Painting Dollarstore Pumpkins

Dollar store pumpkins that were painted to look expensive

What you will need:

Dollar store pumpkins

Acrylic art paint found at dollar stores or Michaels, 2-3 colours that will compliment each other

Large 1 -2″ paint brush

paper towel

something to protect your workspace table like newspapers


The air is crisp and the stores are full of fall decor! I love seeing the gorgeous pumpkins in my social media feeds and promptly headed off to the city to fill my shipping bags with some pumpkin goodness….and then I got some sticker shock. Up here in Canada we have amazing things (I could go on and on but we will save that for Canada Day) but we also have higher prices. My budget was not fitting in $15-30 per pumpkin. I couldn’t do it! Waiting to the real thing means another month.

My small fall decor stash is filled with November clearance finds but what’s a girl gonna do when she wants it now? Well I headed to the Dollarstore! They had a small amount of $3 bright garish, shiny plastic pumpkins. Yes my kids would think they were perfection but they hurt my eyes!

dollar store pumpkins they are very bright orange and whiney and look cheap

Pinterest had a few tutorials for painting pumpkins and that was my answer! Back to the Dollarstore to grab some acrylic art paint and I chose three colours that complimented each other; a cream, a cool tone green and a brown shade that went with the green and cream (that was actually the hardest to find! Some of the browns were way to red tones and others too dark).

Back home I snagged the girls for some fun and we began painting, they thought it was great! We yanked the stems out, this pumpkins were styrofoam inside and the stems easily came out. The first results were a little bleak looking. I wondered if I gave them a spray with primer if it would have helped? We still forged ahead with another coat. The drying time was possibly 20-30 minutes but we were cheating a bit with a fan blowing on them to help with the drying time.

little girls painting dollar store pumpkins the first coat looks thin

The girls lost interest and I was beginning to worry about the streaky mess and feeling I may have wasted some money when I wondered if the problem was the little art brushes we were using. Grabbing a wider 1 1/2″ painting brush I gave them another coat and SUCCESS! The wider brush was the answer!

Once I have a coat of paint that I was happy with I grabbed some paper towel, and a second colour. Placing a dab of paint on the newspaper, that was covering the table, I took the paper towel around my finger and dabbed a tiny bit…and then dabbed the newspaper in clean spots till the paint was almost off and THEN I dabbed the dips in the pumpkin. I did the second colour to give the pumpkin a little more depth and dimension. Then take a clean dry larger painters brush I brush those crevices and second colour to blend it a bit better. When I found I made a mistake and had too much colour, grabbed the paint brush and added the original colour just a tiny bit and painted again.

painting dollarstore pumpkins and using the dry brushing technique with paper towel

I was thrilled with the results.  We could had added natural branches or moss to the tops or painted the stems but for convenience sake we left ours alone and just put them back in. These has been decently durable and I have moved them around a few times and not had any flake off or colour transfer. I hope this helps and happy painting!

fall decor using pumpkins and dollarstore pumpkins


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DIY, massive (slow) renovation on a budget, momming 5 little ones, farmhouse & vintage goodness, Canadian Mom blogger

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