This instructuctable is a guide on how to hydro-dip a pumpkin. Hydro-dipping is a unique process used to create abstract art. To hydro-dip you use oil based spray paint coated on top of water in a plastic bin. Oil and water are hydrophobic and a thin layer of paint forms on the surface of the water. This layer clings to any object you dunk in the water. Hydro-dip all sides of the pumpkin to see what comes out. After you do that, you can carve it however you'd like, and use it for decoration!


- Oil based spray paint (3-5 cans depending on how many colors you want)

- Pumpkin (preferably of small scale because the hydro dipping process works better on smaller objects)

- Plastic bin (deep and wide enough to fit your pumpkin)

- Hose

- Knives/tools to carve a pumpkin (I would suggest a pumpkin carving kit as they are relatively inexpensive)

- Electric candle/battery powered LED lights

- Mask

- Gloves

- Glasses/goggles

Step 1: Dipping Preparation

In order to prepare for the hydro-dipping process, you can use either black or white spray paint as a base layer to prime the pumpkin for dipping. When using spray paint, I would suggest wearing a mask or goggles of some kind, as spray paint can be toxic to breathe. When spraying, hold the nozzle horizontally to the subject (in this case the pumpkin), and spray from around 3-5 inches away. Spray in short bursts from one side to the other, until the pumpkin is completely coated. If the pumpkin is not completely white, you may want to give it another coat.

The other step to prep the hydro-dipping process is to fill up the bin. I would use a clear, plastic storage bin, big enough to fit your desired pumpkin. Use a hose to fill the bin around halfway to three-quarters of its full volume. Once both of these steps are done, you are ready to begin the dipping process.

Step 2: Dipping the Pumpkin

Before you dip the pumpkin you'll have to spray paint on top of the water in the bin. I would again suggest that you wear a mask and goggles to protect yourself. There are two ways you can spray paint during the hydro dipping process, you can: spray close to the water to create a ripple-like effect with the paint, or you can spray from farther away to create a flat, base coat. I would suggest a mixture of the two in order to create more interesting patterns, and to further blend the colors. After the top layer looks mixed and most of the area is covered, you're ready to dip the pumpkin.

I would recommend wearing gloves when dipping the pumpkin, as the layer of paint on the top will stick to your hands as well as the pumpkin if you aren't careful.

When dipping the pumpkin, hold it by the stem and the base. Hold the pumpkin at an angle when dipping, this helps to cover more surface area, and spread the layer of paint out smoothly. Once you dip the pumpkin in, you will see the layer of paint sticking to the skin. When this happens, make sure you get as much of the paint on the pumpkin as possible, and pull it out as soon as you can. When you pull it out, look at how much surface area was covered, and prep the bin again by painting another layer. Repeat this process until the pumpkin is entirely covered. If the paint looks like its falling off, that is entirely fine, imperfections in this difficult process are common.

Once you have your pumpkin completely covered in paint from hydro-dipping, let it dry for around 2-3 hours in a room temperature environment. After drying, the pumpkin is ready to be carved.

Step 3: Carving the Pumpkin

The first thing you need to do when carving a pumpkin is cut a hole in the top, going around the stem. Once it is cut, lift it out by the stem. Inside will be pumpkin seeds, and the stringy, gooey inside of the pumpkin. To carve you must remove all of the seeds, and most of the strings. To do this you can either use a large spoon or scooper to remove the seeds, or you can just pull them out with your hands as I did. Once this is done, you can carve your pumpkin.

To carve a pumpkin it helps to use a tool specifically for pumpkin carving. In my case I used a small serrated blade (similar to a saw) from a pumpkin carving kit. You can also use a sharp kitchen knife, or (if the pumpkin is small enough) a pocket knife. When cutting, make sure the blade is always facing away from yourself. This process is also quite tricky, so its okay to make mistakes. Cut back and forth and try to pierce all the way through the skin to the inner core to cut out as much as possible.

Step 4: Lighting

After your design is carved, the last thing you need to do is add lighting. Remove the top hold you cut out for seed removal and place your desired light inside. This light can be anything you'd like, but I would recommend an electric candle or a battery powered LED light string.

Adding this light will give an extra dimension to the decoration, and make it a functional light for halloween eve!

Halloween Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Contest