Glow in the Dark Pumpkin for Halloween

This spooky Halloween pumpkin glows in the dark.
This spooky Halloween pumpkin glows in the dark.

It’s easy to make a glow in the dark pumpkin with a jack-o-lantern face. Because you don’t have to carve the pumpkin, it lasts a long time. The eerie glow looks really spooky!

Glow in the Dark Pumpkin Materials

It’s very easy to make a glow in the dark pumpkin and really only requires a pumpkin and glow paint:

  • Pumpkin (real, carved, or artificial)
  • Glow in the dark paint
  • Paintbrush (optional)
  • Masking tape to form a jack-o-lantern face (optional)

Make the Pumpkin Glow

The glow is produced by glow in the dark paint or glue, which you can purchase at any arts or crafts store. You can use glow in the dark acrylic paint for making models, glowing tempera paint, or glow in the dark fabric paint. I used glowing fabric paint, which dries clear and is waterproof, so the pumpkin looks “normal” until the lights go out. The other advantage of waterproof paint is that the pumpkin works even if it’s exposed to rain or snow.

  1. Paint your pumpkin.
  2. Shine a bright light on the pumpkin, then turn out the lights. If the pumpkin does not glow as brightly as you would like, apply another glow in the dark paint.
  3. If the glow gets dim, recharge it by exposing the pumpkin to bright light.

Creating a Jack-o-Lantern Face

For this project, the jack-o-lantern face is the part that does not glow. If you are using a carved jack-o-lantern, you’ve already got a face. With a carved pumpkin, just coat the pumpkin with glow in the dark paint, and you’re finished.

If you want a face on a whole pumpkin (or watermelon or cantaloupe), there are a couple of ways to get the face::

  • Trace a face on the pumpkin and paint around the face. Use a small paintbrush to get clean lines.
  • Tape a face on the pumpkin, paint the entire pumpkin, and remove the tape when the paint is dry. Make certain there aren’t any gaps between the face pattern and the pumpkin.

How Long Will the Glowing Pumpkin Glow?

How long your pumpkin glows depends on the chemical used to make it glow and the light you used to charge your pumpkin. Most glow in the dark paint and glue glows brightest and longest if charged with a black light or sunlight. A cell phone flash light also works very well. Normal overhead lighting will produce a glow, but it may not be as bright or last as long.

How Long Will the Glowing Pumpkin Last?

The type of pumpkin you use will determine how long your glowing pumpkin will last. If you paint a carved jack-o-lantern, you can expect the pumpkin to last a few days to a week before it starts to decay. An uncarved pumpkin may last a few months. Whether it’s carved or not, there are ways to extend the life of a jack o’ lantern. An artificial pumpkin can be used year after year.

See How to Make a Glowing Pumpkin

Here’s how I made this pumpkin. Super easy!