Halloween Pumpkins with Simple Folk Art Designs

Look back in time to inspire your pumpkin designs this Halloween. These folk art pumpkins are beautiful and easy to make.

Make Waves

Create this striking pumpkin by making a wave stencil out of kraft paper and attaching it to the pumpkin with pins. Trace the design around the entire pumpkin and fill the lines with basic black upholstery tacks.

Editor's note: These pumpkin projects were produced by Matthew Mead.

Primitive Paintings

Style your pumpkin with a colonial motif. Create a blank canvas for your hand-painted folk art design by sponge-painting a light-color pumpkin with cream or beige-color acrylic paint. You can paint your designs freehand using acrylic paint, or start by finding images online to trace onto your pumpkin's surface.

Paint a Pretty Witch

To make this simple but stunning pumpkin, start by cutting out a witch silhouette that has been sized to fit your pumpkin. Search for "witch silhouette" or even "colonial woman silhouette" on the Internet. Add a broom and hat with a black marker to the printout. Attach the silhouette to the center of the pumpkin with pins, then trace around it with a fine-tip permanent marker. Fill in the lines with black acrylic paint. For the border, trace a piece of oval kraft paper with a pencil for a light outline and hand-paint with short strokes of black paint.

Add a Lace Face

Add a touch of femininity to a pumpkin by embellishing it with lace features. Just cut paper doilies into eye, nose, and mouth shapes and pin onto the pumpkin to make a face.

Make a Metal Mug

The pleasant expression of your pumpkin face also can be assembled with metallic jewelry-making pieces. Find the supplies in the jewelry or charm section at your local crafts store or even at a flea market. Attach the pieces with straight pins.

Craft a Pumpkin Quilt

Nail miniature pumpkins to a rectangular board to make a temporary pumpkin "quilt." Use a black ribbon to hang the festive decoration. See the next slide for a closeup of some of the pumpkin designs.

Pumpkin Quilt Designs

These quilt-block designs were painted on the pumpkins with a permanent black gel pen. Find quilt-block patterns in the images section of your search engine for inspiration, or go to our sister site AllPeopleQuilt.com.

An Easy Pumpkin Topper

Add a fun topper to your pumpkin using a square of black linen or even a simple black cloth napkin. Sew festive Halloween pom-poms on the corners of the square. Remember to cut a round hole in the middle of the linen square so the stem can poke through.

Build a Border

This border was created using images from a Dover book of old-time Halloween illustrations that are copyright-free. Pictures of children in costumes were copied and positioned in a line, then printed and cut into strips. The strips were fastened to the pumpkin in a continuous border using pins.

Floral Face

Instead of adorning your jack-o'-lantern with a frightening face, pretty it up with a floral design. Use a snowflake-making technique to cut out a symmetrical pattern on black paper. Glue yellow vellum to the back of the paper and cut both layers into a circle. Use pins to fasten the layered paper into a round hole carved in the center of the pumpkin.

Editor's Note: The materials in this pumpkin are flammable, so only use a battery-powered candle to illuminate your design.

Chip Away a Pattern

Create a folk-art-inspired pumpkin by sketching a simple vintage-look design in the center with a fine-tip marker. Then illuminate the design by chipping away a layer of pumpkin skin (instead of cutting all the way through) with wood chisels. Adding a chiseled border helps spotlight the design.

Pumpkins on Display

Display pumpkins of various sizes, colors, and textures on shelves for easy folk art Halloween decor.

Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.