Halloween decorations don't have to be spooky. If you would rather have a decoration that is warm, friendly and festive for your next Halloween party, ditch the fangs and evil eyes and instead of a carved pumpkin, paint a cute face on your pumpkins.
These DIY Halloween crafts can be used in your fall decor throughout the season, not just as a front porch decoration for trick-or-treaters. Pumpkin decorating can be done with traditional, large orange pumpkins or mix it up with mini pumpkins, white pumpkins and oddly shaped gourds to create a full pumpkin patch.
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You don't need to be an art major; all you need are these easy pumpkin painting ideas for achieving an adorable look. Most of these can be drawn yourself, or you can look for templates or stencils to help you with your pumpkin decorating.
Prepare your Halloween pumpkin
Before starting your pumpkin craft, wipe your pumpkin with a wet rag or paper towel to remove any dust or dirt. This will help your paint to better adhere. Keep the lines clean and clear rather than murky and marbled.
- Cover your working surface with newspaper and set your pumpkin in front of you.
- Lay out your marker, poster paints and brushes within easy reach as well as a cup of water and paper towels for cleaning brushes between colors.
- If you like, you can use a Styrofoam plate to mix paint colors or to add white to colors to make them lighter.
Sketch the painted pumpkin faces
Use a washable marker to draw your pumpkin design and outline the eyes, nose and mouth on your pumpkin. If you make a mistake or don't like the way your pumpkin is looking, you can use a paper towel to wipe your pumpkin clean and start over.
A note on size
You may not be able to include as much detail when painting small pumpkins, but you can still achieve a cute face. On larger pumpkins, consider expanding the scene by adding a black cat or a polka-dot background.
If you are confident in your abilities, a Sharpie will also work to sketch the face.
You don't have to draw in all the details, as you will be painting over the marker. Just give yourself guidelines. Remember that every line or shape does not have to be perfect, as it is the imperfections that give the faces character and make them interesting.
Draw cute and expressive eyes
Add cute eyes and make them big and expressive. Have googly eyes looking in different directions or crossed eyes. You can even have one eye winking. Try making them round or oval instead of the traditional triangular shape. Slanting or slightly misshaping them will make them more interesting than perfectly symmetrical eyes.
Don't forget lids, eyelashes or eyebrows to enhance the expression. When you choose colors for them, pick something bright and paint the "whites" of the eyes either white or yellow to give the impression of a glowing jack-o'-lantern.
Sketch a pumpkin face nose
Little noses are often considered cuter than big noses. Make your cute pumpkin's little nose a simple circle or a triangle, either right side up or inverted. If you want to get fancy, use a shape such as a teardrop, a cherry or a spider.
Draw the painted pumpkin’s mouth
Make the mouth expression complement the eyes. Draw an "o"-shaped mouth to make your pumpkin look surprised or scared. A wavy line indicates confusion or silliness. Have a little pink tongue sticking out or some buck teeth.
Of course, you can never go wrong with a big, toothy smile. To complement a smile, try smudging some round pink areas above the smile for the rosy cheeks.
Paint pumpkin faces
When you begin painting your pumpkin, start filling in the white and colors first and allow them to dry for 30 minutes. You can stick with black and white to highlight the contrasting colors or create colorful pumpkins for your home decor.
As a final touch, take a fine paintbrush dipped in black paint to draw outlines around all the features. Don't draw black outlines first or the black will bleed into your other colors. The black outlines will make the features pop out against the orange flesh of the pumpkin.
Be creative with your Halloween ideas and decoration. Make your pumpkin young or old or make it resemble an animal. Add accessories, such as a hat, hair, glasses or an eye patch or set the pumpkin on a scarf. Make each one look distinctive with its own personality.
Keep your pumpkin dry. Rain or excessive moisture will cause the paint to melt and smear.