Painted Pumpkins


As Thanksgiving approaches, here in Canada, creating a beautiful centrepiece for the dinner table or decorating your home with touches of Autumn and harvest, is a great way to usher in the special occasion. What better way to do it than decorating pumpkins and other gourds!?!


For our loved ones with limited fine motor skills, or those in assisted living residences, painting gourds is a wonderful activity that is easy, simple to do, and fun to create!


Begin by...

  • Choosing the right gourd. Whether you want to decorate your gourd by painting a face on it, drawing abstract designs, or painting it all one colour to match the decor of the room, choose the pumpkin or gourd that right for the job.

  • Cleaning the surface. Since you won't be carving the pumpkin, you won't have to worry about the messy cleanup! Before painting your pumpkin, wash the outside surface of it with some mild soap and dry thoroughly with a cloth or paper towel. This will help to remove any dirt and grime and leaves you with a nice clean surface to paint on.


Painting your Pumpkin


  1. When painting pumpkins and other gourds, using acrylic paints or spray paint is best - especially if adults are doing the work (for children, you may wish to consult other websites for safety around the materials you wish to use for painting).

  2. Make sure you have the right brushes as well. Gourds, although thick and sturdy in nature, can be bruised or dented quite easily when using a hard bristled brush. Opt for soft thick-handled brushes or even sponge brushes, as this will make it easier to paint with and provide a better option for your loved ones with difficulty with their fine motor skills.

  3. Deciding on a design is really up to the individual doing the painting! They may wish to paint funny faces on the pumpkin, paint it all one colour, or even place their painted handprints to personalize it. Whatever the design, make sure the paintbrush is always cleaned before applying a new fresh colour of paint, and that the gourd dries fully before placing it on a special table or other surfaces.



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