How to Make Pumpkins With Stones

This is a fun and inexpensive Halloween activity. You can either do this as a solo project or invite family and/or friends to join you for a fun autumn get-together. These are great for outdoor decoration. Flat stones can be painted, sealed with acrylic or polyurethane, and set in gravel walkways or used to line flower beds. Round rocks can be stacked and glued on top of each other to make a kind of "pumpkin snowman" or "pumpkin topiary". The possibilities are endless!


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    Go on a rock hunt. Find rocks of various shapes and sizes - whatever you think would make an interesting pumpkin. Smooth rocks are easier to paint, but rough, pitted, or lumpy stones can add character.
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    Wash the rocks and dry them thoroughly. Use a scrub brush or an old toothbrush to remove any stubborn dirt.
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    Gather your supplies.
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    Cover your work surface with newspapers or plastic sheeting. A vinyl picnic tablecloth works well and can be reused (Think green!).
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    Choose the rock you want to start with. Using the orange paint, cover the entire rock. For a more realistic pumpkins, use varying shades of yellow and orange. Use brown to make the ridges of the pumpkin for a more realistic look.
    • If you would like your pumpkin to look like a jack-o-lantern, decide how you would like to the face to look and paint it on with black paint. If you want it to look as though it is lighted, paint the eyes, nose, and mouth with yellow, then outline them with black.
    • If you want to add a stem to your pumpkin, use a green or brown pipe cleaner. Wind the pipe cleaner tightly around a marker or wooden dowel, slide it off, then use hot glue or epoxy to secure it to the rock. You may need to use a little glue to keep the coils compact. You can also make a little vine coming off the stem with this method, just stretch out the coil after you slide it off and glue it at the base of the stem.
    • Pumpkin Snowman or Pumpkin Topiary: To make a "pumpkin snowman" or "pumpkin topiary", choose round rocks of graduated sizes. Start with the largest on the bottom, then glue the rocks one on top of the other. Remember that if you make it too large it will get quite heavy, so plan accordingly. You may also need to glue the bottom rock to a board for stability. This board can be painted and coated with sealer to make it weather resistant.


  • Let each coat of paint dry between applications, especially when working with black, otherwise you can end up with a smeared mess.
  • Look at pictures of real pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns for inspiration.
  • If you choose to add stems to your pumpkins, or if you want to make a stack of pumpkins, epoxy glue will work better than hot glue, especially if you plan to display your creations outdoors.
  • If you make a topiary-style rock pumpkin display, stack and glue the stones together before painting them. Otherwise, the glue will stick only to the paint, not the rocks, and it will be unstable.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment with shading, etc... Real pumpkins are not a solid color of orange. Some are more yellow or have bits of green in them. Be creative!
  • If you are doing this project with small children, it is helpful to spread a painter's drop cloth or some plastic sheeting under the table (especially if you are working in a room with a carpet).
  • Spray paint can also be used. It would work well if you had a large project planned and wanted to get the orange base coat done quickly. Make sure you spray them outside.


  • Follow the directions carefully if using epoxy. It is quite permanent.
  • Take your pumpkins outside to spray them with sealer or spray paint. The fumes can be toxic in confined spaces and you don't want to damage your furniture.
  • If you choose to use hot glue (good for an indoor display), be careful with the glue gun. Hot glue can cause nasty burns!
  • Clean up any paint spills immediately. If it starts to dry, you could be stuck with it.
  • Be cautious when working with larger stones. They may get away from you and fall on toes and fingers.

Things You'll Need

  • An assortment of stones in interesting shapes and various sizes
  • Acrylic craft paint: Yellow, Orange, Green, Brown, Black, & White
  • Paint brushes
  • Cup of water to rinse brushes
  • Plastic or Styrofoam plate to mix colors on
  • Craft apron or clothes that you don't mind getting paint on
  • Hot Glue gun (optional)
  • Glue sticks (optional)
  • Epoxy Glue (optional)
  • Spray-on acrylic or polyurethane sealer (optional)
  • Green and/or brown pipe cleaners (optional)

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Categories: Halloween Pumpkins