DIY: Painted Sugar Skull Pumpkins

DIY: Painted Sugar Skull Pumpkin with Free Template

We couldn’t get enough of those carved sugar skull pumpkins so we thought we’d try another round and another tutorial – this time for painted pumpkins!

We made paint-friendly versions of our stencils. Click the links below to download your stencils!

Set of 3 Large Templates (7.5″x7.5″)
Set of 3 Small Templates (5″x5″)

1- pumpkin – we used a large one, but small ones are super cute too.
2- acrylic craft paint – white plus 3 other colors of your choice. We used red, blue and green but the possibilities are endless! What about neon, or glow in the dark?
3- black paint pen.
4- sponge brushes – you can find these cheap at any hardware or craft store. We used one for each color of paint.
5- clear tape – nothing heavy duty, you just want to hold your stencil down lightly.
6- x-acto knife or fine-tip scissors – just pick whichever you will find easier for cutting fine detail.
7- stencil (and access to a printer) – there are many to choose from online, or you can print one of ours!

1- Print out the stencil you need according to the size of your pumpkin – We printed ours on cardstock so it would be a little more sturdy.
2- Cut out white areas on the stencil with x-acto knife or scissors.

Cut out your sugar skull stencil with an x-acto knife

Tape your stencil to your pumpkin

3- Paint a general skull shape on pumpkin in white paint – You can use the stencil as a guide, but note that black sharpie will show through the white acrylic paint, so you don’t want to outline in sharpie. You will need two or three coats of paint. Be sure to let the paint dry between coats; wet paint will just wipe off on your brush!
4- Tape the stencil over the (dry!) white acrylic skull. If the edges of the skull extend beyond the stencil edges that is ok, but make sure you put a little paper under the tape to protect the painted area from contact with the tape. The adhesive on the tape will pull acrylic paint off the surface of your pumpkin.
5- Paint the cut out areas in the stencil in various colors – Since you’re using a flat stencil on a round surface you may need to hold your stencil down wherever you are painting.
6- Carefully remove the stencil and allow the paint to dry completely.

Remove the stencil and let your paint dry

Outline the painted areas with a black paint pen

7- Use the black paint pen to outline the various colored shapes or freehand additional details.


We made some of our own at home too, freehanded just for fun. Make your own, with our stencils or freehanded, and send us pictures! Post them via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #earthbound and #ebpumpkins! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Freehand Painted Pumpkins

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *