I am blown away by all the cool and unique ways Country Living has to decorate pumpkins this year. Below are my favorites:
This gourd gets its graphic appeal from Pictorial Webster's ($35; Chronicle)—a volume filled with cool black-and-white illustrations. Choose your favorite drawings from the book (we used approximately 120 for a medium-size Funkin, or faux pumpkin), then photocopy them onto off-white cover stock paper. Next, carefully tear out each photo-copied image, leaving about half an inch of white space around it. (The rough edges will give your finished product added interest.) Using our découpage technique, cover an entire Funkin with the images, overlapping their edges as you work.
You can create all of these nifty designs using acrylic paint and painter's tape. For a two-tone, dipped look, bisect a pumpkin with a strip of tape (angle the tape for a diagonal effect). Use a foam brush to cover one section of your pumpkin with two coats of acrylic paint, allowing 30 minutes of drying time per coat. Remove the tape and discard. Stop there, or repeat the steps to add another color to your pumpkin. To form chevron stripes—whether two or tons—link short strips of tape to make the zigzag patterns, using our photo as a guide. Use a foam brush to cover your pumpkin with two coats of acrylic paint, allowing 30 minutes of drying time per coat. Remove the tape and discard. Clean up the edges with a cotton swab if necessary. If you'd like the second color to be different than natural pumpkin orange, fill in using a small paintbrush and contrasting acrylic paint, as we did for the black and white pumpkin
Black and White Pumpkins
Savannah stylist Liz Demos skipped the carving knife and went straight for a paintbrush to fashion these graphic pumpkins. "With a stark black-and-white palette," Demos says of her trio of bold designs, "you can make any pattern, even creepy insects, look downright chic."
HOW-TO For each version, start by brushing the entire pumpkin with a coat of white flat acrylic craft paint ($1.39 for two oz.; createforless.com); let dry for 20 minutes.
SPIDERWEB 1. Using a black fine-tip paint pen ($2.49; createforless.com), draw a circle around the top of the pumpkin, about two inches from the stem. Keep drawing a continuous line, spiraling around the perimeter of the pumpkin, as shown, until you reach the base.
2. Draw vertical lines in the pumpkin's crevices, starting from the circle near the stem and going to the bottom.
3. Let the paint dry for 30 minutes, then place one or two plastic spiders ($9 for a pair; areohome.com) on the "web."
BEETLE 1. Print the template from countryliving.com/oct-templates. Use a copier to resize the image so it fits your pumpkin.
2. Cut out the stencil as directed on the template and center it on the pumpkin; affix with stencil adhesive ($6.99; stencilease.com).
3. Paint the beetle within the stencil using three coats of black flat acrylic craft paint ($1.39 for two oz.; createforless.com). Let the paint dry for 30 minutes and remove the stencil.
WOOD GRAIN 1. Mix a small amount of clear glaze ($1.84 for two oz.; createforless.com) with black flat acrylic craft paint.
2. Demos applied this knotty-wood design freehand, but swears even a novice can pull it off. Using a fine-tip brush and this photo as a guide, begin painting several irregular circles around the pumpkin, as shown, spacing them at varying heights.
3. To complete the pattern, fill the rest of the pumpkin's surface with curving lines. Let the paint dry for 30 minutes.
Moth Decal Pumpkins
The secret to these moth-adorned marvels? Weather-resistant vinyl decals ($1.50 for a three-inch moth, $3 for a six-inch moth; wgwalldecals.com). Show them to their best advantage against white pumpkins: Use a foam brush to cover each pumpkin with two coats of acrylic paint, allowing 30 minutes of drying time per coat, before applying decals.
Part cobweb, part creeping vine, the effect of black lace on painted pumpkins is thoroughly macabre. Begin by painting pumpkins (or faux Funkins, from $18; funkins.com); we opted for Farrow and Ball's Green Blue. Once they're dry, use our photo (left) as a guide to cut out pieces of lace; brush matte Mod Podge onto the back sides, and adhere to your pumpkins. Finish by sealing each with a topcoat of Mod Podge.
Which ideas is your favorite?
All images and instructions from Country Living