use googly eyes and green paint to create a group of pumpkin monsters. Add smiles with a black paint pen. Group a trio of these gorgeous painted pumpkins in a black cauldron for an easy Halloween centerpiece.

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Fall Pumpkin Centerpiece

Fall Pumpkin Centerpiece
Peter Krumhardt

Painted pumpkins aren't just for Halloween, they can be decor all fall long. For a stunning centerpiece, place each pumpkin on a cake stand, spelling out the season. Big, bold lettering will make the centerpiece the focal point of your dining room.

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Eyelash Painted Pumpkin

Halloween words eyelashes painted pumpkins
Scott Little

We see you! These painted pumpkins make decorative use of their Halloween message. The double-"o" is accented with a set of lashes to create inquisitive eyes. Letter stencils are available at most crafts stores.

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Creepy Crow

Pumpkin Painted Crow
Andy Lyons

Choose any number of eerie shapes to paint on your Halloween pumpkin decorations: think crow, black cat, bat, witch, or spider. Apply a coat of varnish after the paint dries to protect the pumpkin from the elements. Tufts of garden moss help keep the pumpkin stable on its birdbath perch.

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Tiered Pastel Painted Pumpkins

Tiered Pastel Painted Pumpkins
Adam Albright

Like any culinary confection, this tiered treat has all the right ingredients. For pumpkin-painting ideas fit for a princess, select two pumpkins and a Cinderella squash that stack easily. "Ice" the painted pumpkins and squash in pretty pastel hues, embellish with lacy trims and adhesive gems, and stack for a precious painted pumpkin decoration.

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Friendly Halloween Cats

Halloween Pumpkin Cats
Jason Wilde

Create a litter of kittens with painted pumpkins. First, coat each pumpkin with matte-finish sealant to dull the waxy surface. To get the painted pumpkin faces, paint the pumpkins different colors, applying two or three coats of paint (let the paint dry between coats). Draw a nose, mouth, and whiskers on each pumpkin with a black felt-tip marker. For the eyes, draw eye-shape outlines and eyelashes using the marker. Paint the inside of the eyes white, let dry, then paint green irises outlined in black. Cut out ear shapes from crafts foam, and hot-glue them in place.

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Cat and Mice Silhouettes

Cat Mice Silhouettes Pumpkins
Susan Gentry McWhinney

A game of cat mouse is the theme of these pumpkin decorations. Download our free templates, then trace the cat onto a large pumpkin and the mice onto three smaller pumpkins. Fill in the outlines with black paint, or use a paint pen for a quick and easy alternative.

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Plaids on Parade

Plaid Painted Pumpkins
Peter Krumhardt

Go mad for plaid! Painted pumpkins get a rustic update when you use a plaid pattern for your design. Alternate overlapping thick and thin stripes in two different colors to get the look. Painter's tape can help get crisp lines. Make sure the paint is dry before you peel the tape off.

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Gold Painted Pumpkins

Gold Painted Pumpkins
Jay Wilde

Metallic painted pumpkins are guaranteed to be eye-catching pumpkin decorations. Placed on a pedestal, this bold gold painted pumpkin decoration is perfect for a fall tablescape. If you spray paint faux pumpkins instead of real ones, they can last until your Thanksgiving centerpiece.

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Non-Traditional Color Scheme

non traditional painted pumpkins
Cameron Sadeghpour

Don't be limited to black and orange for your Halloween pumpkin decorations. Pick a color scheme that's more your style. We went with blue and tan for a down-home country vibe that's homey and welcoming. Stripes, plaid, and buffalo check all can be done in any color you like.

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Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage Painted pumpkin
Peter Krumhardt

For easy Halloween pumpkin decorating ideas that can span all the way to Thanksgiving, try a leaf motif. Find different types of leaves, trace the shapes onto the pumpkin, and paint—fall leaf crafts don't get easier! For even more unique decor, paint your leaves onto a pumpkin that isn't orange. Gourds come in all hues. What colors go with this year's fall decorating?

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Indoor Decor

black white painted pumpkins
Peter Krumhardt

Pumpkins aren't just for the front step; bring your Halloween pumpkin decorations inside. Simple black adornments upgrade these from doorstep additions to indoor gourd decor. A steady hand and a paint pen make these simple designs easy to create.

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Metallics

black gold painted pumpkins
Adam Albright

Metallic paint creates standout Halloween pumpkin decorations. Different shapes and stencils create different vibes. Leaves are appropriate all fall long while creepy crows deliver Halloween spooks. To get the most realistic leaf shape, scoop up some leaves from the yard and trace them!

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Colorblock Pumpkins

small colorblock pumpkins on pink background
Carson Downing

Simple but bold, this dipping technique works best with small pumpkins. Put an inch of crafts paint in the bottom of a paper bowl, mixing in a little water so paint is fluid but not watery. Dip gourd and gently rotate for desired coverage. Let the painted pumpkins dry on waxed paper.

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Chinoiserie Pumpkins

blue painted pumpkins
Carson Downing

Add an elegant touch to your Halloween with painted chinoiserie pumpkins. The elaborate floral designs are easy to create with a few simple brushstrokes and acrylic paint. Make a few coordinating blue and white designs.

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