Make cute DIY Mod Podge painted pumpkins with faux or real pumpkins. Use napkins to make your own custom designs, and then add these pumpkins to your fall decor.
Painted pumpkins have been around for a long time…but believe it or not, I’ve never attempted to make them myself. I’ve seen all sorts of designs on Pinterest, and always thought they were so charming. If, like me, you would rather not go to the trouble to carve your own pumpkins, but love Halloween decorations, this fun and easy craft is for you.
This pumpkin tutorial is a mix of paint and Mod Podge. I used paint in fall hues, and chose a super easy Mod Podge method using paper napkins. You can use any kind of paint…acrylic craft paint, or even leftover wall paint. Faux pumpkins work great, but real pumpkins can be used as well. Older kids, especially ones that enjoy crafting, will love this!
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Pumpkin Painting Idea
This is so simple, and it’s completely optional whether you want to paint your pumpkins or not. I chose to paint 2 pumpkins, but left 2 unpainted. If you are painting a real pumpkin, make sure it’s clean and dry before you begin.
- Decide how much of the pumpkin you want to paint, and then apply the painter’s tape. I found that it’s easier to get a straight line with the tape if I stayed towards the middle of the pumpkin. There’s less curve, and the tape went on more smoothly.
- Use your finger to press the tape line down firmly.
- Apply the paint color of your choice to the pumpkin. You will need at least two coats. (Paint color pictured above: FolkArt Pueblo.)
- Carefully remove the tape, pulling it at an angle.
It’s Time To Mod Podge
- Unfold several napkins and separate the layers. Most napkins are either 2-ply or 3-ply. For this project, you want the top layer only.
- Cut out designs from the napkins. Sharp scissors with a pointed end make the job much easier. Get my favorite scissors HERE.
- Pour some Mod Podge into a throw-away container, or on a paper plate. Brush the medium onto a section of a pumpkin. Carefully apply a napkin piece, and gently adhere it to the layer of Mod Podge with a sponge brush. Small paint brushes work great as well.
- Because of the ridges on a pumpkin, it works better to dab or pounce with the sponge brush.
- Make sure to get the napkin into all the ridges and dips of the pumpkin, as well as very close to the stem.
- Continue around the pumpkin until your design is complete.
- The Mod Podge will look milky, but it will dry clear.
- Once dry, apply a thick coat of Mod Podge over the entire napkin design.
Tips For Perfect Pumpkins
- It’s helpful to use a white pumpkin, along with napkins that have a white background. This allows you to be less precise when cutting the napkin designs.
- Mod Podge is very forgiving. If you have a piece of napkin tear off while you are applying it, simply place it back on the pumpkin where it belongs. The Mod Podge will heal the tear, and it won’t be noticeable at all.
- I use multiple sponge brushes when I’m applying Mod Podge. I use one to apply the base coat to the pumpkin, and a second one to dab the napkins. A dry sponge brush works better for the dabbing step. I use a third, clean sponge to apply the final coat.
- Definitely used pumpkins you already have. This craft project is a great way to breathe new life into old or damaged faux pumpkins. If they are a mismatched collection, paint them all white or ivory before starting this project.
More Design Inspiration
- Choose paper napkins with fall themes: leaves, candy corn, berries, or autumn flowers.
- Get the look of a carved pumpkin or jack-o-lantern by simply cutting out the face shapes (eyes, nose, mouth) from a black napkin.
- Make additional designs on your pumpkins by using paint pens. Add dots, swirls, or circles.
- To add a sparkly touch, give your pumpkins a coat of clear glitter spray paint.
- This paint and Mod Podge method can also be used on any kind of smooth, dried gourd.
Use this Thanksgiving planner to make the holiday easy for you, and so lovely for your family & friends. Includes planning and organization pages, turkey tips, a Thanksgiving prayer, and more.