Henna & Wood Burned Pumpkins

Pumpkin season is here, and now is the time to start decorating!

Something different I’ve noticed this year are all of the light indigo colored pumpkins and gourds– they are beautiful! A muted shade of blue with little specks of white showing through…these have got to be my favorite ones of the season. It’s always fun to come up with new ways to decorate them, and I’m really excited to share this DIY with you all. I’ve carved, painted, and decoupaged pumpkins before, but never did I think to incorporate henna and wood burning techniques until now. Here’s how to put a unique twist on holiday pumpkin decorating!


My first stop was Whole Foods to pick out the pumpkins.

tri colored pumps

The white and blue pumpkins ended up working out best with these techniques, but classic orange is forever a fan favorite, so don’t be shy if you want to stick to the traditional holiday color!

wood burner and henna

Next, you’ll need a wood burner and some henna. Most craft stores should carry both of these things. The wood burner is simple to use – all you need is an outlet! For the henna, depending on the type you get, just follow the directions to prepare it. Mine was ready in 45 minutes.

drawing design

First, draw out your design in pencil directly onto the gourd or pumpkin. The henna application and wood burning process will be a lot easier if you have a line to follow.

painting henna

Our intern Aubrie helped me out with the henna one. The earthy color of the henna looks great against a lighter color, so we chose to use it on the white pumpkin. Starting from the top and working your way down works best. Try to keep a steady hand, and the more consistent you are with the line thickness, the better your design will look.

henna on pumpkin

Aubrie drew a mandala at the top, then added in some other traditional shapes to fill in the empty space. Once you are done, set the pumpkin aside to allow all of the henna to dry completely.

wood burning on pumpkin

If you are going to try wood burning, I highly recommend doing it on a blue pumpkin. The wood burner will carve away some of the flesh from the pumpkin, leaving a dark blue/green outline. Don’t be alarmed by the burning smell…this is supposed to happen! Use caution when doing this technique because the wood burner gets very hot.

wiping off wood burner

I used a thick cloth to wipe off the excess pumpkin flesh from the tip every now and then to avoid build up. This will help to achieve a thinner line.


drawing stripes

Feel free to follow along with the same patterns we created, or come up with your own!

two pumps

The end result is unique, and a fun alternative to traditional pumpkin carving!


The henna looks great on mini pumpkins too! If you are crunched for time, try picking up a few of these to decorate.


Have fun!

three pumps

More DIY Projects from the BLDG 25 Blog. 

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  1. These turned out so awesome!! i’m really loving the blue colored pumpkin, i’ve never seen one that color before! I really want to try this right now!!!

  2. These look so beautiful!! I don’t have henna or a wood burner, but I’m going to pick up some black paint and use a very thin paint brush. I can’t wait to pick out pumpkins tonight!

  3. Incredible idea!

    Autumn might just be my favourite time of year.
    When the air is crisp, the leaves are pretty and nothing seems more appealing than reading a great book in your favourite blanket :)

    I also love this quote..

    ‘Autumn is like a second summer..when every leaf is a flower’ – Albert Camus

  4. Definitely going to make these; such cosy pumpkins!
    Awesome autumn decoration and of course always usefull for an alternative halloween!

  5. Simply inspiring and the colors are so “free people”. LOVE. I worked on a pastel pumpkin project for my daughter’s room. It was cute ;)

  6. Wow! This is a really good idea, and I really want to try this next Fall! Could you try doing a Christmas themed henna/wood burning project? It would be cool to have stuff for all the seasons, that way the henna paint and wood-burner would not be wasted on only one season…

    C.I.C Girl

  7. I’m also wondering where to get the henna paints and pastel paints? I really like the colors you used.

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