DIY Lite Brite Effect Pumpkin for Halloween

How to Get a Lite Brite Effect for Your Jack-O’-Lantern


DIY Lite Brite Effect Pumpkin for Halloween

Want to decorate a pumpkin with a Lite Brite effect?

Fright Lites Pumpkin Decorating Kit I don’t know about you, but I loved Lite Brite as a kid. And when I saw a commercial “Fright lights” pumpkin decorating kit for sale at a drugstore, my mind was blown. I pictured a finished Lite Brite-like Jack-O’-Lantern and thought about how amazing and colorful it would look glowing in the dark. And how fun it would be to make. The kit didn’t have very many pegs for the price, though, and rather than buying a handful of them (I may be an ambitious Lite-Briter), I decided I would figure out how to make my own.

Since I didn’t have any Lite Brite pegs, my plan was to buy translucent colored plastic drink stirrer sticks, cut them in half, and drive them into the pumpkin with a hammer.

I still think that’s a workable idea, if you can find some. I couldn’t, even though I had bought such sticks in the past for the light table. After going to upwards of 10 stores, to no avail, I decided it was time to take a different tack.

Translucent colored beads

At Target, I came across some translucent colored plastic beads and decided to give them a try.

They worked! I love my new Jack-o’-lantern!

Here’s how I did it…

How to Make a DIY Lite Brite Like Pumpkin

A DIY Lite Brite Like Pumpkin


  • Pumpkin (white or orange)*
  • Screwdriver for punching holes
  • Hammer (optional)
  • Translucent colored beads (I used these beads by Kid Made Modern)
  • Candle

*I used a white pumpkin because I thought the bright colors would show up best against it, and it’s true that they do during the day. But at night when the pumpkin is lit, it doesn’t seem to make any difference. I say go with what you have.

DIY Lite Brite Effect Pumpkin - Hallowing Out the Pumpkin


First, cut off the top of your pumpkin and hollow it out. If you can make the walls thinner, go for it.

DIY Lite Brite Like Pumpkin - Poking Holes for Face

Next, hold your pumpkin on it’s side and use the screwdriver to poke holes in where you want the Jack-o’-lantern face to be.

DIY Lite Brite Like Pumpkin - Poking Holes for Face

I used a hammer to hammer the screwdriver in sometimes, and sometimes just poked it in with my hands. It was pretty easy.

Note :: I made a face on my pumpkin, but you could make any sort of Lite Brite effect picture on yours…

Once you’re satisfied with the overall design, wipe the pumpkin juice off the pumpkin.

DIY Lite Brite Like Pumpkin - Poking Beads in Holes

Then poke your beads into the holes.

How to Make a DIY Lite Brite Like Pumpkin

You may need to use the hammer or the back end of the screwdriver to help push the beads into holes that are slightly smaller than they are.

How to Make a DIY Lite Brite Like Pumpkin

The bead kit I was using had a variety of sizes, and we ended up enlarging some of the holes by turning a closed pair of scissors around and around.

DIY Lite Brite Like Pumpkin

Finally, light a candle inside your new Jack-o’-lantern and stand back to admire the Lite Brite effect.

Oh, the candle went out. Oops. The beads fill up all the hole openings, so there is no air for the fire.

Cut a smallish hole at the base of the back of the pumpkin to let air in.

DIY Lite Brite Like Pumpkin

This post contains affiliate links. Light the candle again. And admire your new Lite Brite like pumpkin!

Did you grow up playing with Lite Brite? I used to LOVE it! And now that I’ve relived the fun to some extent with my pumpkin decorating, I want to get a set for me my kids. Have any of you tried the new Lite Brite? What are your thoughts?

Fall craft bundle graphic

More Fall Crafts for Kids

If you are looking for more fall crafts for kids, we have some great options for you! 

Jean put together 10 fall arts & crafts activity videos for her online art club, the KIDS ART SPOT, just for you! Get this fall arts & crafts workshop for just $9.99 with an added bonus of 10 fall-themed drawing prompts to inspire creative drawing and thinking!

Check out our list of 31 Halloween Activities for Kids, and don’t forget to save the printable list.

And for suggestions for autumn arts & crafts supplies, please visit The Artful Parent’s Fall themed Amazon list. Here you will find all kinds of resources and activities to get your family creating easy & fun crafts for fall!

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How to Get a Lite Brite Effect on Your Jack-o'-lantern

How to Get a Lite Brite Effect for Your Jack-O\'-Lantern

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