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Design Ideas
DIY Silhouette Painted Pumpkins
This autumn, turn your pumpkins into a statement piece with these easy to make personalized silhouette pumpkins.
Katie Baker is one of three finalists in our 2021 Brand Ambassador search. Today, we’re featuring her DIY tutorial for personalized no-carve pumpkins. Read, enjoy and come back again to see DIYs from our other finalists, Toni Mogensen and Sara McDaniel. Nothing exudes traditional flare quite like the elegant lines of a silhouette portrait. Hundreds... Keep Scrolling
Written and Photographed by Katie Baker


DIY Silhouette Painted Pumpkins Tablescape
Layered on top of a cake stand and ringed with a garland of autumn foliage, the largest pumpkin makes a charming and personal centerpiece for special autumn occasions.

Katie Baker is one of three finalists in our 2021 Brand Ambassador search. Today, we’re featuring her DIY tutorial for personalized no-carve pumpkins. Read, enjoy and come back again to see DIYs from our other finalists, Toni Mogensen and Sara McDaniel.

Nothing exudes traditional flare quite like the elegant lines of a silhouette portrait. Hundreds of years after their introduction, silhouettes are still current and remain a beautiful way to infuse history into your home decor in a very personal way. We love silhouettes for their simplicity and versatility. They effortlessly bring a classic look to any style of home decor, and these DIY silhouette painted pumpkins are the perfect fall twist on that tradition.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • Pumpkin
  • Fine Point Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Camera (a phone camera is great)
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Paint Brushes
  • Black Paint
  • Painter’s Tape

THINGS TO CONSIDER

  • In a pinch, use a Sharpie or Paint marker
  • Real pumpkins will only last several weeks. Use faux pumpkins if you want to keep them to use again.
  • For generic silhouettes or silhouettes to reference, search Google Images for free silhouette art.
  • Have fun with different styles, colors, patterns, and subjects. (Scroll to the bottom to see our Haunted Halloween Painted Pumpkins!)
Painted silhouette pumpkins in wood dough bowl with books, candles, and shed antlers
Wood finishes, vintage patina, natural touches and candlelight are the perfect accessories for an autumn vignette, but nothing says “fall is here” like a pumpkin.

WHAT YOU’LL DO:

A side portrait or profile image of a child's face for making a silhouette

One: Take a side profile picture of your subject. I used my phone camera. It’s best if the picture is taken directly from the side against a plain background so details of the facial features standout. Eyes should be open, subject should look straight ahead with a relaxed expression and mouth closed. Long hair looks best when pulled up in a bun or ponytail.

Two: Print out the picture on a printer. Make sure to adjust the image size when printing to fit the size silhouette you are wanting on your pumpkin.

Three: Use fine point scissors to cut out the image, paying close attention to details of the facial features like the nose, lips, and chin.

Side portrait taped to pumpkin to create outline for silhouette

Four: Once you find the perfect placement for your image on the pumpkin, use painter’s tape to hold the image in place.

profile silhouette shape to use as a template for painting on a pumpkin

Five: Next, use a pencil to lightly trace around your image.

Profile portrait outline on pumpkin

Six: Remove the tape and image from the pumpkin and now it’s time to paint. Use a small detail brush and black paint to trace the pencil lines drawn in the previous step.

Seven: Then use a slightly larger brush to fill in the image with black paint.

Repeat steps six & seven until the proper number of paint coats is achieved, completely filling in the image. This took me two coats of paint.

Halloween porch decor with custom no-cut pumpkins painted with vintage-stlye silhouettes

Haunted Halloween Painted Pumpkins

I used all the same steps from the silhouette painting, except I wanted my Halloween pumpkins to have a haunted, eerie feel. I used Victorian Era silhouettes found on Google Images to print, cut out, and trace. However, I still used our profiles to make the facial features to give a personal touch.

Katie Baker shares warm and welcoming decor on her website Baker-Nest.com and on Instagram at @Baker_Nest.

Want more Halloween porch decor ideas? Check out this post on No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas. 

Of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of cottage inspiration! 

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