How to Paint Cheap Pumpkins for Your Mantel

Easy and cheap DIY farmhouse pumpkins for your mantle.

[Disclaimer: Finding Mandee is reader-supported, if you purchase through links on my site I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.]

Pinterest is never more envious and awe-inspiring than in the fall.

I adore every gorgeous photo of fall decor: beautiful pumpkin-laden porches, mantels, centerpieces, sideboards, and more. My Pinterest feed is nothing but pumpkins right now and I LOVE it!

I am particularly partial to the trendy heirloom and white pumpkins that have taken over home decor. They fall in line with the modern neutral boho style, which I am loving more and more as time goes on.

And I just knew that I HAD to HAVE white pumpkins on my mantel this fall.

Inspiration for fall mantel.
(Some Pinterest inspiration!)

That was….until I saw the prices!

Hobby Lobby sells medium-sized pumpkins for $10-20 each. Since I needed at least 6-7 medium/large pumpkins and 4-5 small pumpkins for my mantel, I couldn’t justify spending that kind of money just on pumpkins.

A quick Pinterest search turned up gobs of DIY pumpkin projects and I couldn’t wait to get started.

Here is how I painted cheap pumpkins to match my neutral decor:

My fireplace before making the easiest DIY farmhouse pumpkins ever!
(This was my mantel before painting the pumpkins.)

Gather the Pumpkins

My first stop was the Dollar Tree! I had seen several tutorials that turned $1 Styrofoam pumpkins into beautiful white and blue heirloom pumpkins. So, I had high hopes that this DIY project would work out.

I bought 4 tacky, bright orange medium-sized pumpkins. However, Dollar Tree only offered one size and I wanted a variety.

My next stop was Walmart, where I was able to buy 2 large pumpkins for $5.98 each, 3 medium-sized pumpkins for $2.98 each, and 5 small pumpkins for $0.98 each. (Cheap pumpkins for the win!)

Fall mantel before painting the pumpkins.
(Another before picture.)

So, for less than $30, I was able to line my entire mantle and then some. That would have only bought me 2-3 pumpkins at Hobby Lobby.

But it also meant that I had some work to do.

ariarly 7Pcs Orange Artificial Pumpkins Set, Assorted Fake Foam Pumpkins Fall Harvest Mini Simulation Pumpkins Model Creative Home Table Decor for Autumn Thanksgiving Halloweeariarly 7Pcs Orange Artificial Pumpkins Set, Assorted Fake Foam Pumpkins Fall Harvest Mini Simulation Pumpkins Model Creative Home Table Decor for Autumn Thanksgiving Halloweeariarly 7Pcs Orange Artificial Pumpkins Set, Assorted Fake Foam Pumpkins Fall Harvest Mini Simulation Pumpkins Model Creative Home Table Decor for Autumn Thanksgiving HalloweeFolkArt Terra Cotta Acrylic Paint Set, Essentials 6 Piece DIY Terra Cotta Acrylic Paint Kit Featuring 6 Colors For DIY Indoor & Outdoor Multi-Surface Craft Projects, 7592FolkArt Terra Cotta Acrylic Paint Set, Essentials 6 Piece DIY Terra Cotta Acrylic Paint Kit Featuring 6 Colors For DIY Indoor & Outdoor Multi-Surface Craft Projects, 7592FolkArt Terra Cotta Acrylic Paint Set, Essentials 6 Piece DIY Terra Cotta Acrylic Paint Kit Featuring 6 Colors For DIY Indoor & Outdoor Multi-Surface Craft Projects, 7592

 

Pick Out Paint Colors

Initially, I wanted to do all white pumpkins. However, after seeing beautiful blue and dark green pumpkins on Pinterest, I thought I would try blue.

I bought several bottles of cheap acrylic craft paint (matte) at Walmart for only $0.50 each. Make sure you buy extra bottles of white!

I also picked up a couple of sponge brushes to paint the cheap pumpkins with.

This is all you need to make the easiest DIY farmhouse pumpkins ever!
(This is all you need to make the easiest DIY farmhouse pumpkins ever!)

20 Pcs Foam Paint Brushes, 2 Inch Foam Brush, Wood Handle Sponge Brush, Sponge Brushes for Painting, Foam Brushes for Staining, Varnishes, and DIY Craft Projects20 Pcs Foam Paint Brushes, 2 Inch Foam Brush, Wood Handle Sponge Brush, Sponge Brushes for Painting, Foam Brushes for Staining, Varnishes, and DIY Craft Projects20 Pcs Foam Paint Brushes, 2 Inch Foam Brush, Wood Handle Sponge Brush, Sponge Brushes for Painting, Foam Brushes for Staining, Varnishes, and DIY Craft Projectsvensovo 8 Inch Large Orange Fake Pumpkins for Decorating - 2PCS Big Decorative Foam Pumpkins for Fall Decor, Artificial Plastic Pumpkins Perfect for Halloween Decor Thanksgiving Table Decorvensovo 8 Inch Large Orange Fake Pumpkins for Decorating – 2PCS Big Decorative Foam Pumpkins for Fall Decor, Artificial Plastic Pumpkins Perfect for Halloween Decor Thanksgiving Table Decorvensovo 8 Inch Large Orange Fake Pumpkins for Decorating - 2PCS Big Decorative Foam Pumpkins for Fall Decor, Artificial Plastic Pumpkins Perfect for Halloween Decor Thanksgiving Table Decor

 

Start Painting

The next step is the fun part….start painting!

I put an old beach towel over my coffee table and painted the cheap pumpkins while watching re-runs of my favorite home renovation shows (hello Good Bones and Fixer Upper).

Before you bust out the paint, make sure you remove the stems. They pop right out.

how to paint cheap pumpkins
(Check out this sweet set-up for painting!)

Most of the pumpkins took 2-3 coats of paint. Except for one seriously annoying medium-sized pumpkin whose orange kept bleeding through the many layers of paint that I covered it with. I eventually gave up on this pumpkin and it sits on the mantle with a slightly pink tint.

After the pumpkins are painted and dry, pop the stems back in and you’re done!

(The finished DIY farmhouse pumpkins!)

I love the way these pumpkins look on my mantel and I love the price even more! If I had bought these pumpkins at a craft store, I would have easily paid more than $100.

Even with the extra pumpkins that I set at the bottom of the fireplace, I spent less than $40.

neutral fall mantel
(After!)

Many of the other pumpkin tutorials that I found were much more complicated – they mixed up chalk paint, distressed their pumpkins with fancy wax kits, and who knows what else.

But I’m tellin’ ya, cheap pumpkins and even cheaper paint will work perfectly fine to make a mantel full of the easiest neutral pumpkins ever!

I changed out the droopy burlap bow on my boxwood wreath (you can find the tutorial for it here) for Buffalo Check and it looks so much better.

My fall Pinterest feed hasn’t only filled me with awe and envy, but it has also motivated me to get crafty!

Check out these other fall projects I’ve been busy with:

Leave a Reply

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