Mixed Media Painting: Pumpkins with Panache

mixed-media painting
Close-up of lacy painted pumpkin
stencil outlined with gold pen.

cate pratoMy friend Ann and I have a running joke. Every year around Halloween or Thanksgiving she calls me and asks, "So, are you gilding pumpkins?"

This line refers to our tendencies to go to extremes and "Martha it up" when it comes to holiday decorating. We know it's ridiculous, but we can't help ourselves.

Well, I can't wait until she calls me this year. My gourds are going mixed media big-time, and those pumpkins are going to pop.

For inspiration, I asked Linda Blinn to suggest some mixed-media techniques using acrylic paint, stencils, collage, and other art ideas. Linda's great at combining everyday supplies with a high taste level to create a winning design. Even on a pumpkin.


  • Real or artificial pumpkins (Look for those with a smooth surface as it will be easier to stencil.)
  • Small stencils (Large ones are more difficult to bend around the contours of the pumpkin.)
  • Lace or crocheted doilies to use as stencils (These materials conform to the shape of the pumpkin easier than plastic stencils.)
  • Spray paint
  • Gesso
  • Gold foil pen (This is optional and can be used to define the edges of the stencil design.)
  • Foil and foil glue
  • Circle stencil or template
  • Push pins and/or double-sided tape

Directions for stenciling with a doily or lace

mixed media painting pumpkins
Linda's gorgeous gourds: mixed-media painting on pumpkins, using stencils.

1. Paint the surface of the pumpkin.

2. Secure lace or doily to the pumpkin with push pins or double-sided tape.

3. Hold spray can at least 10 inches away and spray lightly over the lace or doily.  Working in small sections at a time, repeat until you get the desired effect.

4. To add foil dots,  apply foil glue through a circle stencil. When dry, apply foil, color side up.

Linda has truly inspired me to turn my pumpkins into works of mixed-media art. I like the vintage lace stenciling look, but maybe you prefer something more graffiti-like or modern?

Linda shares all her techniques for using stencils to add layers, texture, and focal points to your art in her Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop video Make it Graphic: Stencils, Silhouettes, & More. You can download it now and start decorating pumpkins that will really pop.

P.S. Have you ever given your pumpkins the mixed-media art treatment? Tell me about it in the comments section below, or upload a picture to our Facebook page.




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