Now is a great time to begin thinking about updating fall crafts. So today I’m sharing how to paint chalk paint on pumpkins and add real stems.
Wouldn’t it be great to buy cheap pumpkins and make them look real? Let me show you how simple this is to do step by step.
To begin with every year, I save the real stems from my pumpkins. Between the chalk paint and the real stems these pumpkins look real.
Chalking paint works well for easy craft ideas. I especially enjoy painting pumpkins for cost reasons too.
Because gourds/pumpkins can be quite pricey, I buy them for outdoor decorating. But for inside it gets expensive so adding this craft using chalk paint and real stems adds a realistic look for autumn in our home decor.
Why I Use Chalk Paint for this Project
Chalk Paint is my Choice for a Few Reasons
- No priming before painting
- I always have an assortment of chalk paints
- Adding Waxes and Blending Adds the Realistic look to the plastic pumpkins
Paint Chalk Paint on Pumpkins and Best Time to Purchase Fake Pumpkins
For example, I find the best time to purchase faux pumpkins is summer when the shelves are getting stocked. Or, towards the end of the fall season. Because prices for fake pumpkins for this easy craft project can be very cheap especially the larger size pumpkins.
Let’s begin, shall we?
- Fake pumpkins size of your choice
- White, mint green and orange paint or any chalk paint of your choice
- Chip Brush
- White wax
- Dark Brown wax
- Paper plate
- Paint stick for mixing
- stencil brush and wax brush
Begin With Orange Paint
Project 1: Adding Color to my First Heirloom Gourd
Before I begin my first coat clean it off using a damp cloth. It’s important to beging with a clean surface.
Here is a pumpkin I purchased during the summer for $3 at Michael’s craft store. The shelves must have been recently stocked so these are perfect for fall craft ideas.
Step 1: Remove the Stem and Paint
For my first step, remove the stems of the pumpkins. Using orange chalk paint, I stumbled upon while at Michaels Craft store. Remember, for this easy seasonal project I am going for faded orange Heirloom gourds/pumpkins.
Next, I added a bit of raw umber pure pigment craft paint and mixed the colors together. This gives me a deeper orange color to begin my craft project how to paint with chalk paint on pumpkins. Paint half at a time and drying in between coats is best. This gives me my base color for making these gourds craft look real.
Mixing White with The Orange Paint
Step 2: Lighten the Orange Color for the Next Coat
For the next step, using the same orange paint mix in white craft paint. Add this mixture over the deep orange. This will add another layer to give your painted pumpkin a more realistic look. After half the pumpkin is painted use a chip brush and stipple or pounce lightly. Doing this gives the chalk painted pumpkin texture as we find in nature. It also adds even more to the realistic look.
By the way, this is why I suggest chip brushes. For this craft, it’s best to use these brushes because they are .89 and will take a bit of abuse. Let your pumpkin dry and do the same to the other half.
When stippling, if the darker orange color is visible, don’t worry. Because seeing the different colors is what adds to the easy craft project to having a real look.
Adding White Wax
Step 3: Begin Buffing in White Wax
Here, using white wax and wax brush add it to the pumpkin. Add the white wax a bit at a time and work it into the paint well with your brush. After applying wax in sections very lightly wipe with a lint free rag. I say lightly because you want the white wax to stay adding to the Heirloom gourd pumpkin look for this craft project.
Adding A Real Stem To This Project
Step 4: The Dried Stem Add to the Realistic Appearance
When adding real stems to painted pumpkins they make them look real. I save my stems from my previous year’s fall pieces every year. Actually, I have quite the collection of these real pieces
Sharing My Collection of Stems
By the way, here’s my collection of stems. It’s well established as you can see, and I add to it every year. Incidentally, these don’t have to be used just to add to this autumn craft. For example, add these pieces to a bowl, dish or tray with acorns and pinecones for seasonal decor.
As a rule, I store my real pumpkin stems in a brown bag in my basement because it’s cool and dark. I have saved many like this and it works well.
These also make a nice addition to a dish on a table. Adding dried orange slices is perfect for rustic fall look. I share an easy tutorial for dried orange slices and whole oranges which is great for the fall season and all winter.
Adding the Stem to This Craft Idea
Step 5: Adding the Piece to the Top
Meanwhile, heat your glue gun on the low setting. This is namely important, because these imitations are usually Styrofoam pumpkins. In a word, high heat glue will make the pumpkin break down.
Lastly, glue your stem on top of your pumpkin. Because these are waxed, I recommend not using these outside. However, if you spray them with several coats of matte polyurethane they will work there as well.
Project 2: Dry Brush These to Look Like Gourds
Step 1: Adding the Look of Gourds to Small Pieces
A few days later, I had bought this green pumpkin at Jo Ann for a great price. For the most part, as I say above shopping early or at the end of the fall season is best.
Also, these painting techniques I’m sharing are easy and don’t take long for this simple fall craft so it’s worth the work.
Back to how to paint with chalk paint on pumpkins. With this green pumpkin it’s extremely easy. This time because the base is dark green, I am going to use Folk Art mint green chalk paint. Again, using a chip brush dip the very tip of your brush into the paint.
Next, using a paper plate, paper towel or a rag, dab the excess paint off. Here, you want your brush dry hence dry brushing. This is important when using this paint technique.
Dry brushing paint to make pumpkins look real is hard on brushes so again use chip brushes.
So next, begin to apply chalk paint to the pumpkin for a realistic look. Dry brushing with paint will give this green pumpkin the real look of an Heirloom green gourd. This is a fast process for this easy craft. Again, add another real stem.
However, if no small stems are available, simply dry brush the plastic stem on these small fake pieces and it will work. Again, if you purchase small Boo pumpkins for outdoors save the stems.
Painting Small Fake White Gourds
Step 1: For an Authentic Look on These
Lastly, I’m sharing how to paint with chalk paint on these small white pumpkins I bought on Amazon. For this chalk painted pumpkin I dry brushed them with ASCP Old White chalk paint. White craft paint will also work for these as well.
Adding a bit of dark wax randomly makes them look like real baby Boos. I also added real stems to this chalk painted pumpkin.
Decorating The Table for the Autumn Season
Meanwhile, adding these to our fall dining room table with an assortment of walnuts, pinecones, tea lights in bark candleholders looks pretty.
I hope you enjoyed learning how to paint chalk paint on pumpkins. I’d love to read if you have ever painted fake pumpkins. If you haven’t, I hope this inspires you to give this painting technique a try. It really makes these Gourds and pumpkins truly look like the real thing.
Pin this Simple Craft for Painting Faux Pumpkins to Remember