How to Paint Faux Pumpkins with Alcohol Inks

Alcohol Inks How-To

Fall is almost here ... and if you are anything like me, you can't wait to start decorating your entrance way or porch with seasonal decor. But as much as I cherish Fall, I got to say that I am not a “traditional orange pumpkin decor” kind of girl. 

And being an alcohol ink artist, I was just itching to try alcohol inks on pumpkins and transform them from "regular pumpkins" to "fabulously colorful pumpkins"! Don't you think these pumpkins in vibrant hues and with marbled watercolor effect turned out great? 

DIY painted Alcohol Ink Pumpkins

I created 3 of these pumpkin (very left) during a Facebook Live Demo today, and I attached the edited version of the video here. Check it out, get inspired, grab some alcohol inks and start to create your own colorful pumpkins!

I used faux pumpkins that are coated in a thin layer of white plastic so that they can be reused year after year. Now, If you are not a fan of the plastic version, alcohol inks work just as well on glazed ceramic, glass, or even galvanized metal. 


Video Instructions

Let’s first gather all the supplies. To help you find the products that I used, I created a list of project supplies for you in Amazon. This is an affiliate link - you are not paying a cent more to use any of the links, and I will get a little commission. See my full disclaimer here.


Alcohol Ink Pumpkins Supplies


Supplies - click here for complete list:

Alcohol Inks (for example the Pinata Alcohol Inks Exciter Pack) 

91% Isopropyl Alcohol, alternatively 99%

Faux white Pumpkins (alternatively ceramic, glass, metal)



Precision tip applicator bottle 

Copic Alcohol Inks

Small water spray bottle to add texture

Refillable Watercolor Brushes

Drinking Straw (simple plastic, or stainless steel)  

Protective gloves, paper towels, protective table cover


Sealing (please check out my tutorial on how to seal alcohol inks here):

Krylon Kamar spray

Krylon UV Archival spray


1. Prep Work

Because I used non-porous plastic pumpkins, NO prep work is necessary. Yay!!

If you decide to use real pumpkins, I suggest you paint them with a white paint primer first, for example Bullseye, Kilz2 or white acrylic Gesso

This not only creates a smooth non-porous surface, it also makes the alcohol ink look really vibrant. Alcohol Inks are transparent, and without painting the real pumpkin first white, the orange would be visible through the alcohol inks.


2. Painting with Alcohol Inks

In the Facebook Live Video that is attached, I am showing you three of my favorite techniques.


Don't forget to protect your work surface with a plastic cover first, and also please use nitrile gloves because alcohol inks can stain your skin for several days (been there, got the t-shirt).


First Design - Springtime Colored Pumpkin

Purple, lime and turquoise faux pumpkin

I used purple, lime and turquoise inks to create a colorful design that almost reminds of Springtime. 

In the video, this design starts at 3:45 ... you can fast forward, but don't forget the all important safety information that I explained at the start of the video.

Quick summary of the technique: Wet the pumpkin with alcohol, turn pumpkin and slowly add the alcohol ink straight from the bottle. Move pumpkin around so that the ink spreads. Add different colors in a random blotch pattern. Once you have most of the white covered, add more alcohol from a spray bottle to blend the colors and create a watercolor effect.

I also applied Pinata Brass Mixative for that added sparkle and metallic shimmer.


Second Design - Lipstick Colored Pumpkin

For the second pumpkin in peach, red, coral and magenta (video starts at 12:00), I used the Aquash refillable brushes and filled the handle with isopropyl alcohol. These brushes are fabulous for alcohol inks, not only because you have lots of control over the added alcohol, but also because they are super easy to clean: Just squeeze the handle, so that isopropyl alcohol flows into the tip, and wipe off on a kitchen towel. 

I also show on this pumpkin, how to use a small alcohol spray bottle to create a watercolor effect and to add texture to the inks.


Third Design - Buffalo Check Pumpkin

Faux pumpkin painted with alcohol inks in Buffalo Check pattern.  


Isn't this Buffalo Check Pumpkin fabulous? Love how the alcohol ink creates the soft color gradients and color separations! *Swoon*

I created a Buffalo Check effect by applying stripes using the Aquash brush. The colors are Brea Reese Slate and Brea Reese Prussian Blue. I first painted the stripes vertically in alternating colors, and then added the horizontal stripes. Be careful not to use too much alcohol for the horizontal stripes, else you'll get a very drippy effect. Which is very enticing too, but not quite what we were going for.  

If you would like to skip in the video to this pumpkin, it starts at 26:00. 


3. Sealing your Alcohol Ink Art 

If you ever worked with alcohol inks before, than you know that this video tutorial doesn't show the very important step of sealing the alcohol ink. 

This is necessary to ensure light-fastness and protect the inks from scratches or blotching. I mentioned the sealing process and the products that I use at the end of the video, but if you missed it or would like an in-depth description, I've created a detailed blog post about how to seal alcohol inks. Please follow this link if you want to learn all about it.


I hope you found this Facebook Live Demo helpful and inspiring for your fall decorating projects.

If you liked this post, please be sure to pin it for later and check out my other alcohol ink projects below. Thanks for stopping by!

How to seal your Alcohol Ink Paintings

How to paint Canvas Magnets with Alcohol Inks

How to create a Galaxy Finish with Alcohol Inks


Talk soon, 

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