October 8, 2015

Unique Ways to Decorate Pumpkins: Chalk Paint & Foil

This past weekend my southern beau and I made our annual visit to the local pumpkin patch. This is one of our favorite fall activities and we've been going to the same farm for a few years now. Do you have any fall traditions you are getting excited about? 

The only problem with real live pumpkins is they don't last very long. We don't even carve ours, and they still end up dying a watery, rotten death sometime around December. 

But I still love going out to the patch and picking out a few favorites. Did I mention they have homemade donuts at our pumpkin patch? This year, they had a moonshine glaze. I love the south. 

In addition to our living pumpkins, we also like to decorate the house with the sights of fall. Some of that is Halloween specific (we love our little retro Charlie Brown characters dressed in costume and waiting for the Great Pumpkin). 

But I really like my decor to have as much bang for my buck as possible. 

This is why I usually look for fall decorations that can take us all the way through October and November. That's where my friend Jenny comes in. She recently shared two amazing projects with me and I was so blown away by the beautiful results, I decided to share them with the viewers of Knoxville's Fox43. 

These are really unique ways to decorate store-bought faux pumpkins and the best part is, the results are beautiful without breaking the bank. Oh and they are perfect for Halloween all the way through Thanksgiving.

For both projects, you need to begin with some type of store bought artificial pumpkin. You can find these at most craft stores. The larger ones are often made of foam and can be carved, but I don't recommend it for this particular do-it-yourself. You can sometimes find smaller, artificial pumpkins, gourds, etc. at Dollar stores, thrift stores, or wherever else you scour for treasures.

1) Decorating Pumpkins with Chalk Paint

Decorating faux pumpkins with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® is a genius idea because there are so many great colors of paint to choose from. Who says your pumpkins have to be orange? With all the beautiful hues, you could really go wild and create some masterpieces.

And while it would just be gorgeous in its own right, that teal shade (Florence) would be perfect for folks with allergy issues participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project!

For our pumpkins, we started with a good base of Old White. What I love about Chalk Paint is how well it covers so many different surfaces. Sometimes these faux pumpkins are sort of shiny or plasticky (that's a word, right?), but Chalk Paint covers like a champ. 

Once your pumpkins are painted, you can go over them with clear or dark wax. When I painted a yard sale dresser Annie Sloan's English Yellow, I used the clear wax because I really wanted the color to pop. But with the pumpkins, the darker wax is also nice because it picks up all the great the texture and surface.

So once you have your pumpkins painted, you could stop right there and be happy as a clam with your results. Or you could take things a step further and make a real conversation piece. 

Allow me to introduce you to foil and size. 

2) Decorating Pumpkins with Foil and Size

Size is an adhesive made specifically for projects with gold and silver leaf, as well as foil. This is my first foray into the world of foiling, but it seems so much easier than leafing (also it's much more affordable). 

To begin, you apply an even coat of size (which is kind of like a runnier white glue) over your pumpkin. Wait 15 minutes for it to become tacky. Then, you apply the foil. Make sure to apply it with the pretty side up. The adhesive will pull the foil off the paper and cause it to stick to your pumpkin. 

You can burnish it to create a more even appearance or you can just embrace the splotchy look (which I happen to love). 

Check out the finished products below. I think they are gorgeous! 

To learn more about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint or to take a workshop, visit my friend Jenny's shop, The Backporch Mercantile.