{seasonal style} Modern Peek-A-Boo Pumpkins

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Today I want to share the easy tutorial for one of the projects that you saw in my Halloween Home Tour last Friday - my modern peek-a-boo Jack O'Lantern pumpkins!

Modern Colorful Peek A Boo Pumpkins

If you've been out shopping recently, you've probably noticed that these craft carving pumpkins are sold just about everywhere - from your local craft stores, to Home Depot, to Walmart - but the prices vary widely. I originally looked at some white craft pumpkins at Michaels and Hobby Lobby, but I just couldn't justify the $25+ price tag. Then I got a call from my mom letting me know she had spotted these at Walmart for just $7 each. That was much more in my price range!

I already knew that I wanted to paint the inside of the pumpkins and leave the outside white, but first I needed to carve the pumpkin faces. I was planning to draw them by hand, but then I discovered a free font called Punkinhead and realized I could use it to make quick and easy stencils.

With the Punkinhead font, each letter is represented as a different Jack O'Lantern face. I selected a few of my favorites, then printed them out two to a page at a good size for the craft pumpkins.

To create stencils, I simply cut out the black faces using a pair of small, sharp tipped scissors.

I then traced one face on to each craft pumpkin.

To carve the craft pumpkins, I used the same set of knives/saws that I would use to carve a real pumpkin.

The craft pumpkins are made of a thick foam that is fairly easy to cut, but it makes a big mess. When I was done - there wasn't an inch of my kitchen table or floor that wasn't covered in bits of foam. After carving each face, I also cut out a rough circle from the bottom of each pumpkin in order to have easier access for painting the inside of the pumpkins.

I could have instead cut the top each pumpkin {the way you would with a real pumpkin} but I opted to cut a whole in the bottom in order to make it less visible. I have a plan to also use these same pumpkins in my Thanksgiving decor, so I thought they would look nicer this way.

The last step before painting was to sand down all of the rough edges. I used a torn piece of a brown paper bag {which acts like a fine grit sandpaper}. I couldn't get the edges completely smooth - but they were smooth enough for my purposes.

I then began painting the inside of each pumpkin. To match the colors of our living room - I painted the pumpkins orange, yellow, teal {two shades} and grey. I began by using a medium sized brush which fit well through the hole in the bottom of the pumpkins, and painted as much as I could access.

I then used a much smaller paint brush to reach through the eyes, nose and mouth to finish painting the inside of each pumpkin. I quickly discovered, however, that the handle on my brush wasn't long enough to allow me to reach to the far side of the pumpkins, so I used blue painters tape to attach a disposable wood skewer - creating a handle extension that did the trick.

In addition to painting the inside of each pumpkin, I also painted each carved edge. In the process, I accidentally got some of the paint on the front of the pumpkin, but a baby wet wipe easily wiped it away. The key is to wipe up any excess acrylic paint quickly before it begins to dry.

Once all of the pumpkins were painted, I lined them up on my entry table and stepped back to admire them.

Modern Colorful Peek A Boo Pumpkins

I originally wanted to light them on the inside with flameless {battery-operated} tea lights, but because the lights cast such a yellow/orange glow, they really messed with the two teal colored pumpkins, making them look a dirty brown. I am now on the look at for some white LED tea lights {and as of yet I'm not sure if such a thing exists}.

Modern Colorful Peek a Boo Pumpkins

But even without candles or lights inside, the colors of the pumpkins stand out and modern, bold statement! 

I can safely say that these pumpkins are my new favorites among all of my Halloween decor, and in a few weeks I'll working on another project to make these exact same pumpkins a part of my Thanskgiving decor. UPDATE: See how these pumpkins reverse for Thanksgiving.

Looking for even more seasonal inspiration?! You might be interested in these fall and Halloween projects:


  1. Very cute Angela! We are going to a pumpkin carving party this weekend and I might just bring a foam pumpkin- no "guts!" laura

    1. Thanks, Laura! The foam was easy to carve, but still messy! Foam flying everywhere...

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