37 Fun & Easy Pumpkin Painting Ideas for Fall 2024

Last Updated on Jan 10th 2024
pumpkin painting ideas

Fall is the perfect time to let your creative energy flow with fun pumpkin painting ideas. All through the season, you see creative pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns adorning porches and decorating interiors.

How did the pumpkin painting and carving traditions begin? According to Britannica, it first started in Ireland, where people carved frightening faces into turnips to frighten away the wandering soul of the myth of Stingy Jack.

While many Jack-o-lanterns still feature scary faces, many people like to get even more creative with their pumpkin painting ideas. This year, you can have the most eye-catching pumpkins on the block, whether you’re going with the classically scary or something that will elicit a smile.

To help you get started, we’ve rounded up the best pumpkin painting ideas to use on your gourds this fall.

Jump to Section

Pumpkin Painting Classes and Events

1. Group Painting Classes

Boost your creativity with the guidance of a skilled instructor in paint and sip in Atlanta, paint and sip in NYC and  paint and sip in Denver as well as paint and sip near you.

Led by expert local artists, you’ll learn all the techniques and easy-to-follow instructions to create a unique masterpiece you can display in your home, including pumpkin painting ideas on canvas or on actual pumpkins! Sip your favorite beverage as you create your project for a fun fall party activity.

pumpkin painting classes
via Canva

2. Pumpkin Crafting Classes

Try your hand at a few new artistic mediums with art classes in the Bay Area, art classes in Houston, art classes in Chicago and art classes near you. Allow experts to guide you as you learn the basics of sculpting, pottery, epoxy and other creative mediums.

The techniques you learn will help you craft unique projects you can use to make your pumpkin painting ideas and art projects more unique. These classes are a great way to learn to paint or try new methods, such as abstract pour painting.

Cute Pumpkin Painting Ideas

3. Pop Art Pumpkins

Take inspiration from the art movement that was most popular in the 50s and 60s. These can be trippy painting ideas since they can look like cartoonish versions of pumpkins.

For this popping pumpkin painting idea, use bright colors along with black lines and polka dots as shades and highlights.

4. Floral Pumpkins

For anyone who loves filling their home with flowers, floral pumpkins are the project to take on fall. Get inspired by flower painting ideas and paint delicate little blooms across the surface.

You can leave the pumpkin bare or paint a base color. Using paint pens to create line-drawn flowers can also be a stunning floral option.

5. Metallic Ombré Pumpkins

Your pumpkins can be adorable decorations for fall. But what kind of paint do you use to paint a pumpkin? Acrylic is best because it dries quickly and is easy to layer and mix to get the exact look you want. Plus, it’s water-based, so it’s easy to clean up.

For ombré pumpkin painting ideas, use two contrasting shades of metallic paint. Apply one on top and the other on the bottom. Use a sponge to blend the two colors together in the middle to create a seamless transition from one shade into another.

metallic pumpkin painting ideas
via Canva

6. Bejeweled Pumpkins

Paint your pumpkin with your favorite colors, then add glitter or glue on dazzling gems from the craft store to make a bejeweled pumpkin idea that will really make a statement. 

7. Doodle Pumpkins

Make your pumpkin painting ideas more personal by filling them with doodles. This easy pumpkin painting idea will be great for artists of all ages and skill levels.

Start by painting the pumpkin a solid base color, then use paint pens to draw little doodles all around the surface. You can choose a theme like sea creatures, space or flowers. Or you can draw whatever comes to mind.

8. Paint 3D Designs 

A cool pumpkin painting idea for adults involves creating three-dimensional designs before you paint them. These will need a little prep before you add color.

Use a modeling paste or a hot glue gun to create designs. Apply the designs directly to the pumpkins and allow them to dry before painting over them and the pumpkins. These fun arts and crafts for adults create unique pumpkins with plenty of texture and visual interest.

9. Glitter Pumpkins

Do you need to prime a pumpkin before painting? Not necessarily. Using an acrylic paint primer can help the color last longer. And in the case of glittery pumpkins, the glitter can stick better. But primer isn’t necessary to paint your standard pumpkins.

Create glittery pumpkins by first painting the surface with a thin layer of glue. Then sprinkle the glitter over top. Once the glue dries a little, you can apply decoupage glue to help seal the glitter and keep the pumpkin from shedding.

Jack-o-lantern covered in glitter
via Canva

10. Rainbow Pumpkins

Looking for fall party ideas and activities? Including pumpkin painting ideas is a fun activity for a little kid’s birthday party during the fall. Little kids will love painting their version of a rainbow on their pumpkins to take home as party favors.

With this easy pumpkin painting idea, paint a rainbow, clouds and sparkles to make a magical design.

11. Checkerboard Pumpkins

A little more sophisticated, checkerboard pumpkins are a simple design that looks great as fall home décor. It’s also easy to create by painting boxes of alternating colors across the surface of the pumpkin.

Elevate the design by using metallic or shimmery paint and create an even more customized gourd.

12. Bow Pumpkins

Love to add a little feminine touch to everything? Bow pumpkins are the pumpkin painting idea you need to try this fall. With this simple design, all you have to do is paint the pumpkin your favorite color before adding little bows and ribbons all around it.

What is the best way to paint pumpkins? Sponges and sponge brushes tend to be the best way to cover large surfaces. You’ll want to have brushes of all sizes to get all the little details.

13. Classic Stripes

Looking for simple pumpkin painting ideas? Try painting your gourd with stripes for an easy project with a big impact.

Black and white stripes are a classic color scheme that’s great for those who like minimalist décor. But don’t be afraid to incorporate more colors, whether they’re paired with black, white or another color. 

black and white display of striped pumpkins
via Canva

Scary Pumpkin Painting Ideas

14. Spooky Skeletons

There’s nothing scarier or more quintessentially Halloween than a spooky skeleton. Use multiple pumpkins stacked on top of each other to achieve the look.

Paint the pumpkins black as a base and then use white paint to draw the skull and bones. The more realistic the skeleton is, the spookier this pumpkin painting idea will become.

15. Just Batty Pumpkins

Monster movies always have a scene of bats screeching and flying away. That’s the inspiration for this pumpkin painting idea. Use dark blue paint as the base and white dots to create a night sky.

With black paint, draw bat silhouettes around the pumpkin to complete the spooky scary nighttime scene.

16. Black Cat Pumpkins

There’s no bad luck when this pumpkin crosses your path. But black cat pumpkin painting ideas can help create an eery atmosphere. Paint the entire pumpkin black and use a secondary color to paint the kitty's face.

Or you can paint the silhouette of a cat with an arched back to show it got spooked by something it saw.

17. Ghost Pumpkins

Something’s lurking just around the corner, and it’s your ghostly pumpkins. Paint your pumpkins all white and use black paint to draw on the features.

Wide eyes and open mouths ready to howl or let out a boo. Or paint angled eyes to create a more malicious pumpkin painting idea.

ghost scary pumpkin painting idea
via Canva

18. Creepy Spider and Spiderweb Pumpkins

How do you paint a spooky pumpkin? By painting something everyone’s afraid of — a creepy crawling spider perched in its web is a scary yet simple pumpkin painting idea.

Paint the pumpkin a base color, then use white paint to draw on the spider web. Finish by adding the eight-legged fiend.

19. Haunted House Pumpkins

A pumpkin is the perfect scene for a haunted house. Paint a creepy scene of an imposing house with tall towers, pointy gates and bats flying around it. You can even stack multiple pumpkins on top of each other to create a spooky scene.

20. Bloody Pumpkins

Embrace the horror movies and use dark red paint to create pumpkins oozing with blood. For this gory pumpkin painting idea, place the paint around the base of the stem, then the paint drips down the side of the pumpkin.

You can take the horror a step further and place a prop knife from a Halloween store in one of the pumpkins. These scary pumpkins are one of the most creative Halloween date ideas.

Mini Pumpkin Painting Ideas

21. Collection of Ombré Pumpkins

Grab a bunch of mini pumpkins to make a stunning colorful display. As one of the most eye-catching fall painting ideas, this project may take some time, but it’s well worth it.

Choose a color scheme and create paint shades based on them. Then paint multiple pumpkins each color. They can serve as a cascading display down stairs or as a fall centerpiece on a table.

mini pink pumpkins in different shades
via Canva

22. Disco Ball Pumpkins

This fun pumpkin painting idea for adults will have light shining all over your room. Get a pack of mirror tiles to create your own disco ball. First, paint your pumpkin silver as a base before gluing on the little tiles to create a mini disco ball.

There are also colored mirror tiles you can use to create colorful disco balls, and you can paint the pumpkin base with the coordinating color.

23. Polka Dot Pumpkins

One of the easiest pumpkin painting ideas to create is polka dots. Use stencils to create perfectly circular little dots around the pumpkin in various colors and sizes.

Or make abstract polka dots by playing with the shapes. This simple pumpkin painting idea is a fun way to play with color.

24. Caramel Apple Pumpkins

Caramel apples are a favorite fall treat and you can recreate them with this funny pumpkin painting idea. Start by painting the top half of the pumpkins Granny Smith apple green or Red Delicious red.

Then make a caramel brown to paint the bottom half of the pumpkin. Paint a wavy edge to make it look like the pumpkin has been dipped in caramel. You can paint sprinkles, nuts and candy. Paint the stems to look like sticks of the apple.

25. Mini Monsters

Use a few mini pumpkins to make mini monsters. This simple pumpkin painting idea will be a great activity for little kids during the fall.

Paint the pumpkin a base color and use other paints to add in all the fun details. Cut accessories out of paper to dress up your monsters.

mini pumpkins with silly faces painted on them
via Canva

26. Marble Dip Pumpkins

Mini pumpkins are the perfect size to get creative and experimental with your painting techniques. Try a dipping technique to make marbled pumpkins this fall.

Mix different shades of paint with pouring medium to thin the formula. Then layer the paint colors in a plastic tub before dipping the pumpkin into the paint. When you pull it out, it’ll have a unique marbling effect.

27. Doughnut Pumpkins

Create a tasty bite-sized sweet by turning mini pumpkins into mini doughnuts. Use brightly colored paint to draw on icing and sprinkles or recreate your favorite flavor of doughnuts.

You can go out for apple cider doughnuts and make these activities the ideal fall date ideas.

28. Ice Cream Cone Pumpkins

Make your Jack-o-lantern represent your favorite sweet treat. Take three little pumpkins and paint them the colors of your favorite ice cream flavors.

After they’ve dried, you can attach them to the top of plastic toy ice cream cones for sweet little fall décor. Or remove the stems and stack them on top of each other for a multi-scoop cone.

29. Unicorn Pumpkins

For a magical and mystical pumpkin painting idea, transform your pumpkins into pretty unicorns. Start by painting the pumpkins a base color, lighter shades, including white, work best. Then add the eyes with little lashes and blushing cheeks to make a face.

Paint the stem of the pumpkin to be a corn and paint flowers around the base to give the unicorn a little crown. You can add ears made from construction paper and craft fur to be the mane.

unicorn pumpkin painting idea
via Canva

Funny Pumpkin Painting Ideas

30. Bucket of Popcorn Pumpkin

Find a pumpkin that’s a little taller and upright for this project. Paint the classic stripes of a popcorn bucket around the surface of the pumpkin. Don’t forget the poppy popcorn logo on the front.

Cut tissue paper into one-inch strips, then crumple them up to create a bite-sized snack. Glue them to the top of the pumpkin to finish this tasty idea.

31. Camper Pumpkins

Pumpkins don’t always turn into carriages; sometimes, they turn into campers. With this funny pumpkin painting idea, paint doors and windows to look like an RV.

Use small round rocks to make it look like it’s on wheels. You can use dollhouse furniture to create a campsite scene or simply place it out on your campsite when you’re traveling this fall. It's an adorable pumpkin painting idea for travelers.

32. Joke-a-Lantern

Think of all your favorite punch lines and one-liner jokes to put on the pumpkins. You can paint the background of the pumpkins with your favorite colors and fall motifs. Then use a paint pen to write all those jokes that will get a deep belly laugh.

33. Spa Night Pumpkins

Even pumpkins needed a little break. Treat your Jack-o-lanterns to the spa treatment with this pumpkin painting idea. Paint a face mask on your pumpkin, leaving a spot open for its mouth and nose.

Print and cut out images of cucumber slices to place over the eyes. Then it can lay back and relax throughout the fall.

spa night funny pumpkin painting idea
via Canva

34. Googly-Eyed Monsters

The best way to make a monster cuter and funnier is with googly eyes. Use this is an easy pumpkin painting idea that would be great for kids to do.

Start by painting a pumpkin the base color then glue on a googly eye–or two, or three or four–all over the pumpkin. You can also use craft supplies like pipe cleaners and pom poms to customize your little monster.

35. Cow Pumpkins

Looking for couple painting ideas? Adorable little cows are the perfect subject for a date night. Paint a pumpkin with a sweet cow face, including the pink nose and big black eyes.

Use construction paper to add ears. Paint other pumpkins with black and white spots to make the body of the cow. Stack the pumpkins or place them next to each other to create a sweet little animal.

36. Tropical Pineapple Pumpkins

If you’re missing summer during the fall, paint a pumpkin to look like a pineapple. Paint a pumpkin bright yellow and add brow V-shapes to add texture.

Use construction paper to create the leafy stem on top. You can also add tropical accessories like sunglasses and leis to make it even more festive.

37. Punny Pumpkins

Are you fall real? There are tons of punny little sayings you can paint on your pumpkin to display during the season. These will make fun paint party ideas for adults where your friends can compete to see who can come up with the funniest and punniest saying on their pumpkin.

stack of pumpkins with Halloween puns on them
via Canva

Carving and painting pumpkins is a favorite activity for the fall. Whether you’re doing it with friends or as a date night, it’s a great way to indulge in your creative side.

The classic Jack-o-lantern face will never get old, but there are plenty of other fun pumpkin painting ideas that will add a unique piece of art to your collection of fall decor. Display your creations outside for the neighborhood to see or dress up your home for a fall party.

For even more fun painting and art ideas, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!