How to Paint your own Pumpkin Pillows for Fall Decorating

A tutorial for painting pumpkins on pillow covers

painted pumpkin

Y'all, it's about to start looking a lot like fall around here!

Inside the house that is...outside, it's still in the 90's!

Now, I know some of you aren't ready for fall yet...and that's ok. But I want to share my tutorials with you EARLY in the season so that you can start thinking about what you want to make for your home...and be prepared!

Fall is my very favorite season, and last year I didn't get to do much decorating because while we had moved to Texas, we hadn't found a house yet. We were living at the beach.

Trust me, I'm not was a wonderful introduction to the state of Texas! Nothing like walking on the beach twice a day to clear your head and gain some perspective!

Creativity cannot be contained, and I found ways to add some fall to the beach, with painted pumpkin seashells, a beach glass pumpkin and rope pedestal bowl...but this year, I could not wait to open my bins of fall decor and start decorating our home!

I realized that I had never published this painted pillow tutorial on my blog. You might have seen it a couple years ago at Ella Claire blog where I was guest hosting. But it's time to share it with you!

Pumpkins pillows have been hot for a few years now! Gorgeous pillows like this one and this one and this one had me drooling...but did you get a look at those price tags?

I decided to save myself $100 or so and paint my own pumpkin pillow covers!

I would not call myself a talented painter! I'm much better at decorating 😏...but I promise you that these pillows are not overly difficult to paint. If I can do it, you can too!

Let me show you how!

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First, decide on the look that you want your pumpkins to have. If you want them bright and traditional, you will probably want to use the paints straight out of the bottle.

I wanted my pumpkins to have a softer, muted heirloom pumpkins, so I mixed several oranges and whites together to get a lighter orange.

mixing paint

Lay out your pillow cover with a piece of cardboard between the layers to protect the bottom from paint.

Step 1:

Load a brush with paint and paint a big C on the left and then a backwards C on the right to get the basic pumpkin shape. (Don't worry if you goof up...see that spot of dark paint in the center of my pumpkin? It will be covered up!)

Step 2:

Paint two more C's on each side. These will be the segments.

step by step tutorial for painted pumpkin pillows

Step 3:

Start filling in the segments with paint. Paint them one at a time using a large flat brush. Don't be afraid to mix different colors of paint. You can see that I used some darker orange for contrast. Don't overthink this step! You essentially want to paint highlights (darker colors) and low lights (lighter colors) to define the segments...but really there is no wrong way to paint your pumpkin!

Step 4:

Add definition. While I used a dark brown to define the segments, I didn't carry the line from top to bottom but blended it with other colors for a more natural look!

add dimension

If you hate it, just paint over it! Make sure to clean your brush out with water before changing colors.

Important tip: do not drink the paint water! I might have accidentally grabbed the glass of paint water rather than my drinking water...and it was awful!

Once you're happy with your pumpkin, add a stem outline. Make it short and stumpy or tall and bendy...remember YOU are the creator! Paint it however you want it to look! There is no right or wrong here!

paint the stem

Fill in the stem with details, adding some highlights and low lights just to add dimension and character!

Can you see in this picture below how the segments appear to lift from the fabric? They look multi-dimensional...and it's all just an optical illusion created with paint!

add dimension to stem

If you want to get crazy, grab a tiny detail brush and paint a few tendrils to complete your painted pumpkin!

paint tendrils

Give the painted pumpkins a chance to dry and then add your pillow insert!

Note: If you used fabric medium, follow the directions on the bottle to heat set the paint and make it suitable for washing!

I have been using these pillows for two years and they still make me smile every time I pull them out!

painted pumpkin pillows

painted pumpkin pillows

The  muted colors of these painted pillows work well with the grays and neutrals in my home. They don't clash like bright orange would.

painted pillow

painted pumpkins

painted pumpkin pillows

Please feel free to PIN this image for future reference.

how to paint pumpkin pillows
If you have absolutely no confidence in your painting abilities (it's okay, no shame!), I did source a few affordable pumpkin pillow covers to get a similar look without the huge price tag!

affordable pumpkin pillows
From top:

I would love to know if you try this tutorial at home! Please let me know in the comments. Painting your own pumpkin pillow covers is a great way to save money and add a unique touch to your fall decor!

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This blog's content is for entertainment purposes only and is not professional advice. By reading this blog and attempting to recreate any content shared on it, you assume all responsibility for any injuries or damages incurred. Read my full disclaimer here.

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  1. I'll be pinning this one Cindy. Fall is my absolutely favorite time of the year.

    1. Aw thank you sweet Mary! I hope you try this painting project!

  2. These are fantastic, Cindy! I love them! Your detailed instructions are super helpful. I hope I get a chance to try painting these myself. Thanks, friend!

    1. Thank you sweet lady! I struggled with writing the post bc it's so hard to describe in words! I'm so glad you found it helpful, and I hope you get the chance to try the painted pumpkins!

  3. This is a great project! I pinned it and hope to get the supplies soon. What type of paint do you recommend?

    1. Hey Kim, I used acrylics like I show in the tutorial. Have fun!


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