Pumpkins of a Different Color

Grab the paintbrushes and get crafty with these three designs that use pumpkins as canvases. The simple graphic motifs, inspired by country decor, are a treat to display all autumn long.

For design inspiration, just look to your kitchen. Yellowware bowls inspired the striped design on this pumpkin, which gets its aged appearance from antiquing stain. Paint the pumpkin with latex primer; let dry. Base-coat the surface with a pale golden yellow latex paint; let dry. Use an artist's brush or paint pen to freehand-paint concentric rings with a creamy-white acrylic paint; let dry. (If you're not comfortable painting the stripes freehand, use pin-stripe tape to mask off the design before base-coating the pumpkin. When the base coat is dry, remove the tape to reveal the primed surface. If needed, touch up the stripes with creamy-white acrylic paint.) Brush an antiquing stain on the pumpkin to mimic antique pottery.

At first glance this pumpkin's geometric design seems like a flashback to the '70s. In actuality, a quilt pattern inspired the patchwork design. Paint the pumpkin with latex primer; let dry. Base-coat the surface with cream-color latex paint; let dry. Use masking tape to mask off squares. Paint an overcoat of khaki-color latex paint; let dry. Remove the tape to reveal the quilt-block pattern.

Who says autumn decor has to incorporate earthy colors? For striking graphic contrast, make a statement in black and white. A simple Colonial motif painted freehand pops from the chalky white surface of the 'Lumina' pumpkin. If you can't find a white pumpkin, paint an orange one with several coats of white latex paint, letting it dry between coats. Use an artist's brush and black acrylic paint or a paint pen to freehand-paint or stencil the simple design.


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