How to Decorate a Foam Pumpkin

With Halloween just around the corner, you may be looking for fun and easy crafts to get into the spooky spirit of the season. Decorating pumpkins has long been a Halloween tradition – but not everyone has the yard space to grow their pumpkin patch.

Fear not! Foam pumpkins make a great stand-in. In this post, I’ll share some easy and affordable ideas for how to decorate a foam pumpkin so you can enjoy the festive pumpkin decorating fun without the mess of real pumpkins.

How to Decorate a Foam Pumpkin

We’ll go over supplies you likely already have at home, simple techniques to customize your foam pumpkins, and suggestions for designs perfect for indoor and outdoor display. Get your foam pumpkins, markers, or paintbrushes ready – it’s time to get creative!

What Will You Need?

Before decorating, let’s gather all the supplies we’ll need to complete our foam pumpkin transformations. Some of these items can be substituted or swapped for other materials, so don’t worry if you don’t have everything on the list. Use what you have and get creative!

  • Foam pumpkins (available at most craft stores)
  • Acrylic paint or markers
  • Paintbrushes (if using paint)
  • Glue gun or craft glue
  • Embellishments such as glitter, sequins, beads, ribbon, etc.
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper or drop cloth (to protect your work surface)
  • Optional: carving tools, stencils, and other decorative items you may have on hand

Now let’s dive into some fun ways to decorate your foam pumpkins!

Create a Cohesive Look

10 Easy Steps on How to Decorate a Foam Pumpkin

Step 1. Choose a Theme

The first step in decorating a foam pumpkin is to choose a theme. This will help guide your design choices and create a cohesive look. Some popular themes for foam pumpkins include traditional Halloween, fall harvest, and rustic farmhouses.

Step 2. Gather Supplies

Once you have chosen a theme, it’s time to gather your supplies. You will need a foam pumpkin, acrylic paint, paintbrushes, stencils or stickers (if desired), and any additional embellishments such as ribbon or faux flowers. It’s also helpful to have a newspaper or a drop cloth to protect your work surface.

Step 3. Get Creative

Now comes the fun part – getting creative! Use your acrylic paint to cover the entire pumpkin in your desired color. You can also use stencils or stickers to add designs or words to your pumpkin. You can distress the paint with sandpaper after it has dried for a more rustic look. Finally, add any additional embellishments, such as ribbon or faux flowers, to complete the look of your foam pumpkin decoration.

Step 4. Let it Dry

After you’ve finished painting and decorating your foam pumpkin, let it dry completely before moving on to the next step. The drying time can vary based on the type of paint you use, but it’s usually best to let it dry overnight to ensure the paint is completely set. This is the perfect time to clean up your work area and prepare for the next steps of your foam pumpkin project.

Step 5. Apply a Protective Coat

Once your foam pumpkin is dry, it’s time to seal your artwork. Applying a protective coat helps to preserve the paint and keep your design looking fresh and vibrant for longer. You can use a clear sealant spray or Mod Podge for this purpose. Simply apply a light, even coat over the entire surface of your pumpkin, and then let it dry completely before handling.

Step 6. Add Final Touches

With the protective coat dry, you’re ready to add the final touches to your foam pumpkin. This might include applying additional embellishments, such as jewels or glitter, for an extra sparkle. Or, if you’re aiming for a spooky Halloween look, consider adding faux spider webs or miniature plastic spiders. Use craft glue to secure any additional elements onto your pumpkin, and don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine in this step.

Step 7. Display Your Foam Pumpkin

Now that your foam pumpkin is fully decorated and all embellishments are securely attached, it’s time to display your work of art! Consider the theme and color scheme of your pumpkin when choosing its location. If you’ve decorated with a rustic fall theme, your foam pumpkin might look fantastic on a front porch, nestled among hay bales and chrysanthemums.

A more whimsical pumpkin could add a pop of color to a mantel or bookshelf. And of course, any Halloween-themed foam pumpkins would make a spooky addition to a front window or entryway table. Whether you make just one or a whole patch of foam pumpkins, they will add a festive touch to your Halloween decorations.

Pumpkin Could Add a Pop of Color

Step 8. Care and Storage

After Halloween, carefully clean your foam pumpkin with a soft, dry cloth to remove dust or debris. When storing your pumpkin, place it in a cool, dry area and consider wrapping it in bubble wrap to prevent any damage. By taking the proper steps to clean and store your foam pumpkin, you can ensure it’s ready for display again when the next Halloween season rolls around.

Step 9. Recycle or Repurpose

If your foam pumpkin is showing signs of wear and tear after a few seasons, or if you’re ready for a design change, consider recycling or repurposing it. Foam pumpkins can often be repainted and redecorated to fit a new theme or style. If your pumpkin has become damaged, you might be able to cut it into pieces and use these as part of a spooky Halloween wreath or a centerpiece. Alternatively, if your foam pumpkin is no longer usable, remember to dispose of it responsibly. Always check your local recycling guidelines to see if foam pumpkins can be recycled in your area.

Step 10. Share Your Creation

Foam is a Soft Material

After all the steps are complete and your foam pumpkin is ready, it’s time to share your creation! Show off your artistic talent by posting pictures on your social media platforms or sending images to friends and family.

You could even hold a foam pumpkin decorating contest to inspire others to get into the spirit of Halloween. No matter how you choose to share, remember the fun you had in the process of creating your masterpiece. Enjoy seeing your foam pumpkin become a part of the Halloween festivities.

By following these 10 easy steps, you can create a beautiful and unique foam pumpkin decoration that will impress anyone who sees it.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Choose the Right Paint: Use acrylic paint for your foam pumpkin as it sticks well and provides a vibrant, long-lasting color.
  2. Use a Primer: Before you start painting, apply a primer. This will help the paint adhere better to the foam surface and increase the longevity of your design.
  3. Get Creative with Add-ons: Don’t limit yourself to just paint. Use glitter, sequins, beads, or any other craft items to add texture and sparkle to your pumpkin.
  4. Practice Different Techniques: Experiment with painting techniques like sponging, marbling, or stippling to give your pumpkin a unique look.
  5. Let it Dry Properly: Once you have finished decorating, let your pumpkin dry completely. This will prevent the paint from smudging and keep your design intact.
Experiment With Painting Techniques

With these additional tips and tricks, you can take your foam pumpkin decorating to the next level.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid Using the Wrong Paint: Not all paints are suitable for foam. Avoid using oil-based paint as it might not adhere well and can cause the foam to melt.
  2. Don’t Skip Primer: Skipping the primer could result in the paint not sticking well and your design not lasting. Always apply a primer before painting.
  3. Avoid Over-Decorating: It’s easy to get carried away with decorating, but remember less is more. Overdoing it can make the pumpkin look cluttered and take away from your design.
  4. Avoid Rushing the Drying Process: Don’t try to speed up the drying process with a hairdryer or heater; this can cause the paint to crack or bubble. Allow it to air dry naturally.
  5. Avoid Using Sharp Objects: Foam is a soft material that can easily be damaged. Avoid using sharp objects that can pierce or tear the foam during the decorating process.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your foam pumpkin turns out perfectly decorated and ready to display.


In conclusion, how to decorate a foam pumpkin is not only an easy and affordable way to bring some festive spirit into your home, but it also allows for endless creativity and personalization. With the tips and techniques in this post, you have all the tools you need to create stunning foam pumpkins that will impress your friends and family.

From painting and carving to decoupage and glitter, the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to decorating these versatile pumpkins. So go ahead and get your hands dirty, unleash your inner artist, and let your creativity run wild!

Don’t forget to share your creations with us on social media using #FoamPumpkinDecorating. We can’t wait to see what you come up with! Happy crafting!

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