Learn how to paint pumpkin rocks with our fun autumn craft tutorial!

A tutorial on how to paint pumpkin rocks.

I don’t grow pumpkins every year.

Usually, some years, I get inspired to plant pumpkins and marvel at how well they are doing until they fill the whole garden. Then we pick them and realize we don’t cook with them much.

As a result, the year after that, I decide – no pumpkins! However, by the end of the summer, it seems like something is missing from our garden, and I long for a little pile of pumpkins at my doorstep. So, next year, I plant pumpkins again…

This year, I didn’t have pumpkins. Alas! Instead, I painted a bunch of pumpkin rocks to satisfy my autumn craving. After all, plump and round little stones are very much like miniature pumpkins.

Materials for Painting Pumpkin Rocks

(the post contains Amazon affiliate links to the products I used)

How to Paint Pumpkin Rocks

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Read a Tutorial

Pumpkin rock painting tutorial: step 1

1 — Paint the rocks orange. If your set of acrylic paints doesn’t include orange, as mine didn’t, mix yellow and red. Different shades of yellow and red add character to the pumpkins, like natural variation. I don’t use primer for painting rocks, but I do use heavy-body acrylics to give them a thick layer in one coat. You can choose whether to use heavy-body acrylics or prime the rocks with gesso first. Alternatively, you can simply give them several coats of whatever paint you’re using.

2 — Dilute brown paint with water to make it semi-transparent and mark the ribbed structure of the pumpkins’ sides. Use undiluted brown for painting pumpkin stems.

Pumpkin rock painting tutorial: steps 2

3 — Dilute white and brush it around the ribbed edges, giving them a bit of form.

4 — Add a couple of highlights to the stem as well.

Pumpkin rock painting tutorial: steps 3

5 — Use ink pens (or a very thin brush with black acrylic paint) to outline the facial features. You can make them look like traditional carved pumpkins – I did something like that when I painted garden markers. These guys have a more animated look with white in their eyes and teeth, which is the next step – paint eyes and teeth with white. Last, add details with an ink pen (or a brush) – eyelashes, irises, eyebrows, etc.

Jack-o-lantern pumpkin rocks complete!

What to Do With Pumpkin Rocks

  • Pumpkin rocks would be perfect for hiding around the city in the fall. Are you participating in this new artistic trend?
  • Use them for decorating your porch, flower pots and windowsills.
  • Let the kids play with them. They fit well with the dolls in doll houses and imaginary worlds.
  • Or challenge the kids to stack them up!

More Autumn Projects?

Bright and vibrant leaf suncatchers for the windows!

Make paper dolls and get them ready for the fall

Thanks for reading! If you make our pumpkin rocks, share them on social media (Instagram or Facebook) and tag me @adventureinabox!

How to Paint Pumpkin Rocks