Thursday, October 3, 2013

Patriotic How-To's with painting pumpkins!

Our patriotic pumpkins painted by our sweet daughter this week as she visited for a memorable family event.  We got to celebrate my husband's final military promotion in the Army this week.  And of course we decided Americana decor was the way to go!!!

NOTE:  It wouldn't be right if I didn't take a moment to stop before I share the how-to's and say that our entire Family is saddened by the events that is going on with the government closures.  We have many dear friends, neighbors, and co-workers that are furloughed and are not feeling very patriotic at the moment.  It was difficult to celebrate a very exciting time in our families life on the very same day that so many were being handed notices to go home until further notice without a job.  Having spent more than 21 years in the military we have seen many ups and downs and know that this too will pass.  We pray for the families affected and hope that it passes quickly.  We pray for the politicians making the decisions to be able to come to wise agreements for the best of our country!  

Now back to these cute pumpkins.  I have to give all the credit to Cami, our daughter who came up with the idea and executed it for me too.  She was a huge help this week in helping bring together a great celebration....and everyone loved these pumpkins that greeted them at the front door!  

Cami is our 20 year old daughter, 
who is an education major at 
Southeastern University in Florida. 
 It was amazing to have her here 
visiting for this occasion.  She's 
not only crafty, but she does dishes
too without being asked...
how much luckier can a mom get!  ;)

Well here is what we did.  We bought 3 pumpkins in various sizes.
Our pumpkins were a little dirty...knowing the paint wouldn't stick well to the dirt, we cleaned them.  It was easier for us to wipe them down with wipes then to hose them down, but you could do either.  
We let them dry.
We wanted the stems to stay normal color, so we taped them with painters tape.  
Then it was time to paint.
We did find that the white spray paint took a few coats to cover completely.  And we bought good spray paint.  Last year when I painted pumpkins, I learned that better quality spray paint covered better.  
We also bought fast drying and gloss spray paint for these particular ones.  We thought the look would work best in gloss.  
I loved this color red.  It was Regal Red.  The blue we used was called Brilliant Blue.  
We let these dry in direct sunlight for about 3 hours.  They were still tacky and we had to be VERY careful to move them, but we were able to grab the stem and bottom to move carefully.
Before we did the polka dots, we moved them to where we knew we would leave the pumpkins to dry overnight in the garage.  
To make our polka dots, we used two tools.  First one we made from a kitchen sponge.  Just cut a circle the size we wanted from a new kitchen sponge with a sharp pair of scissors.  Also instead of trying to match the red & blue color of spray paint with another paint that we could sponge on, we just sprayed a bunch of spray paint onto a paper plate and used the spray paint on the sponges.  NOTE: The sponges will be trash when done, hard to clean spray paint off (can be done with paint thinner, but not worth it).
We also had smaller circle shaped store bought foam brushes that Cami used to clean up the sponged circles she first placed on the pumpkin.  If we would have found large enough foam circle brushes we would have just used those, but we decided to do these at the last minute and improvised!  
We finished them off with matching ribbons.  And yes believe it or not, we already had that color ribbon in the house.  And were thrilled when it matched our spray paint so well.  Cami LOVES bows (as you can see in her own pictures above) and so her pumpkins needed bows too!  :)
I love my fun polka dotted pumpkins that are still sitting on my front porch.  They were a huge hit for our Promotion Party.  

They were also incredibly easy to make.  Total time was probably 2 hours with about 6-8 hours of drying time.  Basically we did them one afternoon and let them dry overnight before adding the bows to them the next morning.  You can do them any color, with any stamped on shapes...use your creativity and be sure to send us photos of your great pumpkin pictures.  We would love to see them.  Share them with us on our Facebook page.

Also another great unique Pumpkin idea for October, is to make a few PINK pumpkins for Breast Cancer Awareness.  Here are ours from last year.  

More Halloween Ideas HERE:

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  1. What a unique and fun idea! Never thought to do that. Thanks for sharing! I'd love for you to come join our Halloween Party!!!

    1. Thanks Chelsea for stopping by. I'll go check it out.
      Pam :)

  2. Cute idea! I'd love if you'd link up to The DIY'ers.

  3. Congratulations on your husband's military promotion! I love how these pumpkins turned out. Your daughter did a fantastic job painting them!

    1. Thanks Ritchil! They do make me smile every time we pull up to the house!!!
      Pam :)

  4. Those are really fun Pam! they turned out great. Congrats to Cami, I like her already LOL