Although Halloween is still a few weeks away, and it is still technically summer, I thought I would get a jump start on fall season decor with this project. Originally I intended to use real pumpkins and gourds, but at the time of this writing my pumpkins are still not ready for picking. Instead I checked out the Dollar Store, Michael’s and finally scored some medium sized ones at Target. These plastic veggies are about 8”-10” tall-anything smaller would be hard to stencil. Of course, you can use the real deal too!
Plastic, foam or real pumpkins and gourds, medium or large size
Ironlak Sugar Professional Acrylic Spray Paints (Matte) in Licorice, Fads (Gray White), Cordial (Lime), Brain Freeze (Violet), and Giggles (dark blue)
Andrew Borloz May 2018 StencilClub
Pam Carriker November 2018 StencilClub
Nancy Curry October 2018 StencilClub
Carolyn Dube Alphabet L261
Cynthia Silveri April 2018 StencilClub and Birches L640
Carol Wiebe September 2018 StencilClub.
Paint or glitter pens such as Marvy Uchida’s DecoColor Premium or Just Glitter
Clear acrylic spray such as Krylon
1. Gather supplies to work in a well ventilated area or preferably outdoors. Although Ironlak Sugar is a low odor aerosol made from sugar cane, it is still has odor. Work with a mask if you are at all sensitive to smells. Protect surfaces from overspray by using a box “booth” and newspapers or cardboard.
2. Give the gourds a base spray coat. I used both Licorice and Fads. Spray lightly and do multiple thin coats, allowing for the paint to dry between each. It doesn’t take long to dry if you keep the spray in thin translucent coats. It also helps to work on more than one gourd at a time. Don’t worry if you have not covered very last bit of the color or pattern on the gourds or pumpkins because it adds to the look and most of it will end up covered during the stenciling work.
3. Begin applying the stencils. The easiest way to do this on a rounded object is to hold it in place while spraying. As you might have guessed, it is not as easy as it sounds! Never fear, you can always spray paint over anything you don’t like. Just be sure not to let the paint get too thick or it will come off when you are moving the object around. Try to hold the stencil as close to the surface as possible while spraying to get a crisp image. I had some areas turn out really crisp and clear, and other areas did not, but overall I like the effect.
4. Keep turning the pumpkins and gourds as you go to get good coverage all the way around. I used several different stencils for each one including some words from Nancy Curry’s Stencil Club set and spelled out the word “boo” from one of Carolyn Dube’s alphabets.
5. Once you have all of the veggies stenciled to your satisfaction, let them dry completely. Now you can add marks, or other designs or words with paint pens and glitter pens. You could even add glitter with gel medium. DO NOT try embossing on plastic, it is both toxic to breathe and causes the plastic to blister. Once you have done this step, feel free to spray again with acrylic sealer to add shine to the pumpkins and gourds, or leave as is, which is a matte finish.
6. After the sealer is dry, add embellishments such as cobwebs, spiders and mini lights (I found these at the Dollar Store!). Turn down the lights and enjoy...happy fall and happy Halloween!