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?


  1. says

    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 :)

  2. racheltr says

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

  3. says

    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 :)


  4. says

    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.

  5. says

    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 says

      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!).

    • alongobucco says

      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!

    • alongobucco says

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

  6. says

    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.


  7. says

    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!

  8. says

    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.


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