Thanks for checking out my first ever craft post. Let me first preface this post by saying that this idea is not an original one. Last week I stumbled onto this incredible DIY blog, Homey Oh My, and was so blown away by Amy's creativity and simplistic yet gorgeous DIY projects that I just had to give one a try. I am always astounded by these professional DIYers that are able to take the most everyday objects and use them in ingenious ways. That's just not me. However, I wanted to share this project to show you that anyone (even a novice) can create something pretty cool for their home - and you don't have to spend a ton of time or money. It's also a nice distraction from the stress of everyday life when you can just zone out and paint some pumpkins for an hour or two (and adding a glass of wine doesn't hurt either).
I was attracted to this particular pumpkin craft (Amy has several others on her blog) mainly because I loved the patterns and I am a sucker for anything black and white. These particular type of patterns are found on mud cloth, which is an African cloth tradition dating back to the 12th century. Each of the symbols has meaning and the ways in which the symbols are put together can tell a story and the language was passed down from mother to daughter. I found this really fascinating post about the history of mud cloth on DesignSponge, if you want to learn more! The other reason I chose to attempt this project is that it's pretty darn easy and it doesn't require much in terms of supplies.
You will need a few pumpkins of varying size and shape. I actually ended up buying three different brands of chalk paint simply because the colors I wanted were different brands. I got black, parchment and gray (Maui Sand) all at Michael's. They are also available on Amazon. I don't think one brand worked better than the others - they all seemed to get the job done. I used foam brushes for the paint. Here is a great inexpensive pack of varying sizes. Finally, I used Sharpie oil-based paint markers with medium points for the designs. I also grabbed a pack of inexpensive small paint brushes to touch-up mistakes (trust me they were used more than once).
The pumpkins here represent the various stages - naked, painted, design. I would recommend painting the pumpkins a day or two before you want to do the designs. Mine took two coats to fully cover and you will need to give them time to dry before you can draw on them. I know my drawing above looks like a 4-year old - I told you I was a novice crafter. The other great thing about this craft though is that each design doesn't need to be perfect. I think the beauty is in the imperfections and when you get them all displayed together, it's a really beautiful effect.
Once you have your pumpkins painted, you can start drawing with your markers. If you do a Google image search on "mud cloth," you'll get a pretty good feel for the different symbols and designs. I found it easiest to start with the middle row and then add rows above and below. Let each row dry before starting the next or you will end up with smudges (this is where the touch-up paint brushes came in handy).
Once I did my center row, I started on the row above it.
The finished products! I really liked the look of Amy's with the black, gray and white and since much of my house is black and white, I decided to stick with those colors. There are a ton of color combinations you could try though!
I also painted a few smaller pumpkins to round out the group. The gold polka dots aren't really a mud cloth print, but I wanted to try something different with the gold marker.
They may not be perfect, but I was proud of myself for putting in the effort to try something new.
So what do you guys think? Will you give this project a try? Do you have another you are working on? The holidays are a great time to dip your toes into the DIY world.
For a million awesome DIY projects and to check out the original Mud Cloth Pumpkin project, check out Homey Oh My.
And if you love this craft, you can pin the image below for safe keeping!