Fall Pumpkins Decorated Your Way!

If you are looking for something to do this weekend to celebrate fall, Thanksgiving, and Halloween all in one swoop, I have suggestions for you!  Decorate some plain, store bought imitation pumpkins! Or skip to the end and paint leaves!

Several years ago, I bought a bag full of different sized pumpkins to use as experiments. With the front of the house decorated it was now time to prepare some pumpkins for indoors.

What do you need?

This will depend on which decoration you choose for your pumpkin. You do not need ALL the supplies listed below. Choose which way you want to decorate your pumpkin. The supplies will differ depending on the project.

supplies for easy decorated pumpkins
Some supplies for easy decorated fall pumpkins.


One or more plastic pumpkins available at Michaels or elsewhere

Dried flowers or fake flowers such as small sunflowers or other fall type flowers. (I used dried strawflowers)

An old textbook, or paper napkins for decoupage

Copper or gold leaf foil sheets (or Dollar Store sells the flakes and they are lovely too) and size (type of glue)

Mod Podge (glue).

Sponges or old brushes to spread the glue

Hot glue gun and glue sticks for flowers

Quick and Easy Pumpkin #1

Easy pumpkin decor
Strawflowers on pumpkin.


The simplest way to embellish a plastic pumpkin is to glue a collection of artificial or dried flowers on it with a hot glue gun.  You may add ribbons to pretty it up.

I glued different colours of strawflowers I had saved from long ago on the pumpkin with a hot glue gun and DONE! If you are using artificial flowers, remove the thick plastic stems before glueing them down.

I have added the pumpkin in the foreground to my table setting this Thanksgiving. It picks up the colours in the artificial flowers in the main and largest pumpkin.


Pumpkin #2

Add Decoupage to the pumpkin. Find an old pocket book and rip out a few pages. I used a discarded library book I keep expressly for this purpose.

Be generous with the layer of Mod Podge that you use under and over the decoupage papers. Use your fingers to press the air bubbles out.  Let dry overnight. Continue decorating next day. You can paint on top, or glue flowers or silk leaves. Or leave as is!


Variation on the Decoupage theme.

I added copper foil to hide some of the little spaces where the paper didn’t quite cover the pumpkin or where I just didn’t like the way the paper was glued. The instructions are included with the Mona Lisa foil size and sealer.

Basically, apply the size, wait 30 minutes, add the copper foil with the shiny side up, press down and DONE! I did not use the sealer. You can buy only the size.

(The Dollar Store flakes won't shine as much but they will still create a lovely effect on the pumpkin.  They are much less expensive.)

Then, I added strawflowers and ribbon at the top.

Other possibilities for decorated fall pumpkins

Collage paper napkins (not shown)

Find pretty paper napkins. Remove the two layers underneath so that you only have the top printed layer.

Glue this layer on your pumpkin in smaller pieces. However, the napkin will be delicate so be careful not to rip. Use Mod Podge under and on top. Let dry completely.

Three layers in paper napkins
Use printed layer and remove other two layers before glueing onto pumpkin.


If you wish, take a thick gold marker and draw contour lines around the images of the napkin. Add gold marker to the stem.

Painted Pumpkins

Another option is to paint the pumpkin with acrylic paint. It will dry fast and is the only type of paint that I would use. Before you apply the paint, you will have to paint the pumpkin with clear gesso to make the paint adhere to the plastic. I used metallic paints from the Dollar Store. Let each layer of paint dry completely before you experiment with designs. You can stencil or collage on top of paint or even add doodles or splatter.

Unfortunately, my first experiment was a fail. I had some silk type Dollar Store fall leaves that I wanted to add to the pumpkin, but the material was too thick. There was just no way the leaf wanted to stay. So I removed it and wiped off the Mod Podge.


As I get ready to publish this post, I am still uncertain how I will finish this pumpkin. I have used the leaf to trace a gold contour and then I added metallic gold to the inside of the leaf but I am not happy with it yet.

More experimentation to follow...

So for now, this is where my experiment remains.

My feeling is that the leaf was just too big for this pumpkin. I might outline darker and smaller leaves that I find outdoors on a walk. Something to think about...but as it will rain tomorrow, I had better find those leaves today!

There are many possibilities as you can see.

Try painting a pumpkin with your children...they will love it.

Or find beautiful leaves and paint them!

Yes, you can paint directly on the leaf. If you want them to last longer, press them first and then gesso on both sides before painting. You will find instructions here.

Have fun creating!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!



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