Painted Pumpkins with Glittered Stems

It’s fall y’all! The sweaters are on, the air conditioning is off, and I’m five sips deep in a pumpkin latte. This felt like the shortest on record around here (NOT THAT YOU WILL HEAR ME COMPLAINING) so I’m transitioning to cold weather a little slower than usual. Instead of traditional autumnal shades of red and rust and gold, I’m thinking navy and magenta and avocado.

Still keeping gold, though, Everything goes better with gold. And glitter. Obviously.
Normally I keep pumpkins for carving, but you know what? A carved pumpkin has a lifespan of about 15 minutes before a squirel comes and makes a FEMA house out of it. You know how long a painted pumpkin will last? A month. At least. I’m guessing more like two. Guess we’re gonna find out.


Pumpkins (real or fake)
Craft paint (I’m partial to Martha Stewart brand – I’ll explain why below)
Tacky glue


1. Paint the pumpkin, including the base of the stem.
2. Let pumpkin dry.
3. Apply a thick layer of tacky glue to the stem and sprinkle with glitter.
4. After it’s dry 100%, use a dry sponge to wipe away extra glitter.
5. Be awesome like that.

That’s it. Easy peasy. An afternoon of fun and you’ll be spangled up September through Christmas Tree season.

Tips and Tricks
There are oodles of excellent acrylic craft paints on the market, and I have tried most of them, but for this particular project I strongly recommend the Martha line from Plaid (satin finish) because it covers in a thick and even layer, almost like house paint. You’ll see awesome coverage in two thin coats, or one carefully applied thick coat. It dries to a smooth, almost plastic-like satin finish, which is important because if you are using a real pumpkin, it is going to attract and release a certain amount of moisture, which will cause bubbles/cracking on many kids of acrylic paint. When you use the Martha brand, it acts as a paint and as a sealer, which will lengthen the life of your pumpkin.
You can purchase outdoor safe mod podge if you want to keep your pumpkins outdoors and in the elements. My pumpkins will be outside, but shielded by a porch roof, so I’m not that worried. But it’s worth looking into if you are concerned.
Regular white glue will likely drip down the stem as it dries, so I suggest you go for the real thing. Tacky glue. Tacky glue Tacky glue. This stuff is awesome. I literally have a tacky glue drawer in my house –it is the best!
My favorite glitter trick is to mix two different colors (I go into this a bit more with my disco giraffe). This particular combo is my favorite — I call it Liberace Sparkle! It’s equal parts fine gold glitter and a larger pink glitter. You would think the larger pink would dominate, but it’s just the opposite — the gold coats the pink, but the pink provides a sort of depth and texture you don’t get from just the gold alone. It’s very 70’s. Very Liberace. Me loves it!
This post is brought to you courtesy of Michael’s craft stores. Check out their selection of online goodies, and some of the other crafts made by the other Michael’s Makers.

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  1. says

    I am DYING over these colors! I’m so going out and buying all the supplies for this so I can do it in my basement mantle area. So cool! Also thanks for the awesome glitter tip! I just made a whole pinterest board dedicated to glitter because of you!

  2. says

    Just the prettiest, Peaches!!! You have a tacky glue drawer. Of course you do.

    • says

      Next time you are in Chicago, you gotta come over and play with it. I got glue for days!

  3. Anonymous says

    So pretty! And festive!


  4. Deb in Oklahoma says

    Ooh, gotta love any project that requires tacky glue. And glitter. It’s a fun combination with the potential for mess Every. Where.

    There are artificial pumpkins now that are made for carving. They’re made of some kind of foam. I wonder if those would work, and then could be used for more than one year. But that may be more hassle than it’s worth, too, to store them for 10 months. I may have to investigate this and report back.

    • says

      Yes! Those foam pumpkins are great. Actually, I saw some big white ones 40% off at Michael’s last weekend. But the stems are on the short side, so I kept it to the real things so there’d be more room to show off the glitter. If I could find long-stemmed foam pumpkins, I’d be all over it!

    • says

      “transplant” a stem from a pumpkin or other gourd (maybe one you are cutting up for culinary use?) or a similarly sized twig?

  5. says

    Brilliant tip on mixing the glitter colors! I’ve seen Christmas decorations get into these crazy colors, but never fall decorations, and I love it. Pinning.

    • says

      Yeah, why can’t fall be bright colors too? I like the idea of traditional shapes in non-traditional colors (leaves? feathers? purple turkeys – why not?) And glitter just neutralizes everything to state of “ample festiveness” so that works by me!

  6. Anonymous says

    This is more like it Aunt Peaches!

  7. Koliti says

    I just think it’s dangerous to have the laser beam go into the cat’s eye! Those lasers can be dangerous! Just sayin’.

  8. says

    haha you had me at “It’s fall y’all” what a great idea!

  9. says

    Love these! I want some color with my fall décor this season and this will be how I get it. Thank you for the inspiration Peaches!!!

  10. says

    I think your pumpkins are fabulous! I can’t stop looking at them! Love the colours and glitter!

  11. Anonymous says

    Ok…I am NOT the craft person AT all. But I happen to come on this site on FB and saw your pumpkins. Are you kidding me? They are friggin awesome!! I actually think even I can do this and it’s the first time I want to try something!!!! I can’t wait! Going to the craft store tomorrow. The products are at the craft store, right? Michaels or Hobby Lobby? CJ

    • says

      If you want real pumpkins you can find them at the grocery store — but they have plenty of foam pumpkins and glitter and glue at Michaels. I haven’t set foot in Hobby Lobby in years, so I definitely recommend Michael’s.

  12. Sappy says

    The colors are pretty catchy. I like this project.


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