Friday, October 14, 2016

Painting Pumpkins

 On September 19, I taught a class at the Southwest Virginia Museum in Big Stone Gap on painting pumpkins. Lessons learned: 1/3 of the tiny orange pumpkins purchased at Super Walmart were rotten. The pumpkin above was purchased at the Norton Farmer's Market in late August. Where ever you purchase your pumpkins, first clean them in a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Read to the end as I make some suggestions.
 Some materials I used: clear gesso, acrylic paint, mod podge, brushes, and BIC sharpie.
        First I covered the pumpkin with the clear gesso which helps the paint to adhere.
 I painted the top part of the pumpkin white. When it was somewhat dry I turned it over and painted the bottom half of the pumpkin. I wanted to the rush the process and used the heat gun to dry the pumpkin. Do not use a heat gun...let it dry on its own.
 I covered the pumpkin in washi tape. I noticed it was mottled and paint was coming off. Taking off the tape, the paint began coming off. If you decide to use washi tape, just clean your pumpkin and tape it up. Washi tape also comes in glitter tape.
 This is what the pumpkin looked like after I took off the paint. I continued on and repainted the pumpkin with one coat of paint and let it dry for hours.
 I used the Black Sharpie and drew designs on the pumpkin. It took awhile as the sharpie kept getting gunked up with paint. And the paint continued to come off. The sharpie covered it quite well.
 My favorite pumpkin at the museum class was the one covered in birds. It completely rotted and I am unable to share it with you. For the birds, you will need a rubber stamp, ink, mod podge, very sharp small scissors, sponge brush, and very thin paper. We used to call this onion skin paper. I inked up the rubber stamp. I made several images of the birds on the paper. I then cut it out. I tried to open the mod podge and it was glued shut. Always clean the lids after using. My husband opened the jar with his pliers. I then mod podged the pumpkin. I added the cut out stamp of the birds. Adding another layer of mod podge.
The mod podge is not completely dry. My suggestion to any crafter who is interested in painting or designing on pumpkins and would like their pumpkins to stay around for awhile... Buy small craft pumpkins that are foam or plastic. I noticed that Michaels has a sale on all their craft pumpkins. If I lived in an urban area, I would have bought some before creating this blog. Another thing I would recommend, do not use the clear gesso. Use mod podge on the pumpkin before painting it. This helps the paint to adhere. And let it dry between coats.                

I made a pumpkin coated in glitter which was absolutely gorgeous. To make a glitter pumpkin,  use mod podge in sections and then sprinkle the pumpkin with glitter. I used Martha Stewart glitter as it is the most sparkedly. It is really extra fine glitter. Go slowly, one section at a time. Glitter over a piece of paper. As you finish, put some mod podge on the bottom and place your pumpkin in the glitter on the paper.

Visiting a farmer's market and purchasing a pumpkin helps support our farmers.

         Using a craft pumpkin, your pumpkins will last a long time.                

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