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DIY Paper Mache Pumpkin: A Fun and Messy Craft Project!

Are you someone who loves getting your hands dirty and losing yourself in a crafting project? If so, this DIY paper mache pumpkin is perfect for you! I was thrilled with how my pumpkin turned out, and I have plenty of ideas to make the next one even better. So, keep reading to discover how you can create your own unique paper mache pumpkin!

Tools & Materials for Paper Mache

To get started, gather the following materials:

  • Punch Balloon
  • Paper Sacks or Newspaper
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Container to Mix In
  • Twine
  • Spray Paint
  • Pumpkin Stem
  • Foliage (optional)

DIY Paper Mache Pumpkin

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Before diving into the project, there are a few things you need to prepare.

Preparing the Paper for the Pumpkin

Start by tearing your paper sacks or newspapers into strips. If using paper sacks, tear them into thin strips for a 3-D effect. For newspapers, wider strips are fine since they are lighter.

Making Your Paste for the Paper Mache

Next, mix up your homemade paper mache paste. Begin with a cup of flour and add a generous sprinkling of salt. Gradually add water while stirring until you achieve a pancake batter consistency.

Preparing Your Balloon

Now, blow up a balloon to the size you want your pumpkin to be. Less air will allow for more variation in the pumpkin shape. Take twine and tie it around the balloon’s tail, then wrap it around the balloon to create ridges. Wrap the twine around the balloon tail each time you pass by to keep it in place. Once you have your desired ridges, move on to the next step.

DIY Paper Mache Pumpkin

Get Messy

Now comes the fun part – paper mache! Dip strips of newspaper into the paste and thoroughly soak them. Start by applying a layer of newspaper strips in the crevices or use narrow pieces of the paper bag for better coverage. Make sure to overlap the strips and allow the pumpkin to dry between layers.

For easier handling, I recommend placing the pumpkin on top of an old ice cream bucket. It prevents the pumpkin from rolling away while you cover each side. Repeat the process for the second layer, using paper bag strips. Two layers should suffice if using paper bags, but if using only newspaper, you may need more layers to make it sturdy. After completing the desired layers, allow the pumpkin to dry completely.

DIY Paper Mache Pumpkin

You may have originally aimed for a neutral look with the paper bag strips, but the homemade paste’s thickness covered most of the brown. If this happens, don’t worry! You can easily paint your pumpkin.

Painting the Paper Mache Pumpkin

To prepare the pumpkin for painting, gently sand it using a sanding block. This will smooth out any uneven areas and provide a better surface for the paint to adhere to. Then, carefully remove the balloon from inside the pumpkin.

To remove the balloon, use a pin to pop it. Hold the end of the balloon securely while popping it. However, since the twine is wrapped around it, everything might stay in place. Cut a small hole in the top of the pumpkin and carefully loosen the twine from the pumpkin’s side walls. Slowly and gently pull up on the balloon to remove it. Removing the balloon is optional, but it helps clear the way for attaching the stem.

Once the balloon is out, it’s time to spray-paint your paper mache pumpkin.

Adding a Stem

For the stem, if a real pumpkin’s stem is not available, you can create one using paper bag strips. Roll up a strip and soak it completely in modge podge. Add smaller strips at the base of the stem to make gluing it to the pumpkin easier. After the stem has dried, use a paintbrush and homemade paste to glue it to the top of the pumpkin. Remove any excess paste and let it dry completely.

To add a special touch, take some faux foliage and create a ring to place around the stem. Secure it with hot glue.

DIY Paper Mache Pumpkin

Adding Something Extra

The beauty of this project is that you can let your creativity run wild and customize it according to your preferences. Create pumpkins in any size you desire or paint them in funky colors. You can even cut the pumpkin in half to make a decorative bowl!

Styling your Paper Mache Pumpkin

To beautifully display your pumpkin, find a tureen or an urn. Fill it with straw, allowing it to peek out around the bottom of your pumpkin and add texture. This adds a charming rustic touch to your creation.

For another pumpkin craft, check out my Quick & Easy Jar Lid Pumpkin! And if you’re looking for more inspiration, visit Quill And Fox for a wide selection of unique crafting materials!

Remember, the possibilities are endless when it comes to paper mache pumpkins. So, grab your materials and let your imagination soar! Enjoy crafting and have a fantastic time creating your very own DIY paper mache pumpkin masterpiece!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links for the products I use and recommend. Rest assured, I am not paid to promote these products. If you make a purchase using my affiliate links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.