Pumpkin Decorating with Personality
Clever displays combined with carving and painting techniques turn fall's definitive fruit into pumpkins with personality.
This pumpkin display, featured on a cover of Midwest Living, includes painted and carved pumpkins, along with pretty accents of fall leaves and seasonal flowers. Click ahead for pumpkin decorating and display techniques.
Like working with a three-dimensional quilt, you can mix and match cut shapes from different-colored pumpkins for a custom look. Pictured, orange squares make a checkerboard pattern in a white Lumina pumpkin.
This DIY decorating idea is an easy fall craft. Simply scoop out the insides, then cut identical shapes out of two pumpkins. Switch the pieces.
It's important that pieces to be exchanged are of the same size. For a precise edge, you can use tools such as metal cookie cutters, biscuit cutters and an apple corer to help with your cutting. For a more handcrafted look, design your own template.
Painted leaf art
Painted designs put the spotlight on your unusual squash or pumpkin cultivars, like this striking blue-green Jarrahdale pumpkin. Start with one that is clean and dry. Lightly sand the surface and apply paint sealer to prevent flaking. Create a design with stencils and acrylic paint, such as the leaf stencil and orange and white paints used here, then finish with a top-coat sealer.
Simple orange-and-white stripes jazz up this Jarrahdale pumpkin.
Mini pumpkins make a cute accent on top of a bigger pumpkin. Use an apple corer on pumpkins of different colors to punch out circles you can swap for a polka-dot effect. Tapping the plunger with a rubber mallet helps push the corer through tough pumpkin shells.
Party pumpkin display
Go all-out for a party with imaginative displays of pumpkin-inspired fall decorations. Click ahead to see how to create the projects pictured.
Miniature Baby Boo, Jack-Be-Little and Sweetie Pie pumpkins become perfect candleholders when hollowed out for votives. We used old pitchforks, rake heads and an antique apple picker as simple wall sconces. (Note: Never leave burning candles unattended; if you prefer, substitute battery-powered candles for safety.)
Look around your house for old tools, wire baskets and other containers that you can use to display mini pumpkins.
An assortment of mini pumpkins and fresh fall leaves creates a pretty fall window swag.
Knot your fall bounty on a length of rustic twine, and swag across your panes to frame a pretty fall view.
Painted and patchwork
A grouping of painted and patchwork pumpkins makes a striking display anywhere in your home!
A pretty painted plaid design gives this pumpkin a rustic look.
For carving: The quintessential pumpkin has a rich orange hue, medium to large size and strong handle. Look for varieties such as Howden Field (15-30 pounds), Magic Lantern (15-25 pounds) and Autumn Gold (8-15 pounds).
For painting: Pumpkins with smooth skins are best for painting or decoupage. Try varieties such as Lumina (10-15 pounds, white) or Baby Pam (4-5 pounds, orange).
For color contrast: Pumpkins look artsy in exotic and two-tone colors; no additional ornamentation needed. Look for Cinderella (25-30 pounds, dark orange/red color with deep ridges, Jarrahdale (9 pounds, with blue/green or slate gray skin), Hooligan (miniature with orange and white mottled colors), Fairytale (15 pounds, with rich mahogany brown color) and Batwing (1/4 pound, with orange and green coloring).