If you're anything like me, you have a lot of traditional fall and Halloween decorations.
To decorate for fall I like to use things from nature like dried flowers, small Baby Boo
pumpkins, leaves and acorns. And Halloween around my house is a combination of
scary and subdued.
Enter your email address in the box below
Don't miss another
But this year I wanted to switch things up a bit and try one of
these painted pumpkins I've been seeing around the blogosphere for some time.
I was actually inspired by a picture of a Chanel bag I saw in a magazine. It's called
a Chanel Mosaic. You can find it in the 2015 Chanel Embroidered Mosaic Bag Collection.
I guess this goes to show you that inspiration really can come from just about anywhere.
My original idea was to copy the pattern on the Chanel bag. Only problem was, my pumpkin
was not a smooth pumpkin, by any means. The picture below doesn't do the bumps justice.
I'm telling you it was extremely bumpy and rough textured.
The stem is blue because I have it taped off.
This was going to make painting any kind of pattern on it tricky at best. So I sadly scrapped the Chanel pattern idea. But I did want to keep the same color scheme. So I thought that spray painting it with black chalkboard paint would be very cool. I was then going to write or draw on it with colored chalk pens.
Here it is before I wrote on it. Pretty cool looking, huh? Only problem was, just trying to write on it with chalk was a real pain due to the uneven surface of the pumpkin. I started off with an easy word in white chalk: "BOO." And it looked terrible. I didn't even take a picture of it, although now I wish I had just so you could see what I'm talking about.
After the chalk debacle I realized that I had to repaint a part of it to cover up the remaining faint chalk outline. But instead of spray painting it again, I just used a foam brush and chalkboard paint from a jar. Bad move. The paint from the jar was pretty glossy, and stood out like a sore thumb. So I ended up having to re-spray the whole thing anyway. Arrgh.
Then I decided to make it a two-toned pumpkin with polka dots. I mean, how hard could that be, right? So I split the pumpkin in half with painter's tape, similar to how I split my basket in half before I painted it. It's hard to get a straight line that goes completely around any spherical object but it can be done. For the pumpkin I used frog tape in about 2-3 inch increments. That's the only way I could be sure that the line I was creating was actually straight all the way around. One long piece just doesn't work.
Here it is, taped, before I added the bottom color.
Here it is after I added the second color.
I placed a piece of tape on it to show you the approximate size of the pieces I placed end to end all the way around, before I added the blue paint to the bottom half (by hand). This is exactly the method I used to tape off a round mirror before I painted it. I've found that it works pretty well.
For my polka dot stencils I used Avery repositionable round stickers. They were 3/4" in diameter.
This may or may not be the size you want to use. I will tell you that for a pumpkin my size,
it took a TON of dots! I placed the dots where I wanted them, then I traced the outside of
the stickers, some with a gold ink pen and some with a white ink pen, thinking that I wanted
gold and white dots only. (Later I decided to paint some of the circles blue as well.)
I lifted the stickers off and painted inside the dots with acrylic craft paint. I used very tiny
sized brushes so as not to get too sloppy and paint outside the lines. Seriously. I mean tiny.
(I used the sponge for the blue bottom half of the pumpkin.)
If you're scratching your head about now I can totally understand. Why? Because there was
such an easier way to do this! But I didn't know that I wanted polka dots until the whole
pumpkin had already been painted. So I did it my way instead. I'll mention the EASIER
way in my list of tips at the end of the post. Promise not to laugh, ok?
I was happy with the color combo, especially the way the colors popped on the black background.
Here it is with my Heidi Swapp marquee letter all lit up.
The things you see hanging from the window behind the
pumpkin are strings of tiny lights.
Here are a few shots with the tiny lights on.
How to Paint Faux Pumpkins: Tips and Tricks
- Search for the SMOOTHEST surfaced faux pumpkins you can find! Can’t stress that enough!
- If you’re going to do polka dots, do it the EASY way: Place repositionable circle stickers all over the pumpkin, THEN spray paint the pumpkin. Once the paint is dry, pull off stickers and you’ll have orange (or whatever color your pumpkin is) polka dots!
- If you choose to do polka dots my way (although I can't imagine why haha), you can find small round stickers at Wal-Mart in the school/business supply aisle. If they’re too small for you, I would suggest looking at craft stores in their general scrapbooking supply area for larger stickers. Just make sure they're repositionable so that they don't end up sticking to your pumpkin!
- If you don’t want the stem to be the same color as the pumpkin, be sure to tape it off with painter’s tape before painting the pumpkin.
- Don’t use two different types of chalk paint (one a spray paint and the other, canned paint) if you can help it because they very well might look different when they dry! (Just thought I'd throw that one in as a general painting observation. I've worked with chalkboard paint for a few years now and did not know this.)
- To assure a straight line when taping the pumpkin in half, use small increments of tape as you go around the circumference of the pumpkin.
- If you're going to use glitter paint, be sure to test the paint on the bottom of the pumpkin first. I had wanted to use blue and gold glitter paint, but after it dried it did not look very "glittery" on the chalkboard paint background.
- Have fun with it! What's the worst thing that can happen? Craft fails happen to the best of us!
Sorry this was so long, but I clearly needed to get this project off my chest! Hope everyone in North America has a great fall weekend. It's supposed to be beautiful in the midwest. What are your plans? We have a high school homecoming football game and dance coming up. Can't believe our babies are in high school! Sigh. I'm going to try and get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather. See you next time!
Be sure to stay in touch:
Enter your email address in the box below
Don't miss another
home decor post!