It’s that time of year again in which pumpkins are festively displayed around the house. With Halloween almost here, it’s not too late to let your little ones decorate their own pumpkins to get in the spirit. Do you have a child that is too young for carving a pumpkin? Have no fears with this fun and easy-to-do pumpkin drip painting activity, and watch your child’s face light up as the colors mix together for a cool tie-dye effect!
Materials You’ll Need
- Wood or Craft Glue
- Knife (*Parental Assistance)
- Empty Applesauce or Fruit Cup
- Wipes or Wet Towel
For best results, make sure your pumpkin is nice and clean in order for the paints to stick better and remain vibrate when everything is done drying. I washed ours with some soap and water, then allowed the kids to make sure their pumpkins were extra clean by giving them each a wet wipe. When finished washing your pumpkins, make sure to dry them thoroughly with a towel before painting.
Step 2: Remove Pumpkin Stem
This step is optional, but I think removing the stem and gluing it back into place after the pumpkin is painted and finished drying looks better. The natural color of the stem really helps the colors on the pumpkin pop. *Parental assistance will be needed to remove the stem. While some stems are easy to just break away from the pumpkin with your hands, some pumpkin stems may need a little more help. I used a knife to remove ours. Once removed, set the pumpkin stem aside to be re-attached at the end of the project.
Step 3: Drip Paint
Recycle an empty applesauce (or likewise) container, using it as a stand for your pumpkin. This will help allow the paint to fully drip to the bottom of the pumpkin, catch extra paint, and help with removing the finished pumpkin from the paper you may use to cover your table. Then pick out your paint and colors, and you’re ready to get started! We ended up using fast drying, acrylic paint straight from the bottle for a more controlled drip. Simply allow your child to hold the bottle of paint over of their pumpkin, and squeeze directly on the top. Let the paint slowly drip down the side of the pumpkin, creating its own design. Using a different colors of paint, repeat this step as many times as you may need until you have the desire effect. It is important to use a thicker paint, like acrylic, so that the paint drips down the sides slowly.
As most pumpkins are not perfectly round and have grooves, you may have to tilt the pumpkin at times to get the paint to drip to you liking. I also recommend layering and overlapping some colors slightly off to the side of each other so that they mix nicely as they drip down the sides of the pumpkin. Some of the kids may have gotten a little carried away. Be aware of rolling pumpkins. Try to make sure the kids do not actually touch their pumpkins during this process, especially if you have your pumpkins resting on used applesauce or fruit cups.
Step 4: Re-attach Stem & Display
After you allow sufficient drying time (we let ours sit over night for good measure), re-attach the pumpkin stem with wood or craft glue. We used tacky glue. It worked just fine, but I don’t recommend picking up the pumpkin by its stem after it has been glued back on. Make sure you line up the pumpkin stem as best as you can with the way your broke or cut it off. If you are planning a displaying the pumpkin outside, you can also spray the finished project with a waterproof sealant spray.
The great thing about this project, is every pumpkin will come out looking unique and different in their own way depending on what colors and how much paint you use, and the way the paint drips down the pumpkin. It is also a useful way to go over with your kids how different colors mix to make whole new colors!
Have you created your own drip painted pumpkin using this guide? Send us a picture and we’ll add it to our Facebook Gallery!