gilded pumpkins

I’m pretty sure anyone who knows me will agree with me when I say I should never (I repeat never) be trusted to wield a knife alone. Couple that with the fact that I live 40 minutes away from the nearest pumpkin patch (or 10 blocks from a grocery store) and there’s simply no way I was carving giant Jack-o’-lanterns this Halloween.

Allow me to explain my feelings: this is devastating. Carving pumpkins is one of my favorite things about fall–I used to spend weeks planning what face I would carve out with my dad (for those who are curious, I ALWAYS picked the short, fat pumpkins).

I really wanted to come up with a way to still bring some festive bits to my apartment, so I picked up a few smaller pumpkins and hit up my second home (aka Michaels Craft Store).

I love the look of chic black pumpkins (who ever thought pumpkins could be chic?) so when I found chalkboard paint, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. I coated two pumpkins in it and took chalk to one.

Next up was gold leaf–which is actually much easier than you’d think! For this, I chose pretty white pumpkins because I wanted the look to be more organic and natural.

Paint gold leaf adhesive anywhere that you’d like to have the gold leaf appear. It’s important to note that it won’t stick anywhere that doesn’t have the adhesive base. Wait at least 20-30 minutes for the adhesive to turn clear and tacky.

The gold leaf will come in packs (there were eight sheets in mine) attached to wax paper. This makes it super easy to mold directly to your surface, and ensures that you use up an entire sheet (no wasting, people!).

Lay the gold leaf over the adhesive, press down and remove. I wanted my pumpkins to look a little pieced together and messy, so I didn’t bother being precise, but you can if you’d like a more uniform look. I also had great luck doing gold leaf polka dots on the remaining black pumpkin–like I mentioned, it only sticks to where the adhesive is, so it’s as simple as painting adhesive circles and sticking on gold leaf!

These were definitely a fun way to dress up our mantle, aka the shelf below our windowsill, and add a little Halloween flair to our home. What’s your favorite way to decorate for the spooky season?

  • Marie-Eve @aprettynest

    How fun ! Those looks amazing !
    My Blog – A Pretty Nest

    • alongobucco

      Thank you :)

  • Simona

    they look absolutely fantastic, you should make lots and sell them!

    • alongobucco

      Haha I wish! Thanks for stopping by, Simona! xo

  • Julie

    LOVE how these turned out!!! Such a great idea with the chalkboard paint!! They look fabulous. And it seems you live for Michael’s like me!! It’s simply the BEST. xo, Julie

    • alongobucco

      Haha Michael’s makes my life so much better!

  • milynn

    Love your gold polka dot pumpkin! It’s funny how I just posted something about gold polka dots too this morning and I came across your post. :)

    I also love the idea of painting the pumpkin with chalkboard paint, the pumpkins can have a new face everyday :)

    • alongobucco

      Haha exactly! I’m going to change the face…Now I just need to think of a name!

  • fizzandfrosting

    Adorable! I love the way the gold leaf turned out.

    • alongobucco

      Thanks so much! It was definitely worth the time it took to learn how to do that!

  • natasha

    Love this project! I need to this out this weekend :)

    xo, tasha
    twenty-something blog

    • alongobucco

      Yay! Can’t wait to see how you like it!

  • racheltr

    OH MY GOSH! The chalkboard paint is SUCH a good idea! I love the way these pumpkins turned out! Thanks for sharing :)

    • alongobucco

      You’re so sweet, thank you!!

  • Emily

    this is such a fun idea! x

    • alongobucco

      Thank you! xo

  • cravingforbarneys

    Thank you for all these ideas! This is the first year I’m going to celebrate Halloween in USA and I am so happy!

    • alongobucco

      Ah, that’s amazing. You’re going to have a blast!

  • caroline

    love that chalkboard pumpkin!!!

    • alongobucco

      Thanks so much, Caroline!

  • twenty-something

    This is the cutest thing EVER. As soon as I get back from the cruise I am doing this. The chalkboard paint is my favorite but the gold ones look so neat too! Amazing post Alyssa :)


    • alongobucco

      Thanks, lady! xo I’m planning on changing the chalkboard one according to my mood haha

      • twenty-something

        Obviously I am going to Michaels right now and getting everything needed to do this project. Can’t wait to share pics when I’m done :)

  • Always Maylee

    Omg do I see a polka dot pumpkin!? I think you just became my hero.

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

    • alongobucco

      Haha I totally thought of you, Yi-chia! xo

  • Kristina

    I love the polka dot pumpkin, so cute!


    Kristina does the Internets

    • alongobucco

      Thanks, Kristina!

  • champydreamsboxedwinebudget

    The polka dots are so cute! I love this idea! I wanted to so something fun with my pumpkin in the next few weeks and this totally inspired me!

    Champagne Dreams, Boxed Wine Budget

    • alongobucco

      Fun! I can’t wait to see how yours turn out…Amazing, I’m sure!

  • kristin reynolds

    So amazing! LOVE!!


    • alongobucco

      Thanks so much, Kristin!

  • Ileana

    Love this DIY!!! Great idea :D

    • alongobucco

      Thank you, Ileana!

  • Amy Shaughnessy

    Cute idea! I think I may do something like this because I just can’t stand the mess involved with carving pumpkins. And I am terrible at it too.


    Fashion and Beauty Finds

    • alongobucco

      It can be SO messy, can’t it?! I do love the seeds, though.

  • jennacwest

    This such a cute idea, chic and still festive. I want to try doing this and hopefully it comes out somewhat as cute as yours. I can be a little challenged when it comes to crafts sometimes.

    • alongobucco

      Aw, thank you so much! xo

  • Julie & Lauren

    That black/gold polka dot pumpkin is the cutest thing ever!!!! LOVE

    • alongobucco

      That’s my favorite one. Thank you!

  • thenowstylebook

    LOVE the polka dot one!! I have some left over chalkboard paint from our breakfast nook so I’m totally doing that!!!!!! Thanks for all the great tips! xoxo

    • alongobucco

      You’re so welcome…thanks for reading!

  • nicole

    ok, i might have to give the chalkboard pumpkin a go. still too scared to try gold leaf, well, anything!

    • alongobucco

      I was supppperrrrr intimidated, too…it ended up being so much easier than I thought. Give it a shot!

  • Pearls and Lace

    Such a pretty idea! I love the gold leaf! They both turned out beautifully!

    xo jen

    • alongobucco

      Thank you, Jen! xo

  • cami

    what cute ideas!! I am going to try some this weekend with my kids!

    • alongobucco

      So fun! I bet they would look great with bright colors, too!

  • xo Michelle

    Your pumpkins turned out SO WELL! Love it-I need to try some this weekend! Thanks for sharing!

    • alongobucco

      Can’t wait to see how yours come out!

  • rachael

    I love your ‘chic’ pumpkins! You did such a great job snazzing them up!

    • alongobucco

      Snazzing them up–perfect word for it!

  • Kacie’s Kloset

    Wow! Those turned out amazing! Love this DIY!

    • alongobucco

      Thank you so much! You should definitely try it out!

  • Emily

    These are soo cute! I love the metallic touches. Well done!

    • alongobucco

      Thanks, Emily!

  • glitzyblues

    Love this idea of painted pumpkins! Think the polka dot one is my favorite!

    Xo, Rachel

    • alongobucco

      Mine too, Rachel! It reminds me of Kate Spade!

  • Kelsey

    Forget carving pumpkins – this is way cuter! Love the idea! xo Kelsey

    • alongobucco

      Aw, thanks Kelsey!

  • Tracy

    These pumpkins are so pretty. I really must take the time to do this (or something similar too). I saw some lovely pumpkins at the farmers market on my way to work. Looks like I will be stopping by there before this weekend to take a few home.

    • alongobucco

      I had never really seen the white kind before, but they were at the market this past weekend. I think they look so pretty and natural (or as natural as gold leaf can look!).

  • Amy Bishop (@drmngincashmere)

    I love all of them!! SO pretty & creative!
    xx, amy

    • alongobucco

      Thank you so much, Amy! xo

  • Ashley SideSmile Style

    those are too cool! i need to make some for my apartment

    xo SideSmile,

    SideSmile Style Blog

    • alongobucco

      They’re perfect for apartments, too. The smaller sizes take up way less space–I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t have room for full-sized pumpkins!

  • Alison

    Beautiful! That gold foil idea is fabulous!


    • alongobucco

      Thank you, Alison! I couldn’t believe how simple it was!

  • Michaela Noelle

    I love your ideas!! So sparkly and fun! Loving the direction halloween is taking this year!

    • alongobucco

      Thanks so much, Michaela! This is the first year I’ve gone for “chic” decorations–it’s a fun change!

  • Stylishlyme (@stylishlyme)

    wow cool, the gold leaf pumpkin is really neat.


    • alongobucco

      Thank you!!

  • Ariel

    Oh my word!!! These are so cute and genius!! They turned out great :) Thanks for sharing!!!

    • alongobucco

      Thanks so much, Ariel!

  • girlavantgarde

    They came out so good! Love the gilded leaf!

    xo, Courtney

    • alongobucco

      Gold is my absolute favorite, so I naturally needed to make my pumpkins like that!

  • ashley

    I’ve been wanting to paint pumpkins. These are so chic!

    xo Ashley

    • alongobucco

      Thanks so much, Ashley!

  • Bree

    LOVE how this looks, what a chic way to halloween-up your house!! <3

    • alongobucco

      Thanks so much, Bree!

  • Megan, The Frugalista Diaries

    oooooh pretty!Xo Megan

    • alongobucco

      Thank you, Megan!

  • Mollie

    These are sooooo cute! I am in love with that gold one! Such a clever idea!! :)

    go for the glam

    • alongobucco

      Thanks so much, Mollie! xo

  • TJ

    Chalk paint is everywhere. I can’t believe I didn’t think of doing on a pumpkin too. So perfect!!!!
    xo TJ

    • alongobucco

      I’ve started chalk painting everything in my apartment. It’s becoming an issue!

  • Emilee Anne

    These are some snazzy pumpkins, I can’t wait to try this! I’m thinking pink and gold for me.
    xx emileeanne

    • alongobucco

      L-o-v-e the idea of pink and gold!

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  • Rebecca Ciriaco Sullivan

    Awwww…..can anything be cuter than this?????


    • alongobucco

      Aw, thanks Rebecca!

  • Anne

    Love these! Definitely want to try the chalkboard – love that as an alternative to carving a jack-o-lantern face.

    • alongobucco

      I know I would end up with one less finger if I tried carving!

  • Emily | Recently

    Brilliant idea to use chalkboard paint! Brilliant. Love it.

    • alongobucco

      Thank you, Emily! xo

  • Maria

    Okay, officially obsessed with the chalkboard paint idea! We painted a chalkboard in our kitchen and have a ton of paint leftover. This is the perfect idea for apartment pumpkins so you don’t have to worry about fruit flies! Dying.


    • alongobucco

      I totally want to paint a chalkboard on my wall. Love that idea!

  • Lindsay

    Oh my this is the best DIY ever! I love the gold leaf. So, so pretty. And I love the chalkboard paint idea. Then if you have kids (like me) they can make their own spooky face on it. Super cute!

    • alongobucco

      I’ve switched my face a few times at this point…I love giving my pumpkin “moods”

  • Tori

    I love this!!! So cute and no goo on your hands!!

    • alongobucco

      Which is the worst, most nasty part, by the way!

  • Jenn

    I love the chalkboard paint idea!

    • alongobucco

      Thanks, Jenn!

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  • biscuitsandnavy

    I’m bookmarking your page! I just love these pumpkin decorating ideas so much. I can’t wait to get a pumpkins this weekend and try this:) Thanks for the DIY, xoxo

    • alongobucco

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed :)

  • amy

    those are so adorable! I may have to try this out this week!

    • alongobucco

      Thanks so much, Amy!

  • Jackie Giardina

    coolest pumpkins I’ve ever seen!!!

    xo Jackie

    • alongobucco

      Thanks, Jackie!

  • allie

    the polka dot pumpkin is soooo darn cute!!!

    • alongobucco

      That was my fav!

  • Jenee C.

    These are so creative! Who would have thought pumpkins could be so chic. I’m off to pin everything.

    xx Jenee C.
    {camo meets couture}

    • alongobucco

      Chic pumpkins are always a win!

  • Emily

    Love these ideas! The chalkboard pumpkin is adorable!

    • alongobucco

      Thanks so much, Emily!

  • navlandstyle
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  • champydreamsboxedwinebudget

    Alyssa! I totally stole this title and didn’t even know I did until I looked again from Stephanie’s link today haha! I’m so sorry! #worstbloggerever

    • alongobucco

      Omg, I totally don’t care girlfriend! :)

  • Erica

    Lol!! Painting pumpkins is definitely the safer option for keeping all your fingers intact. ;)

    I love the chalk board painted pumpkins. So fun to draw the faces on them.