Try out a new craft this Halloween: DIY paint dripping pumpkins

By Sarah Fischer

Halloween is just around the corner and we’ve all got a case of spooky fever. That means visiting haunted houses, going above and beyond on decorating and most of all, pumpkin carving. It’s a tradition nearly everyone participates in this time of year but this time, why not try something new?


Paint dripping pumpkins is a new fad seen in the last few years, and it’s a great project for families who want to step away from tradition and start new ones of their own. It’s a messy craft, but no worse than carving pumpkins, and since you’re not cutting into them they will last much longer.


Here’s what you need to get started:


Sarah Fischer/Northern Star


Pumpkins of any shape or size

Paint that drips well

Plenty of newspaper or thick poster board

Wet wipes

[optional: glossy top coat]


First, lay out your newspaper on a flat surface. A thick poster board can be a good alternative because the paint can soak through the paper easily, but I used a lot of newspaper and my table was fine. The pumpkins were purchased at Walmart from $1.50 to $3.50 depending on size, but typically all grocery stores run sales on their pumpkins during this season.


Set the pumpkins on the newspaper and start to slowly drip the paint onto the pumpkins. I used Folk Art Milk Paint from Michael’s. I like this paint because it runs nicely and dries fast, however it’s one of the more expensive paints at $7.99 per bottle. If you visit Michael’s website, they usually have coupons available to use in-store.

Sarah Fischer/Northern Star


Tilt the pumpkins to let the paint drip down. This gets messy but the paint washes off of your hands easily in water or with wet wipes so if you can, keep those handy. Alternate between letting the paint drip down and pouring new layers. If you have several colors, they can mix together easily if you pour too much of each color. Even though it’s a slower process, try to pour a little at a time and let it drip.

Sarah Fischer/Northern Star


Keep pouring layers of paint and tilting the pumpkin different ways so it drips all the way down. You can create different patterns depending on which directions you tilt.

Sarah Fischer/Northern Star


After you finish the desired pattern on your pumpkin, let the paint sit for a few hours or overnight to be sure it’s dry. The paint will dry with a matte finish, which is what I wanted for my patterns, If you prefer a glossy finish, I recommend getting a clear top coat gloss paint to use when the colored paint has dried. The paint may start to crack when it dries, but that could be from too much paint poured into one spot.


Another great tip is to use large foam cutouts and make shapes to pour the paint around. Make sure these cutouts are strong or the paint won’t drip around them properly, but the end result can turn out looking great!