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From Spooky to Sweet: 10 Easy-to-Paint Pumpkin Faces — No Carving Required!

All it takes is a little paint and a few craft-store staples to take pumpkins from simple to striking!


This year, make the whole process of Halloween pumpkin decorating frightfully fast (and fun!) by skipping the carving and painting the gourds instead! From glow-in-the-dark Jack-o’-lanterns to spooky spiders and enchanting unicorns, we rounded up our favorite painted pumpkin faces that are sure to make your front porch the talk of the block. Simply gather your paints and brushes, pick the perfect pumpkins using our expert tips below, then read on for the easy how-to’s.

How to pick the perfect gourds for your pumpkin faces

When it comes to choosing the freshest pumpkin, the brighter its hue, the better, says carving champion Jen McDonald ( “Avoid picking pumpkins with pale, dried stems, which signal they’re past their prime, and look for ones with a deeper orange color and a bright-green stem.”

Also smart: Look for round, smooth specimens which makes a nice, even surface for painting pumpkin faces. To ensure the gourd is ripe, tap it and listen for a deep, hollow sound. Once you get the pumpkins home, wipe them down with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt or residue.

Tip: Want a pumpkin that will last year after year? Simply pick up a few faux pumpkins from the craft store or online (Buy from Amazon, $6.97) and paint as desired. Then, once your designs are dried, coat the whole pumpkin in a layer of decoupage paste (Buy from Amazon, $6.98), which will seal the paint and prevent it from peeling or chipping.

Pumpkin faces idea #1: Glow-in-the-dark pumpkins

Three pumpkin faces painted with glow-in-the-dark green spray paint.
Debbie Chapman of


  • White pumpkins
  • Glow-in-the-dark spray paint
  • Removable adhesive vinyl (Buy from Amazon, $4.79)

All it takes is a little glow-in-the-dark spray paint and removable adhesive vinyl to turn your gourds into glowing jack-o’-lanterns, like these ones crafted by Debbie Chapman, founder of DIY blog Line them up along a walkway or steps leading up to your porch to add eerie ambiance and light the way for trick-or-treaters! To do: For each, cut jack-o’-lantern eyes and a nose and mouth shape from adhesive vinyl in any color. Next, remove backing from shapes and press onto a pumpkin to form a face, smoothing the vinyl down to ensure all edges are adhered to pumpkin. Next, apply two coats of glow-in-the-dark spray paint all over pumpkin, let dry, then peel off vinyl shapes.

Pumpkin faces idea #2: Glow-in-the-dark puffy paint sugar skulls

Pumpkin faces painted to look like sugar skulls using glow in the dark puffy paint
Samantha Sarles of


Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life filled with colorful décor like sugar skulls, which are skulls made of sugar that are artfully decorated with brightly colored icing. For a fun twist, try creating the gorgeous swirled skull designs on a pumpkin using glow-in-the-dark puffy paint — like these made by Samantha Sarles of DIY blog — which resembles the textural icing on a sugar skull. The paint is activated by the sun’s ultraviolet rays, so display these pretties outside during the day and they’ll light up the night! To do: Choose your sugar skull design (find ideas here), then sketch the design onto the pumpkin with pencil. To finish, trace the lines using various colors of the glow-in-the-dark puffy paint, then let dry.

Pumpkin faces idea #3: Too-cute cats

Pumpkin faces painted to look like black cats
Paul Johnson


  • Pumpkins
  • Black spray paint
  • Wooden skewers
  • Black and white cardstock
  • Yellow felt
  • Raffia
  • Hot glue gun + hot glue sticks

Pumpkins go from plain to tongue-in-cheek chic when they’re “dressed” in black-cat costumes made from a little paint, paper and raffia. To do: Apply two coats of black spray paint to a pumpkin; let dry. Cut out triangle “ear” shapes from black paper. Hot-glue a wooden skewer onto the back of each paper ear and insert it into the top of the pumpkin. Cut two white paper cat eye and two black circle eyeball shapes; glue together to form a pair of cat eyes, then hot-glue to pumpkin. Gather a few 10-inch long stands of raffia and pinch strands together at the center; hot-glue to pumpkin to form whiskers. Snip a curved triangle nose from felt glue to center of whiskers.

Pumpkin faces idea #4: Spa-day darling

Pumpkin face painted and decorated to look like woman at the spa.


  • Pumpkin
  • Pink craft paint
  • Black permanent marker
  • Tea towel
  • A pair of undereye mask patches (Buy from Amazon, $5.17)
  • Hot glue gun + hot glue sticks
  • Fresh or faux pink roses

Aah — just looking at this spa-day inspired pumpkin brings on feelings of relaxation! Even better? Apply the mask patches to your own undereyes and wear them while you paint your pumpkin for a relaxing and beautifying experience, then glue them to your pumpkin once she’s dry. To do: Use a pencil to draw a large circle on one side of a pumpkin (this will be the face mask circle), then draw a figure-8 shape above a small half circle inside of circle (this will be the mouth). Use a paintbrush dipped in pink craft paint to paint the inside of the circle, leaving the figure-8 and half circle unpainted; let dry. Use black permanent marker to draw a smile shape inside the half circle and two closed eyes inside the figure-8, then draw eyelash-like dashes onto eyes. To finish, hot-glue undereye mask patches below eyes, then wrap a tea towel around the top of pumpkin and tie into a knot at the top. Tuck faux or fresh roses into towel to finish.

Pumpkin faces idea #5: Bewitching bat

Pumpkin face painted and decorated to look like a bat with wings


  • Small pumpkin
  • Purple spray paint
  • Pink craft paint
  • Foam paint brush
  • Purple, black, yellow and white cardstock
  • Wooden skewers
  • Black cording
  • Black craft feather boa
  • Hot glue gun + hot glue sticks

Loved ones and passersby will go batty at the sight of this adorable gourd! To do: Remove stem from pumpkin, then apply two coats of purple spray paint; let dry. Use foam brush dipped in pink craft paint to dab two flushed cheek-like circles on pumpkin; let dry. Cut out triangle bat ear shapes from purple paper and large bat wing shapes from black paper. Hot-glue a wooden skewer onto the back of each paper ear and insert it into the top of the pumpkin, then hot-glue a wooden skewer to each paper wing and insert it into the sides of the pumpkin. Cut two medium circles from yellow paper and two smaller circles from black paper; glue circles together to form a pair of bat eyes, then hot-glue eyes to pumpkin. Tie a knot at each end of a 6” length of cording; hot-glue to pumpkin to form a mouth. Snip two small triangular shapes from white paper; glue underneath mouth to form fangs. Hot-glue a 6” length of feather boa to top of pumpkin to finish.

Pumpkin faces idea #6: Spooky spider

Pumpkin decorated to look like a spider with paper eyes and pipe cleaner legs


  • Pumpkin
  • Black spray paint
  • Yellow, white, purple and red cardstock
  • 8 black pipe cleaners
  • Black craft feather boa
  • Orange sparkly ribbon
  • Hot glue gun + hot glue sticks

This ribbon-topped crawler is creepy and so cute! To do: Apply two coats of black spray paint to pumpkin; let dry. For each eye, snip 2 larger circles from yellow and white paper and two small circles from purple and red paper; hot-glue large circles together, then hot-glue small circles on top to form eyes, as shown; glue to pumpkin. Bend 8 pipe cleaners into spider leg shapes, then glue 4 to each side of the pumpkin. Hot-glue a 6” length of feather boa to top of pumpkin; tie a length of ribbon into a bow and glue to boa to finish. (Complete your Halloween front porch display with these festive Halloween door ideas!)

Pumpkin faces idea #7: So-sweet unicorn

White pumpkin face decorated to look like a unicorn with sparkly gold foam horn and foam ears
Debbie Chapman of


  • White pumpkin
  • Pink craft paint
  • White, pink, black and sparkly gold craft foam sheets
  • Wooden skewers
  • Faux flowers
  • Hot glue gun + hot glue sticks

Take your porch from simple to enchanting with an easy-made unicorn pumpkin, like this one designed by Chapman. To do: For the closed eyes, use a pencil to draw two small half-moon shapes with dash-like eyelashes onto black craft foam; cut out and glue to pumpkin. Use paintbrush dipped in pink craft paint to dab two flushed cheek-like circles on pumpkin; let dry. Cut two larger white and two smaller pink triangular ear shapes from foam sheets; hot-glue together to form a set of ears. Hot-glue a wooden skewer onto the back of each ear and insert it into the top of the pumpkin. Roll an 8” square of gold foam into a cone shape; hot-glue edges to secure shape, then glue cone horn to top center of pumpkin. To finish, snip faux flowerheads from their stems and glue in a circle around base of horn.

Pumpkin faces idea #8: Eek-chic vampire

Vampire pumpkin made by stacking ne small pumpkin stacked atop a larger pumpkin and adding vampire details


  • 1 large and 1 small pumpkin
  • Light-blue and black craft paint
  • Googly eyes
  • Black pipe cleaner
  • White cardstock
  • 9″x12″ piece of red craft felt
  • Black polka-dot ribbon
  • 2 bat accents from the craft store
  • Hot-glue gun + hot glue sticks

It’s easy to scare up smiles with an adorable vampire made from two stacked pumpkins! To do: Brush small pumpkin with two coats of light-blue craft paint; let dry. Next, use paintbrush dipped in black craft paint to create a widow’s peak shape onto top of pumpkin, covering stem, as shown; let dry. Remove larger pumpkin’s stem; hot glue small pumpkin to top of larger pumpkin. Glue two googly eyes, a 4″ black pipe cleaner mouth and two triangular fangs snipped from white cardstock to small pumpkin. For cape, at center of long side red felt, cut a 6″ slit. With slit up, at center back, wrap felt around “neck”; then hot-glue to secure. Hot-glue a black ribbon bow to cape and bats to larger pumpkin, as shown.

Pumpkin faces idea #9: Whimsically witchy frog

Pumpkin decorated with green paint and foam details to look like a frog


  • Pumpkin
  • Green spray paint
  • Red and dark, medium and light green craft foam sheets
  • Black and white craft paint
  • Wooden skewers
  • Small witch hat (Buy from Amazon, $13.49)
  • Faux mum
  • Rust-hued ribbon
  • Hot-glue gun + hot-glue sticks

A friendly frog gets a festive Halloween makeover when dressed up with a floral-kissed witch hat made from a little craft-store felt and ribbon. To do: Apply two coats of green spray paint to pumpkin; let dry. Cut out two round eyes, two rounded leg shapes and two pointed feet shape from green craft foam. Hot-glue a wooden skewer onto the back of eyes and legs, then insert eyes into top of pumpkin and legs into sides of pumpkin; hot-glue feet to bottom of pumpkin. Paint a white “U” shape onto pumpkin to form a belly, then paint a smaller black “U” shape on top, as shown; let dry. Paint bottom half of green eyes white, then paint black pupil shapes on top of white area. Snip a 3” long rounded tongue shape from red craft foam; hot-glue to black part of mouth. Use a hole punch to punch out discs from light and dark green foam; hot-glue to legs and cheeks of frog. Hot-glue ribbon around small hat near brim, then hot-glue on the faux mum. Hot-glue hat to top of frog to finish.

Pumpkin faces idea #10: Emoji Jacks

Pumpkins painted yellow and decorated with foam features to look like emojis
Dawn Lopez, founder of


  • Pumpkins
  • Yellow spray paint
  • Black and red craft foam sheets
  • Hot glue gun + hot glue sticks

Express yourself this Halloween with a few emoji-inspired pumpkins, like these ones made by Dawn Lopez, founder of the DIY blog “There are so many fun emoji faces you can choose from to make this Halloween DIY your very own,” she says. To do: For each, apply two coats of yellow spray paint all over pumpkin; let dry. Trace emoji face details, like winking eyes, heart eyes and smiles from red and black craft foam, then hot-glue the shapes onto the pumpkins to finish.

Looking for more DIY Halloween decorating ideas? Click through these stories:

14 Fast, Easy and Delicious Halloween Cakes Sure To Scare Up Smiles

Halloween Centerpiece Ideas: 12 Frightfully Fun + Inexpensive DIY Displays

Halloween Movie Night Ideas: Party Pro Shares Festive Sips, Snacks and Flicks

Pumpkin Carving Masters Share Their Best Tips To Save You Time, Money And Hassle

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