25 Creative Pumpkin Painting Contest Ideas 2023

Looking for some creative pumpkin painting contest ideas for 2023? Here you will have it. Painted pumpkins are best for no-carve pumpkin contest ideas. From scary ideas to cute, colorful designs, I have got you covered. 

I will share 25 painted pumpkin contest ideas for 2023 in this blog.

pumpkin painting contest ideas

25 Creative Pumpkin Painting Contest Ideas 2023

Here are 25 creative pumpkin painting contest ideas. Each of these ideas can be modified and personalized according to your preferences. Let’s get started!

#1. Galaxy Pumpkin

Galaxy Painted Pumpkin

Have you ever stared at the night sky and thought about painting it? Now’s your chance! You’ll need black, purple, blue, and white acrylic paints to get started. First, paint the entire pumpkin black as your canvas. Then, blend in splotches of purple and blue to give it that galactic feel.

Once you’ve got your base, it’s time for the stars. Grab a toothbrush and flick white paint onto your pumpkin for that starry effect. The end result? A pumpkin that’s out of this world!

#2. Emoji Pumpkins

Emoji Painted Pumpkins

Looking for some funny pumpkin contest ideas? Do fun with emoji. Pick your favorite emojis and sketch their outlines on different pumpkins. Fill in the outlines using bright, vibrant colors. Don’t forget the details like eyes, mouths, or any accessories.

After painting, use a black outline to make the emojis pop. Voila, you’ve got yourself a pumpkin patch that speaks a thousand words—or at least a few emojis!

#3. Boho Chic Pumpkin

Boho Chic Painted Pumpkin

This Boho Chic design is a must-try if you’re all about aesthetics. First, paint your pumpkin with a base color that screams Boho—think soft pinks, purples, or even a light teal. Now comes the fun part. Decorate your pumpkin with geometric shapes, fringes, and other Boho elements.

Adding embellishments like lace or small beads can also elevate your pumpkin to the next level. The end result? A sophisticated and stylish pumpkin that’s Instagram-worthy.

#4. Animal Kingdom

Tiger painted pumpkin

Unleash your wild side by painting your pumpkins to resemble animals. Choose critters that have distinct colors and features, like zebras, tigers, or ladybugs. Start by painting your pumpkin the primary color of the animal. Next, add the intricate details that bring your creature to life.

For instance, use black paint to add the stripes if you’re painting a zebra. For a ladybug, red goes first, then the black spots. You’ll end up with an adorable and impressive pumpkin zoo.

#5. Drip Art

Drip art on Pumpkin

Drip art is as easy as pie and looks exceptionally cool. To start off, paint your pumpkin with a base color of your choice. Once it’s dry, choose a contrasting color and pour it over the top. Hold the pumpkin by the stem and rotate it, letting the paint drip down the sides.

Let the paint dry, and you’ll have a masterpiece that looks like it belongs in a modern art gallery. For added flair, you can even use multiple colors for a vibrant, mesmerizing effect.

#6. Glitter Bomb

Glitter Bomb

Choose a base color and paint your pumpkin. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle a generous amount of glitter all over the pumpkin.

Shake off the excess glitter and let it dry. You’re left with a pumpkin that shines and shimmers, perfect for capturing anyone’s eye. And hey, life’s short—so make it glittery!

#7. Vintage Vibes

Vintage Vibes Pumpkin

Channel the charm of yesteryears with a vintage-inspired design. To achieve this, opt for muted, earthy tones like beige, olive green, or even a faded yellow. Paint your pumpkin with one of these colors as your base.

Next, use stencils or freehand to add retro patterns like polka dots, stripes, or paisley. The end result is a pumpkin that’s a blast from the past but in the best way possible.

#8. Floral Fantasy

Floral Fantasy Pumpkin

Spring might be months away, but who says you can’t bring it into fall? Paint your pumpkin a solid base color—white works particularly well for this. Then, paint various types of flowers all around the pumpkin in different colors.

The variety of flowers will make your pumpkin pop, and it’ll be like holding a bouquet that never wilts. It’s a fun and artistic way to celebrate fall with a touch of spring.

#9. Spooky Silhouettes

Spooky Silhouettes Pumpkin

Since Halloween is approaching, why not add a little spook to your pumpkins? Paint the pumpkin a lighter shade, perhaps an eerie gray or ghostly white. After it dries, paint on dark, spooky silhouettes like bats, witches, or haunted houses. You’ll get a chilling yet intriguing piece that adds that Halloween touch without being overly gruesome. It’s a simple yet effective way to bring in some spooky vibes.

#10. Abstract Art

Abstract art

Let your imagination run wild with an abstract design. Start with a base color and add shapes, lines, dots, or whatever floats your boat. The key here is to not overthink it. Let your hand move freely and see where it takes you. You might just end up with a unique masterpiece that becomes the talk of the town—or at least the talk of the pumpkin painting contest!

#11. Nautical Theme

Nautical theme

Ahoy, matey! If you’re a fan of the sea, this nautical theme is for you. Start by painting your pumpkin a calming shade of blue or turquoise to mimic the ocean. Once dry, add marine elements like anchors, seashells, or even a lighthouse. For an extra touch, you can use a little bit of white paint to create waves or sea foam. Now, you have a pumpkin that brings the charm of the ocean right to your doorstep.

#12. Spooky Eyes

Spooky Eyes Pumpkin

Want something creepy but easy? Paint the pumpkin a dark color like black or deep purple. Next, paint a variety of glowing eyes all over it—think cat eyes, snake eyes, even human eyes! Make sure the eyes vary in size and shape to add to the eeriness. It’s a straightforward design but is sure to give everyone the heebie-jeebies!

#13. Golden Elegance

golden elegance

Who says pumpkins can’t be luxurious? Start with a black or white base, and then paint sophisticated patterns using gold acrylic paint. Consider designs like swirls, fleur-de-lis, or even an intricate mandala. Your pumpkin will not only look ritzy but will also add a touch of elegance to any setting. It’s like a piece of jewelry but in pumpkin form!

#14. Sports Fanatic

Sports Fanatic

Hey, sports fans, this one’s a slam dunk! Paint your pumpkin in your favorite team’s colors and add their logo or mascot. Whether it’s football, basketball, or baseball, your pumpkin will definitely score points for team spirit. Why not create a series of sports-themed pumpkins to make it even more exciting? It’s a home run idea for any sports lover.

#15. Glow in the Dark

glow in dark painted pumpkin

Why not create a pumpkin that shines even when the lights go out? Paint your pumpkin with glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint. Whether you paint creepy faces or adorable creatures, they’ll glow magically in the dark. Just expose the pumpkin to light before showing it off, and you have a luminescent masterpiece. It’s a surefire hit, especially with the kiddos!

#16. Comic Book Hero

comic book hero superman

If you’re a comic book enthusiast, turn your pumpkin into your favorite superhero. Whether it’s the vibrant colors of Superman’s emblem or the dark allure of Batman’s logo, your pumpkin will be a hit among fans. Remember, attention to detail is key. So make sure those capes, masks, and emblems are spot on!

#17. Harry Potter Magic

Harry potter magic

Wizards and Muggles alike will love this. Paint your pumpkin in the colors of your favorite Hogwarts house and add the house emblem for good measure. You could even paint a tiny Golden Snitch or a wand. Who knows, this magical pumpkin might just win you the House Cup—or at least a painting contest!

#18. Candy Corn Ombre

Candy Corn Ombre

Ah, candy corn—the quintessential fall candy. To make a candy corn pumpkin, start with a white base at the top, followed by orange in the middle and yellow at the bottom. Blend the colors well to create an ombre effect. Sweet and simple, this pumpkin is a delicious treat for the eyes!

#19. Steampunk Style

Steampunk Style

Fans of steampunk will dig this idea. Start with a dark base like black or deep brown. Then, add gears, clocks, and other steampunk elements using metallic paints like gold, copper, and silver. The end result will be a pumpkin that looks like it came straight out of a Victorian sci-fi novel. Super cool, right?

#20. Mosaic Design

Mosaic Design

For something a little different, try a mosaic design. Paint small geometric shapes all over your pumpkin in different colors. Make sure they fit together like a puzzle.

Once you’re done, outline each shape with a darker color to make the design pop. This mosaic pumpkin is a work of art that’ll stand out in any contest!

#21. Chalkboard Message

Chalkboard Message on Pumpkin

Paint your pumpkin with chalkboard paint and let it dry. The fun part? You can write messages or draw doodles using chalk! This interactive pumpkin lets you change its design whenever you want. Plus, sharing seasonal messages or spooky sayings is a great way.

#22. Colorful Dots

colorful dots painted pumpkin

If you’re looking for something simple yet cheerful, this is it. Paint your pumpkin a solid base color and add multi-colored dots all over it. The contrast between the base color and the dots creates a lively and vibrant look. It’s easy, but it brings a lot of punch!

#23. Snowy Landscape

Snowy landscape

Who says pumpkins are just for fall? Paint a winter wonderland on your pumpkin to stand out from the crowd. Use whites and blues to create snowy hills, snowflakes, and maybe even a snowman. It’s a chill way to bring some winter magic into your fall celebrations.

#24. Geode Pumpkin

Geode Pumpkin

This one’s a gem! Paint your pumpkin a dark color, like black or navy blue. Once it’s dry, use a sponge to dab on rings of different metallic colors, mimicking the look of a geode. Add some glitter to give it that crystalline sparkle. You’ve just made a geode pumpkin that rocks!

#25. Tie-Dye Swirl

Tie-Dye Swirl painted pumpkin

Last but not least, let’s go retro with a tie-dye pumpkin. Paint the pumpkin white as a base. Then, add swirls of multiple colors, blending as you go. The result is a funky, psychedelic pumpkin that returns you to the ’60s. Groovy, isn’t it?

Want some more? Here is a video content on 150 pumpkin contest ideas. Check it out.

FAQs on Painted Pumpkin Contest Ideas

How do you win a pumpkin drawing contest?

There are a few key elements that can help you win a pumpkin drawing contest:

  1. Creativity: Think outside the box and come up with unique designs that stand out from the traditional carved pumpkins.
  2. Attention to detail: Make sure your design is well-executed, and pay attention to details like color, shading, and proportions.
  3. Use different techniques: Experiment with different painting techniques like blending, stenciling, or adding texture to make your pumpkin stand out.
  4. Incorporate a theme: Pick a fun and creative theme that ties all your design elements together.
  5. Finish strong: Don’t rush the final touches on your pumpkin. Take your time and make sure everything is perfect before submitting it for judging. 

Can I use stencils for a painted pumpkin contest?

Yes, you can use stencils for a painted pumpkin contest. Stenciling is a great way to create intricate designs and patterns on your pumpkin with clean lines and minimal effort. Just make sure to secure the stencil tightly against the pumpkin’s surface and use a light touch when applying paint. 

How do you judge a painted pumpkin contest?

Judging a painted pumpkin contest can vary depending on the criteria set by the organizers. However, some common factors that are typically considered during judging include creativity, originality, attention to detail, use of different techniques, adherence to theme, and overall presentation. Carefully read the rules and guidelines provided by the contest organizers to understand their specific judging criteria.   

What is the best paint for painting pumpkins?

What works best to draw on pumpkins? Acrylic paints are often recommended for painting pumpkins because they adhere well to the surface and come in various colors. However, depending on the look you’re going for, you can also use spray paint, chalk paint, or even permanent markers. Avoid using water-based paints as they may cause the pumpkin to rot faster. 


Hopefully, these 25 pumpkin painting ideas have sparked your creativity and inspired you to try something new this fall. Whether it’s a spooky or fun and festive design, painting pumpkins is a great way to celebrate the season and let your personality shine through.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors, patterns, and themes. After all, the possibilities are endless when it comes to pumpkin painting. So grab a paintbrush and some pumpkins, and let your imagination run wild!

Julia Nancy
Julia Nancy

I have vast experience arranging online voting contests for hundreds of clients worldwide in the last 8 years. I also helped countless clients to win their online competitions. Here, on royalvotes.com, I am just sharing knowledge from my experiences. If you need any help regarding the online contest, email me at julia@royalvotes.com