Looking for a creative pumpkin decorating idea?  Create this project with a pumpkin silhouette.  It takes minutes to create this pumpkin silhouette project and it’s a fun way to incorporate your family into your home decor.

pumpkin silhouette painted with chalkboard paint on vintage toolbox next to chalkboard

I’m so excited.

(a sentence which should totally end with an exclamation point….but I’m saving them for next week)

And if I weren’t rationing exclamation points….the sentence would look a little something like this….

I’m so excited!

(way better)

I can’t help it.  I love any project that begins and ends with an exclamation point.

Like this one.

How to make a pumpkin silhouette.

pumpkin silhouette next to chalkboard with black and white signs

I’ve been wreath-making and bow-tying and painting and gluing and fluffing and decorating.

And I was supposed to wait until next week for the big tour reveal.

But I couldn’t.

I just had to share.

But shhhh….keep it under your hat.

This whole pumpkin project is just between you and me…..

….and a few exclamation points!!!!

Before you get started here’s a little bit of information on the project

What kind of pumpkins work best for pumpkin silhouettes?

The pumpkins used for this project are faux pumpkins.  You can use real pumpkins for this project, but they will only last for a couple of weeks.  You can find faux pumpkins in different colors at the craft store.  Pumpkins are made of a soft, carvable material and come in different colors, such as white, black and orange.  The faux pumpkins also come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Make sure to look for pumpkins with realistic stems, too.

What tools do you need for this pumpkin silhouette project?

This is a no-carve pumpkin silhouette project, so the tools are relatively simple.  You will need different size paint brushes.  I would recommend buying a bag of paint brushes in different sizes.  I used a fine-tip brush for the details on the silhouette, as well as a larger brush to fill in the surface.  You will also need a pair of scissors to cut out the silhouette from paper.

What else can I paint on the pumpkins besides silhouettes?

This project features pumpkin silhouette people, but you could paint different types of silhouettes, too.  An exterior silhouette of your house might be a fun project to try.  You could paint a silhouette of your state.  You could also paint number silhouettes to place outside with your address numbers on them.

Can you use faux pumpkins to decorate outside?

Yes.  Most faux pumpkins work well outside.  I recommend if you do decorate outside with your faux pumpkins, that you place them under a porch or overhang to protect them from the elements.  I have decorated with pumpkins like these for many years.

four pumpkin silhouette on fireplace with gallery wall and mirror

How to Make a Silhouette Pumpkin


  • white pumpkin
  • black craft paint
  • pencil
  • profile picture
  • scissors

paper silhouette for pumpkin silhouette project white pumpkins

Step 1:  Print out the profile picture

Take a simple photograph of your subject from the side. Print the picture out on the computer.  You don’t need a photo that is overly detailed and try to take the photograph against a lighter background to make sure you can see all the detail in the photograph.

Set the computer to print out a full page.

Cut out the picture.

silhouette taped to pumpkin with washi tape

Step 2:  Tape picture to the pumpkin

This step is totally self-explanatory.

I just wanted to show you the picture because that tape looked so cute.

You don’t have to use cute tape for the project, but it definitely helps.  You’ll want to apply enough tape so that the silhouette lays as flat as possible.

pencil outline of pumpkin silhouette on pumpkin

Step 3:  Trace the silhouette

Take a pencil and trace the cut out the silhouette.

You will want to use a pencil with a thick tip and press as hard as you can so you can see the entire silhouette after it’s traced onto the pumpkin.

Try to make sure and include as many little details as you can when you trace.

pumpkin silhouette traced onto white pumpkin with sharpie marker

Step 4:  Trace outline with a Sharpie

This is the step that makes all the difference.

This is the step that transforms you into the Leonardo da Vinci of the pumpkin painting world.

Use a medium-tipped Sharpie and re-trace the pencil line.  The Sharpie gives you such a clean edge that the silhouette looks completely professional.

painted pumpkin silhouette on white pumpkin with black paint

Step 5:  Paint the rest of the pumpkin

As we say in the art world, it’s all downhill from here.

The rest of the project is easy.

Start by using a fine-tipped brush and paint next to the traced Sharpie line.  Next, using a large brush and black acrylic paint for the center.

Then?  Just fill in the outline with the rest of the black paint.

Let your pumpkin silhouette dry.

And it’s ready to decorate.

four silhouette pumpkins on toolbox with stacks of books next to large chalkboard

I painted four pumpkins silhouettes.

Here are my pumpkins all in a row.

And this is just the tip of the fall decorating iceberg.

My silhouettes and hay bales and burlap pumpkins and monogrammed acorns and mercury glass and barn doors and farmer’s market signs and corn husks and acorn squash wish you happy fall.  Here’s to brilliantly painted pumpkins everywhere.

If you make this project, can you send me a few extra exclamation points…..

….just in case I run out. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Denton Denton

    She forgot to mention that she came to each of our schools and pulled us out of class just to take a picture for the pumpkin. My school secretary got a kick out of it.

    1. Image for Heather Heather

      Oh Denton. I would say, "no she didn't?!!" but alas I know her too well. ;) By the way, that's one handsome silhouette you've got there! grin! Ms. Heather

  2. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    I love this idea! This is the cutest pumpkin patch I have ever seen! What a great way to make a silhouette! Did I see a comment that you pulled your children out of class for the photos! You're too funny! Have a fabulous weekend!

  3. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I love it! And especially that you had to go to school to take the pics! LOL!! Oh, and I totally understand your trying to limit your use of exclamation points. When I look back at my early fiction attempts, I shudder when I see how many I used . . . But this is a blog, and the writing reflects YOU, so, GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  4. Image for Claire Claire

    I love white and will definitely be using white pumpkins to decorate this year - with the silhouettes too!!! Pretty, yes :)

  5. Image for Callie Callie

    I just wanted to tell you how much I love reading your posts! (I over use the exclamation points too, much to the chagrin of my writer husband) I have been enjoying a little chat with you most mornings, after I walk the dog and while I enjoy a coffee. Thought it would be selfish to keep enjoying our little visits without a "thanks" . Love how your personality shines through!

  6. Image for Sue Sue

    What a great idea - they came out great! I love Denton's comments - it seems like something I could see you doing and it made me laugh out loud! I can not wait to see the rest of your projects!!!!! I am not saving my exclamation points so I can use as many as I want!!!! buahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

  7. Image for Cynthia Cynthia

    Love this project! It really came out super great and I adore those frames hanging!! I can't wait to see you on the tour, all finished up!!!. I used exclamation marks special just for you, her comes more, ready!!!! Have some great news at Cloches and Lavender!!!!! Last exclamation marks. Cynthia

  8. Image for Danielle Danielle

    I LOVE these, Karianne!!!!!!! There are some exclamation points for you. I think I may need to make one or two for my boys by the fireplace. Great and fun tutorial. Can't wait for the tour. Happy weekend.

  9. Image for Jamie Jamie

    I LOVE these!! I love silhouettes and white pumpkins so it's clear that these are a winner in my books!! Sharing on my FB page tomorrow ;) Hugs, Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com

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