Painting Pumpkins 3 Ways


Today's idea is brought to you by Twitter.  I am a recent convert and one of things I like best is connecting with other mommy bloggers.  Yesterday, I responded to a tweet from the fabulous Frugal Family Fun blog run by Val.  Seriously, if you have not checked out her ideas, you should.  This lady is an idea machine!  Anyway, yesterday I tweeted to her that I planned to decorate some small pumpkins with girls.  I didn't have any ideas how we should do it, so I asked her for ideas.  She suggested decorating the pumpkins with star stickers, painting them and peeling off the stickers when dry to reveal the pattern. So thanks to Val for the inspiration here.

Supplies you will need:

  • Small pumpkins
  • Stickers of various shapes
  • Masking tape
  • Paint (we used black) and paintbrush
  • Glue 
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Googly eyes

This fun kids crafts cost us next to nothing.  Last weekend, we went to a pumpkin jubilee (not sure what qualified it as a jubilee rather than a festival) and the kids got free little pumpkins.  I love getting things for free and free pumpkins, while not as cool as a free car, are still pretty cool.  After hearing Val's super idea, I went in search of some star stickers.  I only had enough star stickers for one pumpkin, so I used masking tape on another, and circle stickers on the third.  The only circle stickers I had were price stickers from our last garage sale, but they worked fine. Use what you have, I always say.

I thought using black paint would give a nice Halloween effect when the paint dried and we peeled off the stickers.  The kids didn't quite understand what the end result was going to be, but they were just happy to be painting the pumpkins.

B started off by just painting each star black.  

Eventually (in her own time of course) she started to paint the rest.

B would not turn her pumpkin or the tray to paint the other side.  She refused (rather loudly) to let me turn her pumpkin around.  Instead she played a game of twister bending and twisting to paint the other side.

A word about little C.  Eagle eye readers may notice she is wearing a Safeway shopping bag as a smock.  Fear not, she was attended the entire time.  Plastic bags are a choking hazard for kids so I don't recommend trying this at home.  We cut a big hole in the bottom and put it over her head and it worked in a pinch.  I have a feeling Santa will be bringing C a smock.  

"A" painting her circle pumpkin.

C paints her masking tape pumpkin.  She got bored of this after a while and never finished...

But not before she made THIS mess.

This is what C left behind.  Later, "A" asked if she could paint the rest of C's pumpkin.  So C's pumpkin was really a joint effort.  

After the pumpkins dried overnight came the fun of removing the stickers and seeing how everything looked.  This is where we ran into some problems.  The tape and circle stickers removed easily.  The stars however were a different story.  I have no idea what sort of mega glue the star stickers had on them, but I could not get these things off.  Correction: I was able to remove 1 star sticker.  Look how cute the pumpkin would have looked if they had all come off.

But they did not.  Most were just plastered on and the ones I was able to pry off peeled big chunks of paint off the pumpkin.  Lesson learned: test the stickiness of your stickers before putting them on your pumpkin.  Super sticky = super tricky to remove.

Now what?  Of course this had to happen to B's pumpkin.  B is my most sensitive and least "roll with the punches" kid.  Sigh.  I had to think fast about how to cover the mess.  So I stuck some googly eyes to the worst peeling spots and added some pipe cleaner hair.  The hair was really cute but when I added more it started looking like a spider. So that's what I went with.  

I just love our little spider because it was born out of failure.  

Here are our three decorated pumpkins.  Not bad for an idea born on Twitter and executed by 3 year olds.  

Oh and if you are not already following Mess For Less on Twitter, what are you waiting for?  All the cool kids are doing it.  Click the link above or the cute little birdie in the right side bar.



  1. LOVE These!!!!!!
    We are paining our pumpkins today! =)
    It has taken us a while this year!

  2. Very cute. we'll be using some of these techniques this weekend!

  3. Awesome!! I'm SO happy you did this! They turned out beautifully!!! :-D

  4. @ Sherri, thanks! Better late than never. :-)
    @ Coffee Please, Let me know how they turn out.
    @ Valerie, You are an inspiration!

  5. These look great! I really like the idea of using tape to keep some areas paint free.

  6. What a great and messy way to decorate yur pummpkin. Now following you hope you follow back.

  7. Those are SOOOO cute! I love them all!

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!

    I Am @redtedart off to check if we are already connected!

  8. Featuring YOU over on my blog today! Thank you so much for sharing this fun Halloween project at {wow me} wednesday! :) Feel free to grab a featured button if you'd like!

    Ginger @

  9. What a great idea. Saw this on Its Playtime and had to click on the picture. Thanks for sharing

  10. What a wonderful idea! I love how easy to execute these pumpkins are. We'll paint ours tomorrow.

  11. This looks so cute. They turned out sooo cute.

  12. La-La's Home DaycareOctober 28, 2011 at 8:32 AM

    Super cool idea! Love these pumpkins!

  13. A great idea. I'd never though of something so simple yet effective. Love love love the spider. Fabulous.

  14. Such a great idea for little ones! Pumpkin carving is just not practical for toddlers. Love your pumpkins!

  15. What a fun idea! They turned out great! Thank you for sharing your ideas with us on The Sunday Showcase

  16. this is factastic!!!