These DIY Chinoiserie Pumpkins Are A Stylish Take On Jack-O’-Lanterns
Features editor Wendy Jacob shares how to paint porcelain-inspired pumpkins.
After noticing the rise of pretty chinoiserie-inspired pumpkins that look more like ginger jars than jack-o’-lanterns, I thought why not swap scary for chic, using a blue and white porcelain motif. The designs are fluid, so even if you’re not used to painting, you can draw the designs with a blue marker and add the paint later. The trick is to buy a paint brush with a really fine tip for the detail, so the design looks authentically painterly. Find my step-by-step instructions to create these DIY: Chinoiserie Pumpkins below.
You’ll need real or craft pumpkins in cream (if these are tough to find, spray paint an orange one), two permanent markers (medium blue and a turquoise version), a fine paintbrush, craft paint in medium blue and darker indigo (indoor/outdoor is preferable if you plan to leave them outside).
Find a pattern — if you’re stuck, search chinoiserie pumpkins on Pinterest or Google Images and prepare to be wowed. Online images of wallpaper and fabric designs are a good source, as well as actual vases.
Editor’s Tip: Print off images and circle the elements you want to recreate.
Buy a cream-colored craft or real pumpkin, or spray paint an orange one (spray painting it gives a consistent finish with some grip so it’s easier to paint). The craft versions are lighter so they are easier to handle when painting, and they can be reused.
Editor’s Tip: This painting technique takes a little getting used to. I drew the design out on paper first to see the scale and practiced going over the lines with a paintbrush.
Sketch the design in pencil on the pumpkin, then go over the lines with the markers. I used the medium blue to outline the silhouettes and the turquoise marker to shade and add detail.
Paint a thin line outside the marker lines with the indigo blue: I used the lighter blue of the marker and medium blue paint to fill in some areas, which gives the drawing more dimension and makes it look painterly.
Editor’s Tip: Once the paint dries, you can spray the finished pumpkins with a coat of Varathane so the finish withstands the elements better.