How to Easily Paint an Abstract Pumpkin

Looking for a creative way to decorate your fall home? How about using nail polish to paint an abstract pumpkin!

Hmm…how to paint an abstract pumpkin?

No, how to EASILY paint an abstract pumpkin!


Allow me to reminisce for a moment.

My childhood memory of fall pumpkins consists of carving my Halloween pumpkins: two triangles for eyes, one triangle for a nose, and a mouth with one straggly tooth. (Two straggly teeth if I was feeling particularly creative!)

Creativity with pumpkins decorating has exploded and I couldn’t be happier!

Pumpkin love begins in September and continues through Thanksgiving. There are so many amazing and creative ways to decorate a pumpkin to go with your home decor and holiday decorating.

I think I need to “up” my childhood version of decorated pumpkin and offer something a little more in line with my home and love of color.

My Contribution

Nail polish.

Yup! That is my creative contribution!

Think about….there are zillion colors to choose from and you can pick up a bottle inexpensively at any grocery or drug store.

Not making a connection between a pumpkin and nail polish?

Let’s romanticize it a bit…how about painting an ABSTRACT pumpkin using nail polish!


Well, let me show you!


This is a pretty straightforward list…

  • Nail polish – Go with whatever color you like! I opted for OPI nail polish in “Russian Navy”. (you can see it here) Choose your favorite color!
  • Plastic container
  • Wood stir stick (I ended up not using it but it might work for you.)
  • Pumpkins (These can be real or faux. I found some at the dollar store but their overall color was too yellowish for me. The ones I ended up using are from Amazon and I loved how crisp white they are. I even love their curly stems! You can see them here.)
  • Wax paper
White pumpkins ready to be painted.

You can use any shade of nail polish that you want!

Prepping to paint an abstract pumpkin using white pumpkins with bottle of nail polish in "Russian Navy" color.

How to Paint an Abstract Pumpkin…Easily!

First, fill a plastic container with lukewarm water. Once 3/4 full, add 5-6 drops of nail polish.

Believe it or not, this is probably the trickiest part of the entire project. If the water is too cold, the nail polish will ball up and drop to the bottom of the container. Too hot and the polish will not disperse enough.

It’s a little like Goldilocks and the Three Bears…you want the water “just right!”

Take a little time to play with this by adding a drop of polish. You will know right away that you’ve got it right when you see the drops disperse on top of the water.

Dropping nail polish into a bowl of water.

Next, shake the bowl a bit and the drops will start to disperse even more. You can use a wood stir stick to move the polish around. However, I found that, in my case, the polish just stuck to the stick and did not disperse.

Now for the fun part! Grab your pumpkin by the stem and dunk!

Swirl the pumpkin around quickly and watch the polish grab hold.

(Gloves can be a good thing here. I walked around with blue fingers for three days!)

Remove from the water and let dry on some wax paper for about 15-20 minutes on each side.

Paint abstract pumpkins and then dry on wax paper.

As a person who usually likes to control every paint stroke or infinite detail in a project, this was amazingly satisfying to just dunk and remove with such careless abandon!

The pumpkins emerge with a really cool random and abstract pattern!

Close up of a painted abstract pumpkin.

So, for the cost of some faux pumpkins and a bottle of nail polish (about $20 altogether), you can create a stunning set of abstract pumpkins.

Display Ideas after You Paint an Abstract Pumpkin

  • Place in a basket on your kitchen island.
  • Display on a tiered cake stand.
  • Line up on your porch railing.
  • Include with your Halloween decor
  • Use as place cards or in a centerpiece on your Thanksgiving table.

In this photo, the pumpkins take on a rather macabre vibe with dark background lighting. Great for Halloween!

Paint an abstract pumpkin and then  display against a nighttime background for a Halloween effect.

On the brighter side, the pumpkins offer a cheery “Hello” from the front porch!

Painted abstract pumpkins displayed on a porch railing outdoors on a sunny day.

Happy dunking and swirling!


Speaking of Holidays

YOU ARE INVITED to join me for “Missy’s Merry and Bright Christmas Workshop!”

For 4 Saturdays in November, we will craft together LIVE and decorate our homes for Christmas…TOGETHER! For more information and to register with EARLY BIRD PRICING…Go here for Missy’s Merry and Bright Christmas Workshop!

Missy's Merry and Bright Christmas Workshop

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    1. Hi Suzy and welcome to Sonata Home Design! I’m so glad you like the pumpkins. They really were fun to make and so EASY! Let me know how it goes if you try it! Thanks so much for reading and stopping by! ~Missy

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