Pumpkin Makeover Cover Photo

When it comes to DIY, I am of the mindset that a project must be uber-simple and cheap in order for it to be worth my time. So basically, anything that makes it to this blog is easy enough for anyone to do. In other words: I’m no Martha Stewart.

Here’s a quick and easy how-to for transforming ordinary pumpkins. As we all know, carving can be very messy and unless I’m doing it with kids to get in the holiday spirit, I’d rather skip the messiness and cut straight to the end effect. This year, I decided to go a different route with pumpkin decorating and create a luxe, Autumn set of pumpkins that would last through all of October.


  • Pumpkin(s) + spooky accessories (if desired)
  • Tarp or newspaper (and outside area)
  • Spray paint
  • Painters tape

pumpkin makeover diy step 1


Step 1: You can buy any size/type of pumpkin(s) you want. I bought three different pumpkins – two real, one fake – and a fun little foam skull I bought at Michael’s for $1. I figured the fake pumpkin would last year-to-year and the skull would go beyond Halloween decorating and make it onto a bookcase in my home office. Isn’t he cute?

Make sure to clean off dirt on your real pumpkins so you have a clean surface. Soap and water on a paper towel with do. Let dry. Lay down a tarp or newspaper outside and set pumpkins + accessories down on top of it.

pumpkin makeover diy step 2

Step 2: Pick a spray paint color you like. If you’re planning on putting these outdoors, remember to find an outdoor-friendly variety (I’m keeping mine inside as a table decoration). You could go festive with black, white, or even chalkboard paint! I chose a metallic gold by Rust-Oleum. Here is a similar outdoor-friendly version. Krylon also has a line of specialty metallic spray paint.  You can buy it at your local Home Depot or Lowes for about $5-$6 (unless you live in Chicago where spray paint is banned).

pumpkin makeover diy step 3

Step 3 (optional): If you’re spray painting the whole pumpkin, you can skip this step.

If you are looking to add an accent, such as a gold stem (as shown above), cover the portions of the pumpkin you do not want painted with painters tape (I like Scotch Blue). You may also want to drape a tarp over the sides to be extra careful and keep any excess spray from landing on the pumpkin.

pumpkin makeover diy step 4

Spraypainted gold skull

Step 4: This is the fun part. Spray the entire surface of the pumpkin (or just your selected area) with your spray paint color. Spray evenly, so you have a single coat across the whole object.

After 15-20 minutes, the paint should be dry (depending on the brand, make sure to check the label). Turn the pumpkin or accessory and spray any missing areas.

All Things Thrifty has a great spray paint Q&A with lots of tips if you’ve never done this before.

pumpkin makeover diy final photo

And there you have it! Here is my collection of made-over pumpkins and my little skull friend (he needs a name, any ideas?)!

Questions? Tips? Please share in the comments!