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10 Easy and Mess-Free Pumpkin Painting Ideas for Kids

Pumpkin carving is messy and can be pretty dangerous for young kids and toddlers. If you are looking for some mess-free pumpkin painting ideas, this list has got just what you need.

2 Young girls dressed as witches and painting pumpkins for Halloween.

No Carve Pumpkin Painting Ideas

You know that fall is near when you start seeing pumpkins everywhere you look.

Pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween Costumes seem to hit the shelves as soon as school starts these days.

If you have children you also know that this kicks off the season of them begging to carve a pumpkin every day.

As a parent, you also know that a carved pumpkin will turn into a rotting mess of goo on your front porch in about 5 days.

I have found that painting pumpkins is the perfect no-carve, mess-free solution.

They give the kiddos the Halloween decorating fix they so desperately crave, without the mess and mold that comes with carving a pumpkin too early.

Mess Free Painted Pumpkins

Since my kids were toddlers we have made the choice to decorate a few pumpkins at the beginning of October and then actually carve pumpkins the weekend before Halloween.

The kids love this because they are able to go through all the steps that they love about decorating for fall.

They are able to

  • choose a pumpkin
  • be creative and make it their own
  • use it to decorate our home – which they look forward to almost as much as trick-or-treating.

This year we decided to do painted pumpkins after I discovered a product that I knew would be easy for the kids to use AND completely mess free.

Kwick Stix for painting pumpkins.

Kwik Stix Solid Paint Sticks are quick-drying, solid tempera paints – just like you used in elementary school.

The difference is that they are in a tube like a glue stick – which makes them super easy to use and completely mess free. Also, they dry in 90 seconds! GENIUS!!!

No need for paintbrushes, covering the area with newspaper or putting on smocks. Just pop of the lid and get creative. You can order yours here.

Easy Painted Pumpkin Ideas for Kids

My oldest is the artistic director in our house and she came to the table with her plans for the perfect painted pumpkins.

She had tons of ideas that she wanted to try out and she couldn’t wait to get started.

1) Unicorn Painted Pumpkin

No carve painted unicorn pumpkin

When choosing a pumpkin, white is best and you also want a stem that is curved slightly forward. This will eventually become the unicorn’s horn.

Once you have selected your perfect pumpkin to be transformed into a unicorn you will use the Kwik Stix to add the eyelashes followed by the cheeks and nostrils.

Lastly, just create a unicorn horn out of construction paper and slide it over the stem. Ta-da!

2) Polka Dot Painted Pumpkin

no carve polka dot pumpkin

This adorable little pumpkin took just minutes to paint with the Kwik Stix.

Simply pop off the lid and start painting dots in any pattern, shape your size you like.

I was amazed at how fast the paints dried – making the entire process easy and mess free!

3) Two-Faced Pumpkin

Quickly turn a white pumpkin into a two faced ghost with just a bit of black paint.

ghost painted pumpkin

4) Fingerprint Painted Pumpkin

These super adorable painted pumpkins are made with your kiddos fingerprint! To keep this project mess-free encourage them to use just their thumb. You could also use the Kwik Stix to apply paint to their fingers for the prints to cut down on the mess. Add embellishment with a paint pen or marker.

fingerprint pumpkin painting for kids
Source: Handmade Charlotte

5) Glow in the Dark Painted Pumpkins

Kids will love putting tape or stickers all over their pumpkin before a grown up sprays it with glow in the dark spray paint. Once dry the kids can peel off the paint or stickers and they will be amazed by the result when the lights are turned off.

glow in the dark spray paint pumpkin
Source: Brit.co

6) Rubber Band Resist Pumpkin

Kids will love wrapping their pumpkin in rubber bands. Once their done they can sponge paint the entire pumpkin. Wait 24 hours for it to dry before cutting off the rubber bands to reveal the end result!

rubber band resist pumpkin

7) Easy Q-Tip Painted Pumpkins

Keep the pumpkin painted process mess free with the use of Q-Tips. The kiddos can create their own patterns and lines to decorate.

child painting a pumpkin with a q tip
Source: ProjectswithKids.com

8) Easy Pour Art Pumpkins

To keep this project as easy and mess free as possible here are a few tips: 1) Start with a white pumpkin that doesn’t need to be spray painted. 2) Use acrylic paint in small squeeze bottles just like you get in the craft section. 3) Place your pumpkin in a small cardboard box, like a shoebox that can be thrown away when you are done.

pour painted pumpkin
Source: Woman’s Day

9) Easy Paint Pen Pumpkin

Paint pens are a great way to keep the mess to a minimum while decorating pumpkins. Silver, gold, black and white paint pens look especially cool on white and orange pumpkins.

easy paint pen pumpkin decorating for kids
Source: Unknown

10) Puff Paint Pumpkin

One of the reasons that the traditional methods of painting pumpkins is so messy is because of the runny paint. This genius idea uses puff paint instead. This allows kiddos to easy control where they are placing the paint and keeps the entire process mess-free.

Mess free puff paint pumpkins for kids
Source: A Beautiful Mess

There you have it mama! 10 mess-free, no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas that are quick, easy and tons of fun!

Wanting to try this out? You can pick up your own set of Kwik Stix from Amazon!

No-carve pumpkin painting ideas - Pumpkins that have been painted using Kwik Stix.
Painted Unicorn Pumpkin Tutorial for kids.

Easy Painted Pumpkin Ideas for Kids


  1. I asked my girls if they were going to carve their own pumpkins this year and they said no. After hearing that one wanted a mermaid horse, maybe this is a better solution!!

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