A couple of weeks ago I decorated my fall table with some rustic hand-painted craft pumpkins that I used as planters for cabbage (check it out here!). I have been dying to paint some more for my kitchen counter since then and knew that I wanted to make them aqua (my fav color). I also wanted to carve these to make them a little more fun—not so serious! Borrowing Jacobs’ drill made that super simple.
Here’s how to make your own:
I bought my craft pumpkins at Target this time. I really like the Hobby Lobby “Funkins” better though. Target’s craft pumpkins were difficult to cut and tended to want to split down the seam on the side. They were cheaper than Hobby Lobby’s version but it’s worth the extra money to buy the better ones (but Hobby Lobby is already sold out so the Target version had to work). I used chalk paint (because it’s what I had) but you could totally use acrylic or spray paint if you wanted (although the finish would be different). Or, you don’t have to paint them at all! Skip that step and just leave them white or orange.
Start out by cutting a hole in the bottom of each so you can place a battery powered candle inside to illuminate your carving (warning: these pumpkins are flammable so do NOT use real candles). Then paint each pumpkin your desired color. I painted each with two different shades of aqua and then lightly sanded them so they were a little more textured.
After the paint drys, use a hand-held drill to drill holes through the skin of the pumpkin. You can do this randomly with varying size drill bits to achieve the “freckle” look. I also like following the natural vertical stripes of the pumpkin or place a rubber band around the outside and use it as a guide for a horizontal stripe. Then rub each down with a light sand paper (to rub off any tears the drill made), touch up with paint (sometimes the drill will pull some of your paint off) and apply a dark wax to further highlight the pumpkin’s skin. Place a battery-powered candle underneath and voilà! A jack-o-lantern that is elegant, won’t rot or stink and will last you for years to come.
I love how the light flickers inside with a soft illumination through the tiny holes. I grouped them on my kitchen counter with some wooden trays and a orange velvet pumpkin (from Avec Moi).
I promise that I am not against real pumpkins! I just love that all my hard work can last for years to come and doesn’t have to be thrown out next week when the pumpkin starts rotting. There is something so nostalgic about carving a real pumpkin though. I might just have to have a pumpkin carving party here soon. A bonfire, s’mores, apple cider and pumpkin carving? Who’s in?
- Rustic Elegance: Fall Table DIY (stylingmyeveryday.com)
- 9 DIY Embellished pumpkins (myasmusings.com)
- No-Carve Glitzy Color-Dipped Pumpkins (brit.co)
- 15 Inspiring DIY Pumpkin Decorating Tutorials (thejennyevolution.com)