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Your Quick Guide to Crafting DIY Gilded Pumpkins and Gourds

Craft gorgeous DIY gilded pumpkins and gourds for chic Fall decor with just a few supplies and easy step-by-step instructions.

Let me give your traditional Thanksgiving décor a hint of sparkle because you’re about to dive into a world of DIY glam pumpkins today!

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DIY Gilded Pumpkin with Floral Arrangement

Why Go Gold When I Paint Metallic Pumpkins?

Gold isn’t just the color of affluence; it’s a tone of elegance and class. This shimmering hue pairs beautifully with almost anything; whether it’s your rustic wooden furniture or your chic, minimalistic vases.

If you’re also tired of the usual autumn shades, then get ready to make gold leaf pumpkins the new trend.

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Gilded Pumpkins and Brown Palm Fronds

Now, Let’s explore how you can add that golden touch to your DIY gilded pumpkins :

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Gilded Pumpkins and DIY Heirloom Pumpkins

Simple DIY Gilded Pumpkins: Gorgeous Fall Decor

I absolutely adore the look of gilded decorating accessories, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some fall decor to transform. I used a gilding kit that came with copper, silver, and gold leaf sheets.

dollar store halloween diy
Gilded Pumpkins for Halloween

Here’s what you need for gilded pumpkins:

  • fake pumpkins/gourds (Your local craft store or even the dollar store will have it)
  • chocolate brown craft paint (Please refer to the FAQ section for questions related to painting pumpkins.)
  • Mod Podge (or 50/50 of Elmer’s glue and water)
  • gold, silver, and/or copper leaf (They’re also called Schaibin, sounds fancy, right?).
  • glaze and towel (optional)
  • sponge brush and plastic gloves
Gilded pumpkins mixed with a large white pumpkin on a fireplace hearth.
Gilded Pumpkins for Fall and Thanksgiving

How to Craft DIY Fall Pumpkins: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s a simple DIY gilded pumpkin tutorial. You don’t need to be an artist to pull this off. 

Let’s begin!

Step 1: Base Coat Time:

  • Paint your pumpkins (both real and faux pumpkins work) a base coat with chocolate brown craft paint. Ensure it’s clean and dry. 
  • For a washed look, dip your brush in paint and then in water. Mix as you apply. Don’t stress over even coverage; a rustic look is cool!
  • Wait for it to completely dry before step 2.

Step 2: Apply Adhesive:

  • To apply the gold leaf, add a layer of Mod Podge with a sponge brush. Let the adhesive dry for 15-30 minutes until it is tacky and not wet.
  • When highlighting DIY glam pumpkins, press a bit harder on the areas you want to pop and use a feather-light touch elsewhere. Don’t stress about how you apply it – uneven strokes give a cool, “sun-kissed” effect. 
  • Tip: Avoid getting glue on your fingers. It makes the next steps tricky.

Step 3. Stick on the Copper Leaf: 

  • Carefully lay pieces of gold leaf down with gloved hands (keeps the leaf safe from natural oils of your skin) and gently press the gold leaf onto the sticky areas of the pumpkin. 
  • Smooth down creases by tapping (not wiping) to prevent fingerprints or scratches. Try not to handle it too much.
  • The gold sheets might tear or not cover everything. Don’t worry! Just add another piece where needed. 

Step 4: Brush Off Extra Bits: 

  • Use a brush to remove any extra gold bits. This part can be a bit messy, so maybe do it outside! If you’re thrifty, do it over a pan and save the leftovers.
  • Pro Tip: Always keep extra gold, silver, and copper leaf. They can be reused for touch-ups or other projects.

Step 5: Toning Time:

  • Next, grab a paintbrush and apply some toner over the metal leaf. This will help enhance the color. 
  • Let the gold pumpkins sit for an hour before applying a glaze for an antique look. Wipe on the glaze with a towel to get in crevices.
  • Note: For gilding the pumpkin or gourd stems, you should cover the steps in the same manner. There’s no significant difference in the application. 
  • However, keep the areas around the stem or the pumpkin’s grooves a bit darker for a cool rustic touch. It adds a dramatic, artistic flair!
DIY gilded glam pumpkins on fireplace hearth.
Fireplace Glam Pumpkins

And voilà! With just these few steps, you have metallic pumpkins ready for display. Display them in a pretty container or on your bookcase shelves!

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Small gilded Pumpkins in Foyer

They look especially good on mantels or as the star of a centerpiece. The gold sheen gives them a boutique-like appearance, making them versatile enough for the entire fall season. 

Small diy gilded pumpkins and gourds with flowers and a jackolantern.
Small Gilded Pumpkins and Gourds

Craving More DIY Fall Pumpkins? Here are some Autumn Ideas for You:

  • Metallic Touch: Grab terra-cotta pots or gourds and decorate them with imitation silver and gold leaf.
  • Candlelit Pumpkins: Carve petite pumpkins and place votive candles inside. Perfect for setting an enchanting table ambiance throughout autumn.
  • Gold Pumpkin Tower: Imagine a pyramid of pumpkins in varying sizes and shades. Cut or remove some stems for easier stacking. An eye-catching feature for your porch or patio.
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A Collection of Fall Findings with Metallic Pumpkins

Frequently Asked Questions: Painting DIY Gilded Pumpkins for Halloween

1. Why should I consider painting pumpkins instead of carving them? 

Painting pumpkins is simpler and safer, especially for young kids. It allows more creativity and painted pumpkins can last longer than carved ones. Painted pumpkins can potentially remain vibrant throughout the entire Halloween season, whereas carved pumpkins may rot within a few days.

2. What should I consider when choosing a pumpkin for painting? 

Select a pumpkin with a smooth surface, as rounded surfaces can be more challenging to paint. It’s also important to clean your pumpkin before painting to ensure the paint sticks properly. Ensure it’s free of dirt and dried well.

3. What type of paint is recommended for painting pumpkins? 

Acrylic paint is highly recommended. It dries quickly, offers good coverage, and is easy to use. Plus, it’s water-based, so mistakes can be wiped away easily without requiring paint thinners.

A handy tip: If you find it too thick or wish to slow down the drying time slightly, you can add a bit of water or use acrylic retarders, which are specially designed to prolong the drying time.

4. Are there paints I should avoid when making gilded pumpkins? 

Yes, avoid oil-based paints. They take longer to dry and can emit fumes. You’ll also need paint thinner for cleaning brushes.

5. How many coats of paint will I need? 

Most acrylic paints may require multiple layers to ensure the pumpkin’s orange rind doesn’t show through. However, acrylics dry fast, making layering efficient.

6. Any precautions while painting gold pumpkins? 

Yes, acrylic paint can stain clothes. Wear an old shirt or an apron, and spread out newspaper to avoid a mess and protect your working surface.

7. What if I want a consistent color all over my pumpkin? 

For a uniform color, spray paint is ideal. It offers durable, quick, full coverage. But remember to cover areas you don’t want to paint.

8. Any recommendations for detailing DIY glam pumpkins? 

For detailed designs, such as faces or script lettering, paint pens or markers are excellent. They allow for precise application and work well on pumpkin skin. Both Montana and Molotow are trusted brands.

9. Can I give my DIY pumpkin a matte look? 

Absolutely! Chalkboard paint provides a stylish matte finish. You can decorate it further with chalk or even add puffy paint for a 3D design.

10. How to Preserve Your Painted Pumpkin for Halloween

After expressing your creativity on your gold leaf pumpkin, it’s essential to seal it after painting. It ensures your masterpiece remains vibrant throughout the spooky season, especially outdoors. Apply a clear craft sealer over the dried paint and allow the sealer to dry fully before displaying.

11. What’s a fun option for kids when crafting metallic pumpkins? 

Consider washable paints. They’re easier to clean up but may require more layers due to their thinner consistency. Crayola Washable Paint Brush Pens are a fantastic choice.

More Pumpkin Ideas

Make sure to check out 50 + Fall seasonal and holiday decorating ideas, DIYs, and free printables for the season, these adorable pink and gold pumpkins from The Sweetest Digs, and a colorful pumpkin wreath from Re-Fabbed.

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