How to preserve pumpkins & gourds to make them last longer. First, give 'em a bath! In a solution of bleach water, 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Let 'em hang out in there for a little while. If you put the stems down, they won't bob up. Then dry them off and buff them with some Vaseline.
Want to make your plastic pumpkin look real? Use antiquing acrylic paint from the craft store! My stand by color is called "burnt umber". Pour some paint onto a plate and add a little water, then mix. Next, brush paint onto your pumpkin. Wipe off with a dry paper towel in an up and down motion. Once dry, spray with an acrylic sealer. EASY!!