How to Decorate a Pumpkin With Markers for Halloween?

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to decorate a pumpkin with markers

Pumpkin decorating is a simple but fun activity that you can do on your own or with your friends and family members. Most people do it during Halloween, but you can really do it whenever you want.

You can carve, paint, or decorate your pumpkins with markers. But carving and painting can be more complicated and messy than using markers.

Read on to find out impressive ideas on how to decorate a pumpkin with markers!

Ideas to Decorate a Pumpkin With Markers

1. The Jack Skellington Pumpkin


What You Will Need to Have:

  • White spray paint or white acrylic paint
  • Black acrylic paint
  • A picture of Jack Shellington’s face
  • A paint brush
  • A black permanent marker

What You Will Need to Do:

  1. Spray-paint your pumpkin white. Alternatively, you can use acrylic paint and cover the pumpkin by hand. But the former will get you smoother results and take less time.
  2. Wait for the paint to dry completely. It has to be dry to touch before you move on to the following step.
  3. Pull up a picture of Jack Skellington’s face and use it for reference in the later steps.
  4. Redraw the character’s face on your pumpkin using a pencil first.
  5. Then, grab a black a permanent marker. Trace what you have drawn in step 4. Another option is to print out a picture of Jack Skellington’s face and cut it into a stencil. Then, use it to draw the character on the pumpkin.
  6. Next, fill in what you have outlined using the same marker. Make sure you fill everything in carefully as if you were coloring. However, smudging can easily happen in this step. S0, make sure you leave time for your strokes to dry, and be careful of your palm and arm.
  7. Complete your pumpkin by painting the handle black.

2. The Hand-Lettered Pumpkin


What You Will Need to Have:

  • A marker
  • A sheet of paper to practice on

What You Will Need to Do:

1. Choose what you want to write on your pumpkin. You can go with Halloween phrases or quotes like “Boo,” as seen in the example above.

2. Think about what text style you want to have on your pumpkin. Several options that you can consider are

If we can give you any advice on selection, it’s: the best way to write on pumpkins is the way that you are most comfortable with.

3. On a separate sheet of paper, practice writing with a marker. You can use a black one as in the example or a different colored one. We recommend using paint markers or chalk markers on pumpkins as they produce more visible lines.

4. Once you are satisfied with how your writing looks, transfer it onto your pumpkin.

This decorative idea is modern and suits those with a minimalistic taste. You do not need a lot of different materials either.

3. The Emoji Pumpkin


This is one of the less scary pumpkin designs that you can consider. It is also a contemporary pumpkin Sharpie idea. You can do it with just a few materials.

What You Will Need to Have:

  • Yellow spray paint or yellow acrylic paint
  • A picture of an emoji
  • Markers (Black or colored, depending on your chosen emoji)

What You Will Need to Do:

  1. Paint your entire pumpkin yellow. Use spray paint or acrylic paint and a paintbrush.
  2. Choose the emoji face that you want to turn your pumpkin into.
  3. Grab markers of the same colors as the ones on the emoji face you have chosen.
  4. Open up a picture of the emoji for reference or print it out and cut it into a stencil.
  5. Create the same face on the pumpkin. Either by hand-drawing or stenciling it.

When filling in the eyes or other features, be sure to wait for it to dry to avoid smearing.

Isn’t this a great pumpkin for a dorm? It will be cute on a study desk or work desk too!

4. The Thankful Pumpkin


This is a simple but meaningful way of decorating pumpkins with markers. You can make it a Halloween tradition every year with your family members or friends.

Unlike other pumpkin painting ideas and marker designs, this one needs only one material.

What You Will Need to Have:

  • A black marker

What You Will Need to Do:

  1. Grab your pumpkin and a black marker. You can use another color, but black is the most legible color to consider.
  2. Pass the pumpkin around your family and allow each person to note down what they are thankful for. The writing should go around the pumpkin, not from the top down.

5. The Glow-In-The Dark Pumpkin


To take decorating pumpkins with Sharpie markers up a notch, what about using glow-in-the-dark ones? You can draw pumpkin faces or hand-letter them. In any case, the results will look stunningly impressive.

What You Will Need to Have:

  • Glow-in-the-dark markers

You can get these from CRAYOLA, Sharpie, and Micador. They are quite easy to find!

What You Will Need to Do:

1. Decide on what you want to have on the pumpkin. Do you want a face? A quote? A scary character to suit Halloween?

Here are some ideas for faces to draw on pumpkins:

2. Get a template of what you have chosen in step 1. You can create a stencil or simply have the template ready for reference.

3. Recreate the template on your pumpkin.

Set your decorated pumpkin outside to spook passersby (and wow them at the same time) when the sun goes down. You can also place it in front of a backlight.

What Markers Can I Use to Decorate a Pumpkin?

Directly on the pumpkin, you can use permanent markers, washable markers, chalk markers, and paint markers. Crayola markers work on pumpkins as well. If you cover the pumpkin with chalkboard paint, you will also be able to use chalk on it.

Other Tips to Know


Before you draw on a pumpkin with markers, test them on an inconspicuous part. This will tell you if the ink will be visible and adhere properly. If it does not, you have the chance to switch to other tools without ruining the pumpkin and having to get a new one. It will save you money, time, and effort.

If you mess up, you can wipe the markers with rubbing alcohol. It will break down the chemicals in the ink, so a wet cloth or some tissues will lift it easily.

If that does not work, you can also use a nail polish remover or hand sanitizer. For more detailed instructions, check out our other blog post on “How to get Sharpie off of a pumpkin.”


Now that you have a list of pumpkin decorating ideas with markers, you can proceed to apply what you have learned on how to decorate a pumpkin with markers.

All you need to do is gather the right materials and follow the instructions we have provided. If you have any other follow-up questions, perhaps along the way, do not hesitate to reach out to us! We always check our comments!

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