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Sharpie Pumpkins

Johnny carefully decorates his pumpkin

On Tuesday, the kids’ good friend A came over for a play date, bearing the gift of three small sugar pumpkins. The kids were very excited at the prospect of decorating them, so after dinner I got out the Sharpie markers (used by children only once or twice a year, on VERY special occasions), and they got to work. As usual, each child approached the project in their own way. Johnny was very serious and methodical.

Emma decorates her pumpkin with plenty of artistic intensity

Emma was very intense, and clearly had a vision of what she wanted the finished product to look like.

Lily happily decorating her pumpkin

Lily was super excited to use the Sharpie pens for the first time ever!

And here are their decorated pumpkins! Emma’s pumpkin was particularly shiny (or something), so I used some funny photo editing. It looks less like the real pumpkin that it is, but you can now see her design clearly!

Emma's completed pumpkin

I love that the pumpkin is singing out a heart, and that it has a heart nose and star eyes. And very dangly earrings on the side, which you can sort of see in the work in progress photo.

Johnny's completed pumpkin

Johnny’s pumpkin started off with a face, but I could not find it anywhere on the finished product. This side of the pumpkin, does, however, have a small picture of a smiling pumpkin on it. Can you spot it towards the bottom?

Lily walks past her completed pumpkin

I couldn’t resist keeping Lily’s foot in this picture of her pumpkin. I’m pretty sure her overall vision consisted of having a good time, but the little dots and lines at the top of the pumpkin are, according to her, eyes, noses, and mouths. Of what, I’m not sure, since they surround the entire stem.

The kids wanted to peel and cook the pumpkins as soon as they were done decorating them, and then to make them into pumpkin pie. I convinced them to save them for Daddy to see when he got back from his business trip late Friday night, partially with an offer of making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with a can of pumpkin. They were so excited about that, they got up by 6am the next morning, and we had those cookies mixed and baked before school started! Without being late!

Guess what we’ll be doing today if we can’t convince them to save their decorated pumpkins through Halloween, now that Mike has seen them?

Have you ever decorated a pumpkin with Sharpie pens? Emma had her first go at it last year, and was eager to do it again!

I will be linking this post to Show and Tell, Weekend Snapshots, and Halloween Traditions.

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

21 thoughts on “Sharpie Pumpkins”

  1. I’m wondering if anyone’s baked a pumpkin that’s been decorated with Sharpies? Any issues I should worry about? Thanks in advance.

    1. I have, several times. You can remove the Sharpie pen first with rubbing alcohol, but even if you cook it with it on it stays only on the peel. You can also peel the pumpkin before cooking (steaming it works well), and all the sharpie ink comes off with the peel.

  2. I love that this is easy. Whenever we carve pumpkins I am the only one who will put my hands inside, so what is the point. I put 2 pumpkin ideas on pinterest but I’m not even sure we will get to those! Holiday Deadlines kill me!

  3. We are decorating our pumpkins this week….our fall is slipping away, while we unpack! I love that you used sharpie’s…less mess!

    1. Sharpies are my favorite way to decorate pumpkins – so easy, and so much more room for creativity!

  4. My Quentin picked out some little pumpkins to draw on and a regular pumpkin to carve. It is the first time he has done this. Must be the year for Sharpies!

  5. I love the difference in artistic approach and how you managed to convince them to keep the pumpkins. I am still on the fence as to whether we will make some pumpkin food – I tried some last year, but nobody cared for it.

  6. Hi..I just had to smile at the picture of your little ones being so excited about making cookies. I spotted your recipe here and just printed it out as I’ve never seen these type of cookies in Australia!

  7. Love the concentration on their faces as they work! I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for the first time last year and loved them. We have 3 pumpkins waiting to be seeded and cooked up for yummy treats. Can’t wait!

  8. Those turned out cute! I have decorated pumpkins with Sharpie before. Rubbing alcohol actually takes the Sharpie off the pumpkin, if you need to.

    LOL about the Sharpies being hidden. Same here, however now that Abby is 7, I do let her use them more often. She likes to use them to draw on balloons.

  9. Two Chicks and a Hen

    I’m cracking up because we also put sharpie to pumpkin today, albeit with a different project. It will be up tonight! Great minds think alike ;).

  10. Fun activity! Our sharpies are under lock and key :). Your cookies sound wonderful, do you have a recipe you can share? Good luck with the pie!

    1. They are at our house, too! This was a very exciting exception =)

      And here’s the pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe – they never last long in our house!

      Pumpkin Cookies

      2 c. flour
      2 tsp. baking powder
      1/2 tsp. salt
      2 tsp. cinnamon
      1/2 tsp. nutmeg
      1/4 tsp. ginger
      1/2 c. butter
      1 c. sugar
      2 eggs
      1 c. pumpkin
      2 c. chocolate chips

      Beat butter, sugar and eggs till fluffy. Beat in pumpkin. Then beat in dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

      Drop by tablespoonfuls, two inches apart, onto greased cookie sheets.
      Bake at 350 F, 12-15 minutes, or until golden. Makes about 3-1/2 dozen.

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