DIY Halloween calligraphy pumpkins has become my new favorite way to create fun and cute decorations for fall and Halloween! There’s so many different shapes and sizes that can be used for a variety of things from table top center pieces to porch decor to mini pumpkins to gift or top Halloween treats with–you can even branch out and letter on squash or apples! Here are all of my tips and directions on how to create your own lettered pumpkins!
BEFORE GETTING STARTED…
Here’s a few things to think about to help you get great results on your final lettered pumpkin!
PUMPKIN PICKING TIPS: Before getting your pumpkin, decide what color marker you’ll be using and what you want to write–this will help you decide what color/size pumpkin to get. Once you’re at the store, make sure to pick a pumpkin that has enough surface area to fit your text and that the portion that you’ll be writing on is smooth and blemish-free. Try to find a pumpkin that will sit flat on a surface so it’ll be easy to display.
WHAT TO WRITE: Short phrases work well because you can letter it large enough for people to read and it’ll fit on one side of a pumpkin. You can letter something that goes all the way around a pumpkin but that would work best if people are either allowed to pick it up to admire it or it’s a centerpiece for a table that can be seen from all sides. Otherwise, if this guy is going on your porch, it’s best to stick with someone that people can easily read as they are walking or driving by.
PRACTICE YOUR WORD/PHRASE: Before lettering on the pumpkin, I recommend practicing your word/phrase on paper first so you know how you want your letters to look, your hand gets used to the movements you will have to make, and you can practice the word/phrase in the actual size it’ll be on the pumpkin.
If you’d like to write the word “boo” as shown in the image, DOWNLOAD MY FREE BOO PRACTICE WORKSHEET! Trace the word in two different sizes then write it on your own.
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DIY HALLOWEEN CALLIGRAPHY PUMPKINS
- Pencil (a #2 pencil works fine with a dull tip so it won’t pierce through the pumpkin)
- Permanent marker such as Sharpie or DecoColor Paint Pen
- Nail polish remover
1. Decide what area of the pumpkin you will be lettering on. Wipe that area with a damp towel to remove any dirt. Dry the pumpkin.
2. Before lettering, try to visualize where you want your word/phrase to start and end.
3. Lightly pencil in your word/phrase. If you need to make any adjustments, erase the area you’d like to change and pencil in your new line. Once you are happy with your light outline, go over it again in pencil, this time making the line darker.
4. Now you are ready to go over it with your permanent marker! Since this is a non-traditional surface, go very slowly! I’ve found that when you reach a ridge or dip, it works better to stop at the ridge, pick up your marker, and start again instead of trying to draw a continuous line through the ridge. If there are any gaps, go back and dot it in or draw a short line to connect it. Because these permanent markers do not have a brush tip, I used faux calligraphy to create my lettering. Faux calligraphy is manually making all the downstrokes you create thicker by coloring it in. I began by lettering the outline of my word first, then I went back to fill in all the downstrokes. Be careful when coloring to not scratch off the existing ink–it may help to fill in any light areas by creating small short strokes or dots to make that area darker. Don’t be afraid to turn your pumpkin upside down or sideways while you are lettering–whatever helps your hand and marker get to where it needs to go!
5. Make sure the ink is completely dry and erase any pencil lines that may be visible.
6. If you make a mistake, the ink can be removed with nail polish remover! If it’s in an area that is close to another letter, I recommend using Q-tips dipped in nail polish remover to erase your mistake. I originally made the dot of my exclamation point to high up and wanted to lower it. I was able to erase the original dot with the nail polish remover but it did take several tries and rubbing on the area pretty hard. So try to get it as close to how you want it as possible, without relying on being able to erase any mistakes. If you feel like you’ve messed up on a large area and want to start over, just turn to the other side of your pumpkin and start again there!
I hope you liked this tutorial and will try this project out and have discovered a new way to use pumpkins to celebrate the holidays! I love seeing what everyone comes up with so don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you post a picture or send me an email.
Have a fun and safe Halloween!