Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pretty Fantastic Pumpkin

I work long hours. Monday through Thursday I am at work from 8 am to 7 pm, supposing I leave as soon as the day is finished (which I never do). Therefore, when it comes time for holiday decorating, I have this urge to decorate MY OFFICE. Forget the house... that's just the place I sleep. As I think of decorations, no holiday would be complete without a pumpkin. I enjoy the idea of a carved pumpkin, but I really don't want the bugs and smell that comes with that. I came across a picture of a pumpkin with rhinestones on Better Homes and Gardens and thought it was perfect. The only problem? Rhinestones can be expensive! On top of that, you pay 5-6 dollars for each pack of rhinestones that will be thrown away. I don't know about you, but that hurts my heart (and my pocketbook) a little! That's where I come in. Can I do it cheaper? Can I make it look just as good? Challenge: Accepted.


One perfect or imperfect pumpkin. (I love, love, love pumpkins of all colors, shapes, and sizes. For me to pick just one? TORTURE.)

T-Shirt Paint. Tulip is probably one of the most popular brands, but any paint will do. The reason I used T-Shirt paint is because of the handy little nozzle that is perfect for making the little paint beads. I really loved the idea of using the glow in the dark paint, but instead chose a larger bottle of glossy black paint to most closely imitate the rhinestones. And can you guess where I bought it? Hobby Lobby!

And now, the fun part! Swirl 'till your heart's content! Initially, I used a yellow highlighter to put a pattern on the pumpkin so that I knew exactly where to dot. It was easy to see in the light but invisible as soon as the light wasn't directly hitting it. After the initial swirls, I did the rest free hand. I've had lots of practice... Just check out all my notes from Music Lit sophomore year of college. "Bach, blah blah blah. SWIRL. Vivaldi. Seasons. Listened. Try not to dance. SWIRL. Teacher, funny. SWIRL. Test next week... on WHAT? We haven't done anything! SWIRL." Surprisingly, I got an A. I digress, yet again! I began with major swirls all over the pumpkin, then finished with smaller swirls branching off from the major swirls.

In this picture, you can see the original swirl that you see above and how other swirls came off of it later.

Another side of the same pumpkin.

 Oh, pumpkin... I do love you!

Pumpkin: $4.00 at the grocery store
Paint: $3.95 - (20% off coupon) = $3.16 (And a TON of paint left over.)
Total price: $7.16

Time: around 30 minutes. Not counting hand cramps. No, not joking. 

I approve! Because of the fine motor dexterity needed, it's probably most appropriate for upper elementary and up.

Now, here's the other catch. I put the pumpkin on my floorboard's rubber mats to take it to work and drove like normal. (Read: I drove like a mad woman in rush hour traffic.) When I got there, there were dots EVERYWHERE. In the seat, on the floor, on the other side of the car... EVERYWHERE. Well, everywhere but the pumpkin. I didn't even bother taking it out once I got to the office. I brought it home and got to start all over! Why is this good? Because this is a project that is IMPOSSIBLE to screw up. In fact, there were quite a few swirls I didn't like so I popped them off and fixed it. Does it get much better than that?

YES. It does! I didn't upload a picture of this so you'll have to use your imagination. I took a smaller pumpkin and did our family's monogram and, you guessed it, SWIRLS. I think it looks pretty awesome. If I had more pumpkins, I might just spell out our entire last name. How's that for cheap decorating?

Okay, your turn! What will you do? Spider webs? Ghosts? Witch hats? Pop off the Halloween dots and paint leaves in red and brown?

Happy crafting, my dear friends!

lindsey daniella


  1. I love your blog!!! I mean love with a my husband is gonna ground me from craft stores kinda love. You also gave me a sudden urger to go to garage sales.

  2. I love your "About Me" section, and I love your posts so far! This pumpkin is so adorable! I can't wait to see more from you :)

  3. Love your blog! How do I find you on Pinterest?

  4. I think this is a great new technique for a sad day. These flowers made me smile so I reposed them on my blog=)

  5. What a beautiful idea!

  6. So, my friend and I tried this crayon project today with a hair dryer. We used smaller, square canvas and worked from the corner instead of from a flat side. I am happy to report it was quite fun! The hair dryer, though...I think we can do better. It really manipulated the direction of the wax and made it look far less natural than the picture. Also, we did some different blues, yellows and pinks for a "sky" affect. I think with practice, and trial and error, this could really become many lovely projects!! Thanks for sharing!