No-carve floral stenciled pumpkins: a cute fall craft for gourds big and small

Stenciled pumpkins are a fun alternative to carving, be that for a fall mantel or for your Halloween display! Simple to do and cheap to make.

stenciled pumpkins on porch
(Image credit: Dori Turner)

Looking for a fun way to jazz up your pumpkin display this year? Try my no-carve way of stenciling pumpkins for a super easy and fun (not to mention inexpensive) craft that all the family can get involved with.

A little paint and a fun stencil design can add a ton of impact to any fall decor you already have on display, to help your home stand out in a unique and beautiful way all season. 

How to make no-carve floral stenciled pumpkins

If you're growing pumpkins, use them by all means but, if you'd rather save yours for cooking and create Halloween or fall decor that you can pull out year after year, investing in some realistic shop-bought gourds like I did, works fine!

I chose a floral stencil design for my pumkins but, of course, if you want this for a Halloween display, there are tons of spooky stencils out there to help you recreate your favorite no-carve pumpkin looks.


stencil pumpkin supplies

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

1. Pumpkins! Your choice of real vs. faux. I used a large and a smaller plastic pumpkin from Michael's

2. Stencils, there are tons on Amazon too 

4. Paint: acrylic paint is fine

5. A small artist brush and Foam brush

6. Painter’s tape

1. Prepare your space

As with most Halloween crafts, you'll want to start by laying down some paper or plastic to protect the surface you’ll be working on. Keep a damp paper towel close by to wipe off any mess ups. 

stencil on small pumpkin

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

2. Choose your pattern

If you’ve never stenciled a pumpkin before, I recommend starting out with a simple pattern. Since it’s not a flat surface, stenciling a pumpkin can get tricky so choosing a complicated pattern may cause frustration. 

Smaller stencil patterns work best. You may also choose to trace the pattern onto the pumpkin first and use a small artist brush to fill in the details. But a foam brush works great, too.

For this project I chose floral designs, alternating the different shapes on the small pumpkin. For the large pumpkin, I used the large floral medallion and floral border.

painting pumpkin

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

3. Begin stenciling

Place the stencil on the pumpkin using painter’s tape to help keep the stencil in place. Use a small foam brush to begin filling in the pattern by dabbing the brush over the pattern. Carefully remove the stencil. 

Top tips: You may need to use a hair dryer to quickly dry the paint so you can move onto the next section without messing up the previous section. You may also need to occasionally remove the stencil and wipe off the backside if you’ve had paint seep underneath so it doesn’t mess up the pattern. Once you’ve finished stenciling your pumpkin, allow it to fully dry.

stencil taped on pumpkin

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

3. Style your stenciled pumpkins

Now you’re ready to display your DIY stenciled pumpkins! Enjoy styling them with the rest of your fall display on a porch or inside. 

Stenciled pumpkins create fun fall table decor centerpieces and accents that bring beauty and character to the season!

small and large stenciled pumpkins

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

What paint should you use when stenciling pumpkins? 

Artist's acrylic paint which you can find cheaply on Amazon is fine for this DIY but it depends on the finish you want. This craft is a good way to use up leftover paint too. Even using chalk paint is fine if you're painting pumpkins for Halloween so think about the color and finish you want first and foremost when choosing your paint! Watercolors however won't give a bold finish so avoid those, and spray paint is another cool option if you want to cover more of the surface in one color and have the pumpkin color stand out through the stencil.

Dori Turner

Dori Turner writes blog posts and feature articles on affordable design and DIY from her home in the heart of Oklahoma. She has a passion for teaching others how they can transform their home on a budget.