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Turn an ordinary thrifted ceramic pumpkin into a stunning Halloween centerpiece and paint this faux aged copper Jack-O-Lantern craft.

faux aged copper Jack-O-Lantern craft

Transform a thrifted ceramic pumpkin, and create a faux aged copper finish full of rustic charm to add warmth and character to your autumn decor.

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Thrift store finds can be hidden gems waiting for a creative touch to give them new life. Ceramic or even plastic jack-o-lanterns are commonly available each fall at most thrift stores.

I recently picked up a ceramic jack-o-lantern, and the orange finish was just not my style. So, I used paint to give it a whole new look.

lets transform a thrift store pumpkin

Follow along with this step-by-step tutorial, and I’ll guide you through the process of turning a plain ceramic pumpkin into a stunning decor piece with a faux copper finish.

With a few simple materials and a little bit of patience, you can create a unique, high-end decoration for just a few dollars.

thrift store painted jack o lantern

Video Tutorial

Watch this quick video tutorial to see how this craft came together:

faux aged copper Jack-O-Lantern craft

Aged Copper Jack-O-Lantern Craft

Yield: 1 jack-o-lantern
Active Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Difficulty: easy

Turn an ordinary thrifted ceramic pumpkin into a stunning Halloween centerpiece and paint this faux aged copper Jack-O-Lantern craft.


  • Thrift store ceramic pumpkin or jack-o-lantern
  • Black spray primer
  • Acrylic craft paint in two copper tones, one light and one dark. I used DecoArt Multi-Surface metallic paints in the colors Copper and Antique Copper
  • Piece of a clean dish sponge
  • Dark gray chalk paint
  • Black chalk paint
  • Clear acrylic sealer (matte or gloss, depending on your preference)
  • Battery-operated candle*


  • 1-inch flat paintbrush
  • Scissors


  1. Watch the video tutorial before you begin, and let that be your visual guide for this project.
  2. Prepare the Pumpkin: Start by cleaning the ceramic pumpkin thoroughly to remove any dirt or dust. This will ensure a smooth painting surface.
  3. Apply Primer: Apply a thin, even coat of black spray primer to the entire surface of the pumpkin. This will provide a solid base for the paint. Allow the primer to dry completely.
  4. Base Coat: Use a 1-inch flat paint brush to apply a base coat of the darker copper metallic acrylic paint. Work in smooth, even strokes, following the contours of the pumpkin. Let the base coat dry. Apply a second coat for full coverage, and let dry. paint the whole pumpkin with copper paint
  5. Sponge on Light Copper Paint: Cut a small piece of a clean dish sponge into a 1-1/2 inch circle. Use the soft side of the sponge circle to dab light copper acrylic paint all over the pumpkin surface. Use a small sponge rectangle to dab paint into the pumpkin crevices. use a smaller piece of sponge for crevices
  6. Add Depth with Gray Chalk Paint: Mix equal amounts of dark gray chalk paint and dark copper paint, along with a small bit of black chalk paint. Use another sponge piece to dab gray pain mixture onto select areas of the pumpkin surface. If the area becomes too dark, sponge in some plain copper paint. This will create a weathered and aged look. Allow the paint to dry completely. sponge on gray chalk paint
  7. Seal the Finish: Apply a clear acrylic sealer over the entire pumpkin to protect the finish. Let dry completely.
  8. Display: Add a small battery-operated candle into the jack-o-lantern before you display your new thrift store transformation


*Use a battery-operated candle. If you use a regular candle, the ceramic will get very HOT!

My finished Jack-O-Lantern Project:

Find the perfect spot to showcase your transformed ceramic pumpkin. It could be a mantel, a shelf, or as part of a centerpiece.

DIY aged copper jack-o-lantern

Don’t forget to PIN this DIY Aged Copper Pumpkin for Later:

thrifted jack o lantern

More Thrifted Fall Pumpkin Ideas:

This craft was featured in a larger compilation video where I sheared THREE (and a half?) fall thrift store pumpkin crafts. You can watch them all over on YouTube for more fall DIY inspiration:

More Fall Pumpkin Crafts and DIY Decor:

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