Dollar Store Textured Pumpkins

4 Materials
1 Hour

I love using pumpkins in my fall decor but the good, realistic looking ones really add up in cost! I used glue, some baking soda and paint to create a textured dollar store pumpkins that look a lot more expensive than they really are!

Gather supplies and make your paint mixture

You’ll want:

  • Cheap foam pumpkins. I got mine from the dollar tree.
  • Paint (acrylic or chalk is fine)
  • Glue. I like wood glue because I think it is thicker and dries almost crackly.
  • Baking soda
  • A cheap craft paint brush
  • Cup or old bowl to mix.

For the baking soda mixture, I use about 4-5 tablespoons of baking soda and slowly add in paint until it mixes up smooth enough that you can paint it on with your brush, but is still gritty and a bit lumpy.

Add glue directly to the pumpkin

A lot of people like to mix craft glue in with the paint/baking soda. I’ve done that too and it works nicely! However for the pumpkins, I prefer to coat it in wood glue then add paint. You can let it drip and run down the pumpkin giving it that “warty” look of real pumpkins.

Add paint/baking soda mixture

You want to wait until the top layer of the glue is tacky. You can use a hair dryer on low, or a fan to speed this up. Once the top layer is tacky and not runny, you can add your paint and baking soda mixture all over the pumpkin.

Add in some dimension

Go in with a darker color and add some dimension to your pumpkin. Paint it on randomly and not uniform, after all real pumpkins are not perfect! You’ll notice that the wood glue underneath dries with a bit of a cracked, streaky look. I like to leave this because it adds dimension to the pumpkin.

Remove loose pieces

You can use a brush, fine grit sandpaper or even just your fingers to brush off any loose chunks of baking soda paint once dry.

You might choose to spray your finished pumpkins with a spray sealer. I’ve never had issues with the paint coming off because the glue helps it bond, and mine just sit in a bowl, but you could add the sealer for extra protection if you’d like!

Add some leaves and now you have a beautiful fall centerpiece!

You can add them to a bowl or tray with some leaves or greenery and now you have a beautiful fall centerpiece!

What I like about this method is that you can cover a lot of pumpkins with a small amount of glue and the paint mixture. You can make a whole bowl full of these for a nice centerpiece on a large table, and it won’t cost very much!

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Marcia
    on Aug 26, 2020

    How much paint to baking soda?

  • Beth
    on Aug 27, 2020

    Will white glue work as well as wood glue?

    • Yes as Cathy noted the wood glue is thicker, but you could certainly try with white like I would probably just paint it on then let the top get tacky, then try a second layer of glue on top of that. Thin coats would probably be better with white glue!

  • Hilda Cooper
    on Sep 1, 2020

    How much baking soda?

    • I like to start with about 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda and slowly mix in paint, stirring as I do until I get a consistency that is smooth enough to lay on the pumpkin but still gritty. If you use a paint with a higher water content, but sure to use pour just a bit in at a time. You don’t want it to be runny. I used 3 tablespoons baking soda to about 1.5 tablespoons of paint for these three pumpkins.

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