Step-by-step how-tos for distinctive Halloween pumpkin designs.

By Suzonne Stirling

What You’ll Need

• Acrylic paint

• Brushes in various widths

• Ruler

• Painter’s tape in various widths

Clean and dry your pumpkin before painting.


Tape off horizontal (or vertical) stripes using painter’s tape in desired width, measuring the space in between each stripe. When making horizontal stripes, it may be necessary to fold or rip tape as you apply it so that stripes will be level on the pumpkin. If there are kinks, you can fix them after pumpkin has been painted.

Apply paint to areas of pumpkin that don’t have tape, paying special attention to the edges. It’s best to apply thin coats around tape edges to avoid chipping. Depending on the transparency of the paint, you may need two or three coats.

Once the final coat has dried, carefully remove tape. Either leave stripes in the natural color of the pumpkin and touch up imperfect edges, or carefully paint areas where tape was, again paying special attention to edges.


Measure a length of tape in desired width and apply to pumpkin at an angle (for example, a 3-inch length works well for a small pumpkin). Cut another piece of tape in the same length and line it up at a 90-degree angle with the edge of the first piece of tape. Continue this pattern around pumpkin to create a chevron. Create more taped chevron lines around the pumpkin. Apply paint; depending on its transparency, you may need two or three coats. Pay special attention to tape edges, applying thin coats to avoid chipping. Allow to dry, then carefully remove tape and touch up edges. If you like, paint in areas where tape was, being mindful of the edges.


Cut out a diamond shape that fits nicely on the face of the pumpkin.

How to cut out a diamond: Fold a rectangular sheet of paper in half. Fold the sheet in half again. Cut folded sheet of paper diagonally from one corner made up of a folded edge and an open edge to the other corner made up of a folded edge and an open edge.

Trace diamonds onto face of pumpkin, connecting each at each corner. Paint either the diamond or the space around the diamond and allow to dry. Re-trace diamond shape between painted diamonds and then paint small black “ticking” lines around edge of each diamond.