Tips and Tricks

Make DIY Craft Pumpkins for All Season Long

What to do with pumpkins once Halloween passes? Lots of things. This easy DIY fall decor project will keep your tabletop looking festive throughout the season.

diypumpkin-article-images-1Photo by Cary Norton/Styling by Malinda Nichols


  • Medium-to-large pumpkins (Small pumpkins are too dense and do not carve well.)
  • Serrated knife for cutting bottom hole
  • Spade bits in various sizes
  • Spray primer
  • Spray paint in metallic colors (we used Rustoleum Rose Gold and Champagne Mist)
  • Vaseline
  • Spray bottle with bleach-water solution

diypumpkin-article-images-4Photo by Cary Norton/Styling by Malinda Nichols


  • Soak pumpkin in cold water for 4-6 hours before carving to let it soak in as much moisture as possible. The two greatest pumpkin enemies are dehydration and mold, and this will combat the first.
  • Cut a large hole in the bottom on the pumpkin and remove insides. Scoop out the innards into your InSinkErator® – it can even handle the seeds.

diypumpkin-article-image-7Photo by Cary Norton/Styling by Malinda Nichols


  • Using various sizes of Spade Bits drill holes into pumpkin. Wait until the bit has completely stopped spinning before moving to the next hole. When drilling pattern into pumpkin, it’s important to keep in mind that the candle will need ample oxygen to stay lit, so don’t hold back on using the large diameter bits and drilling lots of holes!
  • Wipe down pumpkin with a damp cloth to ensure a smooth surface for paint application; let it dry completely.
  • Apply a thin coat of spray primer to the pumpkin and let it dry completely. Note that you will want to paint in sections; it’s best to lay the pumpkin on its side and paint the bottom, let it dry completely, and then stand it up to paint the sides and top. Another tip: if you’re painting outside when the humidity is high, it’s inevitable that moisture will form on the surface of the pumpkin and the primer will not adhere very well, resulting in a sticky pumpkin that will lose chunks of paint when it’s touched. It’s best to paint inside in a well-ventilated area if you live in a high-humidity climate.
  • Apply one or two thin coats of metallic spray paint and let it dry completely.
  • Once the paint has dried, apply a little bit of Vaseline to the cut parts of the pumpkin to lock in moisture.
  • Spray the inside of the pumpkin once a day with a bleach-water solution to keep mold at bay.

Note: Follow all safety procedures suggested by manufacturer when operating drill and painting.

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