Several weeks before the party:
Compile your guest list, gather addresses, and purchase your invitations and stamps. Decide if you will be providing the pumpkins or if you want guests to bring their own. State this on the invitation.
If you are planning a pumpkin party for children, line up adults or teenagers to supervise and help youngsters with their pumpkin painting.
Plan your menu. For a fun touch, carry out the pumpkin theme in your refreshments by providing pumpkin seeds and pumpkin baked goods.
Organize games and additional activities.
The week before the party:
Purchase and/or gather the following surfaces and supplies:
- Pumpkins (if you are supplying them)
- DecoArt paints and specialty products (See sidebar at right.)
- Face shape, shape templates (like triangles for eyes, etc.), or stencils
- Various inexpensive brushes or brush sets
- Additional embellishments (buttons, cabochons, feathers, etc.)
- Permanent black markers
- Paper towels
- Baby wipes
- Disposable aprons or old shirts (Lawn and garden trash bags also make great "smocks.")
- Trash bin or bag
- Paper plates
- Cups for water basins
- Plastic tablecloths
- Large electric fan (for speeding drying)
- Small cardboard boxes or cardboard palettes
- Masking tape
- Ingredients/groceries for your refreshments
- Additional party supplies
- Activity and game supplies and prizes (optional)
The day before the party:
Clean pumpkins. (Refer to our painting preparation, tips, and idea guide for instructions.)
Seal all pumpkins before painting by brushing on a coat of Multi-Purpose Sealer. (Drying time is approximately 2-3 hours.) If you want, go ahead and paint some of the pumpkins a solid color. This way, they will have enough time to dry. Refer to the pumpkin painting preparation, tips, and idea guide for creations you can make using solid-colored pumpkins.
Print out pictures of finished samples and ideas.
Organize and prepare your supplies to make things go more efficiently the next day
The day of the party:
Set up an easy-to-clean painting area with plenty of newspapers or plastic tablecloths. If working outside, use marking tape to secure plates and tablecloths, so wind won't blow them away. Set out paint, pumpkins, and supplies. Fill cups with water and arrange supplies so that they are accessible for everyone.
Set out food and drinks.
Have adults help pour paints and dress children in their smocks and aprons, as well as pull back hair away from their faces.
Ask younger children if they would like help painting their pumpkins. If they do, trace a pattern or draw a face on the pumpkin with a permanent marker and let them fill in the features with paint.
Provide plenty of baby wipes or paper towels to clean off messy hands during or after the painting process.
When everyone is finished painting their pumpkins, leave the pumpkins to dry in front of an electric fan and have the food and/or activities.
Before the guests leave, have an adult lightly mist the pumpkins with Americana Matte Spray. (This must be done outside.) Or let everyone take home the painted pumpkins as is and tell the adults that the pumpkins should be sealed before they can be put outside.
If pumpkins are still slightly wet, sit them inside a small cardboard box to transport home. If your guest lives close by, have him/her come back and pick up the dried pumpkin later.
Be sure to take lots of pictures and have fun! That's what pumpkin painting is all about!