We have done it! We have perfected the art of painting pumpkins…in this case, mini pumpkins! The process is so simple that toddlers can do it, yet it’s so mesmerizing and beautiful to watch how the art unfolds — or should I say drips and runs — that adults will not want to stand on the sidelines for this project! And after you’ve had your fun creating the art, you can then use your PERFECT PAINTED PUMPKINS to decorate in any way you like — use for a table centerpiece, a mantle display, to greet guests in your entryway, along your stairs, as part of a Fall gift basket, or even spray them with polyurethane and use them as outdoor decorations!! You can take it a step further and make these into jack o lanterns by adding faces or leave as they are for pretty Halloween decorations that will last right through until Thanksgiving!!
In case you missed it, we have painted LOTS of pumpkins this Fall. We started with full-size pumpkins and loved the way they turned out. Next we experimented actually painting WITH mini pumpkins. For that project, we had to pop the stems off our pumpkins to do our printing and other art explorations. Remember at the end of that post I told you I saved those pumpkins we had spent all afternoon painting with along with the stems I had popped off? Well, the pumpkins you are about to see are those same pumpkins once again!!
To begin our project, Luke (4), Lilah (3), and I each selected one of three pumpkins whose stems had been popped off. Yes, I painted a pumpkin, too! I wasn’t about to let my preschoolers have all the fun without me!! I tore a few pages from an old magazine to protect the table and gave each of us an old applesauce cup to use as a stand for our pumpkins. This allows the paint to run down and not pool around the bottom of the pumpkin. It also helps it to dry faster! We each picked 5 colors to use from the huge collection of acrylic craft paints we had used for painting our large pumpkins.
I helped the kids to open each of their bottles and then we got started. All you do is position the paint bottle over the center of the pumpkin and squeeze. The trick is to do little squirts and rotate colors often. Eventually the paint will “well up” enough that it starts to flow over the sides, and that’s where it becomes absolutely mesmerizing to watch!
Since pumpkins are all unique, sometimes we had to tilt the pumpkin or squirt paint off center to fill in gaps in the flow.
Just remember to do small squirts of paint and to rotate colors often!
Once we each decided our pumpkins were “done” we just left them sitting on the table exactly like they were. Once the sides were dry to the touch, I picked the pumpkins up and set them into another apple sauce cup with the open side facing up to allow the bottoms and tops to further dry more without being touched. The top will take the longest to dry since that is where the paint is the thickest.
The next day ours were dry and I glued the stems back on top. I think that gave them a cool look since the stems are natural while the pumpkins are painted!
So, why are these pumpkins perfect? Because each one comes out unique and interesting, no matter the age of the maker! Using glitter or metallic paint helps to make them more special, too!
These are by far the BEST of the pumpkins we’ve painted and are even prettier in person than the photos show. It’s always great when a kid art project focused on the process renders such an amazing product as well!
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