Pumpkins are for Halloween what conifers are for Christmas, and one of the best ways to get into the whole Halloween spirit is to have a few decorated pumpkins lying around, and there are plenty of pumpkin painting ideas that you can try out.
Carved Pumpkins Vs. Painted Pumpkins
Sure enough, a lot of people think that carving a pumpkin is more in keeping with Halloween traditions, but the truth is that it’s easier to work with colors and a brush than it is to carve a pumpkin up with a sharp knife, and it’s also a lot safer too.
Besides, carving a pumpkin takes a lot of time since, besides the actual carving, you also have to cut open and empty the contents of the pumpkin, and this can result in a very sticky situation.
Thus, painting your pumpkin is the best way to make some very attractive decorations without wasting too much time, and the best part is that considering that the paint holds out, a patent pumpkin will last for a much longer time than a carved one, since it won’t shrivel up after a day and look like a mummified turnip, thus allowing you to prepare the painted pumpkins ahead of time.
What Is the Best Thing to Paint on a Pumpkin?
You should remember that a pumpkin should best be treated as a regular canvas (albeit a round orange canvas) upon which you can fully unleash your imagination, so as long as you can imagine it, you might as well paint it.
However, when it comes to painting a pumpkin, most people usually go with typical Halloween designs, like painted Jack-o-Lantern faces, spooky messages, or creepy Halloween sceneries like a haunted forest or a cemetery during the full moon.
Best Pumpkin Painting Ideas to Try in 2021
Given how painting a pumpkin is so much easier than carving one, more and more people are opting for this method of making Halloween decorations, but like any other type of decoration, all the materials in the world are worth nothing if you lack inspiration and don’t know where to start.
That’s where our article comes into play, as we will be showcasing some of the best pumpkin painting ideas that you can try out in 2021 if you really plan on impressing your neighbors and friends.
1. Cool Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Fall Pumpkin
Since Halloween is on October 31st, basically during the middle of autumn, painting a pumpkin in fall motifs seems like second nature, and if you’re looking for cool pumpkin painting ideas that will showcase your mastery over red, orange, yellow and brown, this is a very good design.
As you can see in the picture above, the first step is to first paint the entire pumpkin white, since all subsequent colors that you’ll be adding later will look more natural over a white background, unlike the pumpkin’s natural orange hue.
Secondly, they went ahead and drew branches with autumn leaves that are either still hanging there or are falling to the ground, and they finally finished their painted pumpkin with a calligraphic design of the word Fall.
Those of you that want to do something similar can use whatever writing style they want, but as far as the color palette goes, you’re better off working with colors that are iconic for this season, so avoid things like blue, green, pink, or any other color that you’d normally not see during autumn.
Another great tip if you like flashy decorations is to swap out the white background with silver instead, or even gray to mimic the typical autumn weather, and replace the yellow or orange paint with gold paint.
All in all, this design is easy to follow even by those that aren’t too good at drawing, especially since leaves and branches are very easy to make, and the end result is a painted pumpkin that not only looks good but also gives off a warm and cozy feeling when you look at it.
2. Easy Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Jack Skellington
While people like spending December 24th watching Home alone, they also like watching horror movies on October 31st, and the only movie that is probably more popular on Halloween night other than Hocus Pocus is The Nightmare before Christmas.
Because of that, those of you that are looking for some easy pumpkin painting ideas, but lack the inspiration, could easily go ahead and paint them to look like characters from the movie, the most recognizable being Jack Skellington.
Design-wise, making a pumpkin look like Jack Skellington is pretty easy, since you start off just like we did with the previous pumpkin idea: by covering the whole thing in white paint.
Once you’ve done that, drawing the big black eyes, 2 small nostrils, and a large mouth with stitched lips is pretty easy, since there’s literally no way you can get it wrong at all.
However, Jack isn’t the only character that you can design, although his face is the one that goes best with a simple ball-shaped pumpkin, so if you have a pumpkin that is shaped like a squash, or if you’re painting an actual squash, you’re better off designing Oogie Boogie’s face instead.
For those of you that want to amp up the spooky factor, you can go ahead and replace the white paint with glow-in-the-dark paint instead, and have the pumpkins hang in the dark using very thin wire and threads, thus creating something that will really get your guests and trick-or-treaters screaming.
3. Easy Pumpkin Painting Designs – Spider Pumpkin
While continuing our trend of showcasing some very easy pumpkin painting designs, we’ve arrived at our next entry: the spider pumpkin, and this one gives us a lot of creative freedom.
For example, the example above showcases a black spider and black spider web over a white background, but you can go ahead and use the exact opposite, since that may actually look a lot better (especially if you use glow-in-the-dark paint).
As for the design of the spiders, you can make them in whatever style you want, from big fuzzy tarantulas to typical daddy longlegs spiders that are basically a dot with 8 very long sticks for legs.
However, the one element where you can really showcase your drawing skills is the spider web, and if you happen to have any silver paint and a very fine paintbrush, and some very steady hands, you can draw a spider’s web that looks almost like the real thing.
If you’re not the type that likes to overcomplicate things, you can go ahead and stick to something that’s similar to the design above, since you’ll only need about 10 minutes, maybe 30 if you include how much you need to wait for the paint to dry.
4. Easy Pumpkin Painting – Ghost Pumpkins
Simple is sometimes better, and if you’re in a hurry and are looking for some very easy pumpkin painting, you can go ahead and try making your own ghost pumpkins as they did in the picture above.
All you have to do is basically cover the whole pumpkin in white paint (or dip it in the paint entirely since that’s faster), and then just simply add some decorative elements, like painted eyes and a mouth, or you can even use googly eyes as they did in the example above so that your ghosts will actually look cute.
The idea is easy to follow (arguably the easiest on our entire list), but with the right decorations you can actually end up with some really great-looking pumpkins.
One neat trick that you can try is to take several dozen smaller pumpkins, replace the white paint with glow-in-the-dark paint (it’s more expensive, but the end result is worth it), paint them all, and then have them hanging around your yard or inside your house so that they look like wisps and other eerie forest spirits.
One way to further get into that atmosphere is to have speakers that are playing some fantasy or Celtic music, and also make it so that the pumpkins gently swing thanks to the breeze and wind to really get everyone in that enchanted forest vibe.
5. Funny Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Clowns
Clowns are a double-edged sword when it comes to Halloween, be it costumes, decorations, or even snacks, because people have one of two extreme reactions to them: they either love them or they hate them, and that makes them a great inspiration for painting pumpkins.
Of course, if your intent is to try out some funny pumpkin painting ideas, then the key is how you draw the clowns since there are certain visual elements that can make you laugh at a clown or look away from it in terror.
In the example above, you’ll notice that the artist took a very cartoonish approach to how they designed the pumpkin faces, making them quite funny and cute, and they will definitely not scare anyone.
If you want to make them even more hilarious, and even a bit interactive, you can stick a fake clown’s nose on their face so that your visitors and trick-or-treaters can honk and get a few laughs out of doing so.
On the other hand, you can take a pumpkin and go full Pennywise with it by making it all white, drawing some menacing eyes, an evil grin lined with some very sharp teeth, and so forth, and you can even put a wig on their head to make them look even more like a clown’s head.
If spooky is what you’re going for, you can even go ahead and mix together carving with pumpkin painting and make a Jack-o-Lantern that’s in full scary clown makeup so that you can scare anyone once it gets dark outside.
Best Cute Painting Ideas for Pumpkins
While everybody decorates their houses in ways that make them scary and creepy, that doesn’t mean that you should do the same, and that’s precisely why many opt for Halloween designs that have a more cutesy twist to them
Not only are they a breath of fresh air among all the witches, zombies, and werewolves that everyone else has, but cute painting ideas for pumpkins are also ideal if you have small children and you want to avoid scaring them too much.
So, the following section contains 5 different cute pumpkin painting ideas that are both cute and in keeping with the spirit of Halloween.
6. Cute Paintings – Monsterlings
Take any drawing courses online and you’ll notice how all of them teach you that if you want to make a character look cute, make the face very small when compared to the head, make the eyes extra big and full of emotions, and make the mouth and nose extra small when compared to everything else.
Well, if you’re purpose is to make cute paintings on pumpkins for Halloween, just apply the above-mentioned rules and that’s how you get the monsterlings design as showcased above.
The great thing about this idea is that you can create the cutesy version of whatever monster you want, from Dracula to the Cursed Mummy and even Frankenstein’s monster, and since pop culture has plenty to choose from, you might as well have 30 pumpkins that need painting and you’d still be able to make all of them unique.
One advantage of this idea is that it can also work as a Halloween gift, especially if the pumpkins that you’re using are extra small, and if you make sure that the paint that you are using is non-toxic since toddlers might try to kiss, lick or bite them.
Not only that, but because of the cute nature of this design, you can easily use it in places where there are plenty of small children, such as a daycare, a school, or even at your home if you have people visit with young kids.
All in all, it’s just a matter of how you manage to design the monsters, but the truth is that anything will look cute if they have big sparkly eyes, so don’t worry about messing it up.
7. Cute Pumpkin – Your Pet
Those of you that have a furry, feathery, or scaly pet in your family can go ahead and showcase your love for them with the help of a cute pumpkin that has a painting of them, just like they did with the Terrier in the picture above.
Admittedly, no one is asking for you to be talented like Michelangelo when it comes to drawing your lovely pet.
However, while all our other entries give your creative freedom based on something that you can imagine and then make changes along the way, making a drawing of your pet will require a certain degree of drawing skills if you want to have even the slightest resemblance.
If that’s not a problem with you and you’re blessed with some extraordinary drawing talent, you can go right ahead and draw your pet on the side of the pumpkin.
Those of you that want to take this idea one step further can even make a portrait for each member of your family, and maybe even write your names underneath.
Once you’re done with your portraits, you can arrange them all on a frame so that the entire ensemble will look like a pumpkin-themed family tree, which is something very few have ever thought of trying.
All things considered, if you’re only planning on doing your pet’s portrait, he may not know how to show it, but he’d most likely feel very flattered by the whole thing.
8. Cute Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Beach Ball Pumpkin
Summer may be over, but when it comes to Halloween and what you want to dress as or decorate your house with, pretty much anything goes, so if you’re looking for some very colorful and very cute pumpkin painting ideas, you should try out this beach ball pumpkin design.
There’s really nothing to it as far as what you have to do to obtain this look, especially since the pumpkin is already naturally divided into sections, and all you need to do is paint them in the typical colors of a beach ball, like red, yellow, white, purple, green, or blue.
Besides, if you’re the type of person that has a knack for details, you can even paint the stem to look like the beach ball’s valve hole.
The idea is simple, it looks amazing, especially if the colors that you’re using are very vivid, and it will really bring out the nostalgia of the summer days spent at the beach.
Another great thing about this design is that many hot air balloons incorporate similar color schemes, and those of you that like to incorporate the painted pumpkins into more complex decorations can even create your own miniature hot air pumpkin balloons.
You can then hang around them in the yard or inside the house, and you can fill their respective baskets with candy for people to nibble on.
The idea looks great, and if you’re really looking for something original, you should definitely try the hot air balloon idea mentioned earlier.
9. Cute Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Matrioska Pumpkins
If you’ve ever visited an Eastern European home, chances are that you know what a Matrioska is (also known as Russian dolls), and if you have, then you know how beautiful and adorable they can be.
Normally they serve a purely decorative purpose, and if you’re looking for some cute pumpkin painting ideas, you can’t go wrong with Matrioskas, although they would look better if you used squashes instead of typical Halloween pumpkins.
When it comes to both the doll’s face and outfit, you can design them in however way you want, since there are no guidelines to follow, and this should be fairly easy since there are plenty of matryoshka designs that you can get inspired from off of the Internet.
The key to making a good matryoshka is to use a very fine brush because there are a lot of small details that you’ll need to draw, and it’s best if you use plenty of vivid colors, especially red and gold, although pretty much any will do.
The great thing about certain types of pumpkins is that they can last for a very long time, so you can go ahead and paint them up as matryoshkas and keep them around the house all year round since it’ll be a while until you see the first signs of withering or decay.
10. Cute Painted Pumpkins – Dia De Murto
If you like Mexican traditions, but still like the American Halloween, you can bring them together with these cute painted pumpkins that look like skeletons from Dia de Muerto, and you can even go ahead and use the same idea when it’s actually Dia de Muerto (if pumpkins are available).
As you can see, the skeleton designs are easy to make, since you need mostly white and black, and a few other colors here and there to make the visual details.
You can enrich the design of these pumpkins using costume rhinestones, and you can even decorate the pumpkins with actual flowers, although red and white ones work best.
The best place to put these pumpkins is inside the house next to house decorations, or have them surrounded by as many candles as possible.
Another great place to put them is at the center of the dinner table, maybe even next to some traditional Mexican food, like the taco platter, or the bowl of guacamole.
One last thing you can do if you make these skeleton pumpkins is to make one for each deceased family member so that you can have a way to honor them (think of the movie Coco).
More Halloween Painting Ideas
The next section of our article contains Halloween painting ideas for pumpkins that have been very popular in the past years, and while people may be interested in new designs in 2021, that doesn’t mean that these older ones aren’t good.
So, if you’re not the kind of person that’s interested in what’s trendy, you can go ahead and consider the following 15 entries as well, since these too are very popular on Halloween.
11. Easy Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Stripes
Halloween might be long over, but that doesn’t mean that we’ll shy completely away from orange and black color combinations for the entire rest of the year. We actually find black paint on an orange pumpkin quite versatile for the whole season up until you start decorating for Christmas as long as there’s some white in there to visually break things up a little and give things some contrast. We love the way Birshykat painted little white polka dots around the edges of their stripes and circles to get just the effect we mean.
12. Pumpkin Painting Idea – Turn It Into a Scarecrow
If you’re going to paint a pumpkin, are you looking for an idea that really lets you get creative with your paint? We love the idea of getting practice our hand painting and artistic skills in a seasonal way that’ll give us some bonus décor! In that case, we think you might find this fully painted scarecrow pumpkin idea from Pinterest a lot of fun. The bonus is that when you’re done, you get to decorate it with wicker, felt, and a hat too!
13. Easy Pumpkin Painting Idea – Polka-dotted Monogram
Did you like the idea of black and white color schemes and polka dots in your painted design, but you’d rather personalize your pumpkin a little bit rather than just featuring color-blocked shapes? Then we’d suggest taking a look at this cute painted monogram idea from Amanda Jane Brown! We like that this idea gives you a free license to practice either working with stencils or perfecting your freehand lettering.
14. Pumpkin Painting Idea – Dotted Patterns
Are you still quite intrigued by the idea of polka dots and dotted patterns, but you’d rather get a little more creative with your colors and designs than just blocked out shapes and black and white color schemes? Then we have a feeling this polka-dotted rainbow swirling idea from Many Makings will appeal to you a little more! We love the way they created freehand patterns with a dotting paintbrush technique and added big rhinestones in the middle for a little extra sparkle.
15. Pumpkin Painting Idea – Turn It Into a Minion
Are you intent on getting your kids in on the fun when it comes to this year’s pumpkin painting, but you’re worried they won’t stay interested in the project if you just try to make them paint dots and letters? We think they might have more fun if you help them pick a movie or cartoon and recreate a character they love! We can’t get enough of how cute these funny Minions pumpkins from Craftberry Bush are, especially since pumpkins are the perfect shape for the way the little creatures are drawn.
16. Disney Pumpkin Painting Idea – Up!
Are you very intrigued now by the idea of painting a pumpkin-themed after a cartoon move favorite, but you’re just not a huge Minions fan? Well, browsing the pumpkin painting posts on Pinterest will teach you pretty quickly that there are nearly no holds barred when it comes to the design possibilities you have when you’re painting pumpkins by hand! Check out this idea for making an Up! inspired pumpkin design, proving that you don’t have to do something explicitly fall-themed to have fun with pumpkin painting.
17. Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Monsters Inc.
Just in case you’re still laughing over how much fun the idea of painting character pumpkins sounds, but you’re not quite settled on any of the ideas we’ve shown you yet, here’s another adorable design from another classic kids’ movie! We can’t get enough of this cute Monsters Inc pumpkin design from the New Jersey Family. It’s a great one to do with kids because you only need to make a few simple strokes by hand to make it look great, rather than being very detailed or artistically skilled.
18. Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Funny Faces
Perhaps you’re a huge fan of the cartoon pumpkin idea, but you’d rather make your own little characters than copy or recreate ones that already exist in TV and film? Then we think you should check out these adorable funny-face pumpkins instead. We love the way Dan Schantz Farm used mini pumpkins and big, rounded eyes to make little characters with a wide range of emotions. They’ll look cute on your porch or your mantel no matter how few or how many you create.
19. Disney Pumpkin Painting Idea – Lion King
Are you still thinking about the idea of making painted movie pumpkins, but you’d rather set a scene than re-paint a character or face? Then maybe this lovely painting of Pride Rock from The Lion King will stir up some inspiration in you! Come Home Disney shows you how they used simple shapes and silhouette ideas to recreate one of their favorite recognizable moments from the film on the surface of a pumpkin.
20. Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Silver Leaf
Okay, we know that we said this post was all about pumpkin painting designs, but there was just something so cool about this silver leaf idea from Woman’s Day that we absolutely couldn’t resist putting it on our list! Using silver leaf creates some metallic shine and texture that paint doesn’t usually have, so the technique is a little more like doing decoupage or applique than it is like painting, but you could get a similar design by using metallic silver paint and a stencil to make leaves on the surface of your pumpkin if you prefer!
21. Cute Pumpkin Painting Idea – Angry Birds
What if you love the idea of making character pumpkins, but your favorite little cartoon buddies aren’t actually from a movie? Well, who said you couldn’t paint cartoon characters from absolutely whatever you want? We love the idea of painting characters from games too! That’s why we thought these fully painted little Angry Birds pumpkins were such a funny idea. Check out how each layer and shape was done on All About The Kids.
22. Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Finding Nemo
What if you have a character painting in mind for your pumpkin, but its shape isn’t quite right when you stand it up the way you normally would? Well, who says you can flip it onto its side and paint it that way instead? Home Design Image reminds you that, with a craft like a pumpkin painting, you can really do whatever you please. We enjoy the way they took advantage of the fact that their pumpkin was already orange by painting Nemo from Finding Nemo, only requiring them to paint the facial features and stripes. Adding paper fins to the side is a super cute idea too!
23. Cool Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Ninja Turtles
We know we’re talking a whole lot about pumpkins painted like cartoons right now, but, really, can you blame us? It’s just so much fun to turn something 3D and seasonal into something you love from pop culture! It also makes your finished product more versatile in case you want to leave it out into December if the weather allows. This awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pumpkin from Crafty Morning is the perfect example of what we mean, and we certainly think it’ll impress visitors!
24. Cool Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Super Heroes
If you’re going to start getting into awesome pop culture designs with your pumpkin painting, then there are innumerable awesome design ideas at your disposal! In our house, every child (and more than on adult) is a total comic book fanatic, so it’s only a matter of time before family pumpkin painting night yields at least one superhero. That’s why we could be related so hard when we found this painting tutorial from The Pixel Peddler! They show you how to freehand paint the logos for Batman, Super Man, and Captain America. They even give you a bonus Harry Potter-inspired design!
25. Disney Pumpkin Painting Ideas – Mickey and Minnie Mouse
Are you a massive Disney fanatic absolutely any time of year? Then we have a feeling you’re going to think that we saved the best for last! Check out how this user on Pinterest transformed their fall pumpkins into a Mickey and Minnie Mouse set using just a few colors and some simple shapes. We can’t get enough of how cute their added paper ears look!
Best Halloween Pumpkin Painting Ideas: Closing Thoughts
This concludes our list of best Halloween pumpkin painting ideas, and we hope that our list has inspired you to try out something new this year since Halloween fads change constantly.
As you may have noticed while reading, we tried including both entries that are definitely something you’d expect to have on Halloween, as well as ideas that are a bit out of the ordinary but would still work very well nonetheless.
More so, we tried mixing in ideas that are as easy to make as possible, since we understand that Halloween is one of those holidays you’d much rather spend with your close ones rather than spending hours getting your hands dirty while painting decorations.
Whichever the case, you’ll most likely see a lot of painted pumpkins on Halloween night, and when you do, you’ll have the chance to see for yourself what the trends are so that you can be better prepared for next year.
If you want to read more about Halloween decorations, costume ideas, foods, and snacks, go ahead and check the rest of our website, since we have articles for every occasion.
Not only that, if there are any subjects that you may be interested in that we haven’t covered yet, just leave your suggestion in the comments section below, we’ll look over it, and we’ll write a brand-new article right away!