Monday, October 24, 2011

How-To: Make a Pikachu Pumpkin

How-To: Make a Pikachu Pumpkin Last week, my son had a school assignment to decorate a pumpkin as his favorite character from a book.  Of course, the book he picked was a Pokemon one, and the character he chose was Pikachu. Despite both of my kids having been Pokemon fanatics for a couple of years now, I still haven't quite gotten all the lingo, characters and story lines sorted out, but I do think this yellow "electric type" is a cutie and was excited to see him transformed into a pumpkin.

My son was adamant that he had to do "ALL THE WORK," and for the most part he did. Shortly after starting, we both realized that Pikachu was turning out to be pretty awesome so we decided we'd share the process here with you. It's pretty straightforward, but hopefully you'll see how easy it is to transform a pumpkin into a Pikachu and will want to jump in before Halloween.

We used a small round pumpkin, and since the kids weren't allowed to carve the designs (gooey pumpkin guts on the display in the library would be ... not so awesome) we knew paint was the perfect medium.

How-To: Make a Pikachu Pumpkin Supplies 


  • 1 small round pumpkin
  • Acrylic paint in bright yellow, red, white and black
  • 1 fine line black paint pen (a Sharpie might work as well, but we happened to have a paint pen on hand)
  • Assorted sponge brushes (I found an assorted pack of brushes at Hobby Lobby for around $5-6. It included many sizes of rectangular brushes, as well as some round brushes that were perfect for making Pikachu's eyes and cheeks)
  • A pencil with a new, unused eraser
  • Cardstock or Mat Board
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Assorted small plastic bowls (recycled applesauce containers are great!)

Pikachu Pumpkin - base coat
It took two or three layers of the yellow acrylic paint to really coat the pumpkin. We set up on a scrap piece of cardboard and let my son paint away. He played while each layer was drying & it didn't seem to take to long between coats.

For the eyes and cheeks, we used the round sponge brushes. Put a small amount of paint into one of the small plastic bowls. Dip the brush in the bowl, then dab it against the side of the bowl to remove the excess paint and give it a light, even coating.
Pikachu Pumpkin - cheeks, loading brush
Pikachu Pumpkin - cheeks, dabbing the brush
Pikachu Pumpkin - cheeks circle brush dabbed
Pikachu Pumpkin - painting cheeks
Press the sponge brush straight down on the pumpkin and gently rock it around to make sure the entire circumference of the circle gets painted. We practiced a couple of times on the cardboard to get the motion down. My son quickly picked it up and was stoked to see the perfect circles he was able to create with the circle sponge brush.

Pikachu Eyes & Cheeks
Place the eyes toward the center of the pumpkin, and the red cheeks just below and to the right and left of the eyes.

Pikachu Eyes
For the white portion of the eyes, use your new, unused pencil eraser and dab it in white acrylic paint. Use the same straight-down-rock-straight-up method to apply the white portion of Pikachu's eyes. Check pictures for placement (or, as we did, use a Pikachu stuffed animal as your reference)

I helped my son with the nose and mouth, because the lines are so fine. Matching the lines in your reference drawing (or stuffed animal) draw the small nose and wavy mouth.

Pikachu Pumpkin Ears
For the ears, paint a layer of yellow acrylic paint on mat board or heavy cardstock. Then paint a stripe of black across the top. Cut the elongated triangle shapes out to create the ears.

Pikachu Pumpkin - attaching the ears
To attach the ears, hold them in place and surround each one with hot glue (this was the other time I helped my son so he wouldn't burn his fingers) Hold the ear in place while the glue dries enough to set up and support the ears. Once the glue is completely dry, paint the glue with the yellow acrylic paint to help it blend in to the pumpkin. Voila! Pikachu Pumpkin!

How-To: Make a Pikachu Pumpkin
My son was so excited to take his Pikachu Pumpkin with him to school this morning. We kept joking that he needed to carry it on his shoulder. And even though I'm not a diehard Poke-Parent, I could still deeply appreciate his enjoyment of turning a plain pumpkin into an awesome Pikachu.


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