DIY Mercury Glass Pumpkin: Thrifty Method {DIY Tutorial}

Mercury glass is all the rage every fall/winter. People want to buy it, make it, and use it in their décor.

Can’t say I blame them.


Image Credit: Pottery Barn

Problem is that it can be expensive and it can be hard to find because everyone loves it. For instance, the Pottery Barn pumpkins above range in price from $29+ for EACH pumpkin. Omg. Insane. And yet every year, they sell out. I should know this because every year I swear I am gonna splurge on one, and I don’t. By the time August ends, they’re sold out.

And I cry.

And then I do it again the next year. And the year after that.

This year, I ain’t cryin’. I made my own. Now, I have developed 2 methods. Today’s method is the thrifty method. On Thursday, I’ll show you the luxe method. Actually, it’s really not that expensive, but I did want to develop 2 separate tutorials so that you can choose the one that best fits your budget.

I’ll preface this tutorial by saying that if you want shiny, shiny pumpkins like the one above, you absolutely need it to be glass AND you need to use the method I am going to show you on Thursday. Today’s method will give you a metallic finish, but it won’t be nearly as shiny. Today’s method will work on plastic, porcelain, ceramic, etc.


-A pumpkin (I used the ones from Dollar Tree, $1 each)

Krylon Metallic Spray Paint (About $4+ at Wal-Mart)

-Burnt Umber/Dark Brown acrylic paint (About $1)

-Flat, white spray paint (97-cents at Wal-Mart)

-Sponge/scraping tool (Use what you have on hand)

-Water bottle spritzer thingy

-Foam craft brushes

Here are the pumpkins as is, straight from Dollar Tree:


I then primed them with a flat, white spray paint so the paint could “stick” on better.


One of the pumpkins I wanted to have a pearly finish, so I used a craft brush to apply some metallic white paint.


The other one I wanted to make into a weathered/mercury glass finish, so I went outside and got to work:


First, I spritzed the pumpkin with some water:


Then I sprayed on the first coat of metallic paint:


DO NOT LET THE PAINT DRY! I then used a craft brush to dab on some burnt umber paint:



Next, I got the metallic spray paint again and did short bursts of paint all over the surface:


As you can tell, it doesn’t look smooth, so I simply started wiping with a napkin. This serves 2 purposes- it creates a smooth finish and it lets some of the burnt umber color through. It wasn’t to my liking though, so I grabbed a sanding brush and dabbed some burnt umber paint on it (these brushes are where the sandpaper is at Wal-Mart- about $2 for 4 brushes, but you could use a coin or sponge, etc.) I scraped off parts of the paint and in return I scraped on some burnt umber paint creating a nice, rustic, distressed look.


The final result is a very metallic, unique pumpkin:


As you can see, it is not nearly as reflective as glass, but it does help illuminate/bounce light as evidenced below in the pictures:


And I also did paint the stem on the pearly white one burnt umber so it all matches up well together:



Basically, using some $4 spray paint + $1 acrylic paint and a bit of time/effort/patience, you can have your very own mercury glass-ish looking pumpkins. Truly, I think it looks more like silver leaf stuff than mercury glass, but I am pretty satisfied with the outcome. You could omit the brown paint & water and just spray paint it silver, and it would work just as well. I wanted my pumpkin to look a little old/vintage.

On Thursday, I’ll have a tutorial using a $12 product that will definitely give you the mercury glass look. And it won’t take long at all to do so. Sneak peek:


Krylon does offer a variety of metallic colors in their spray paint line, so if you wanted to buy a few cans of it, you could create a monochromatic pumpkin display for very little money.

Do you like mercury glass or metallic finishes? Why or why not?

Don’t forget to enter my Coffee-Mate giveaway, vote for my Krylon Duel project and stay tuned tomorrow for a Halloween soiree post that I hope will get you in the shopping mood for some kick-ass Halloween décor.

Disclosure: I was provided with the Krylon products used in this review for free. My opinions, ideas and photos are all mine. Like always!



  1. Alicia
    September 13, 2011 / 2:44 pm

    this is a great idea, and the pumpkins look gorgeous! i wonder what other holiday things you could do – possibly big snowflakes in winter?? 🙂

  2. brandy-son Zen master flash
    September 13, 2011 / 3:36 pm

    Great idea Monica! Pottery Barn needs to watch their back now!

  3. emily @ the happy home
    September 13, 2011 / 4:50 pm

    what a cute little pumpkin! i love the metallic finish– i want to do something similar with big, real pumpkins! so cool!

  4. Andrea
    September 13, 2011 / 7:14 pm

    great project! you see those ceramic pumpkins all the time at thrift stores, this is a good way to get new life from them.

  5. Go Against The Grain
    September 14, 2011 / 2:02 am

    loving all your projects!

  6. TheNextMartha
    September 14, 2011 / 2:04 am

    Fantastic. Can't wait to see thurs.

  7. Julie
    September 14, 2011 / 6:08 pm

    Love this idea! Thanks for sharing. –

  8. Eboix
    September 25, 2011 / 8:02 pm

    I really want to try this – awesome job!