Introduction: Paper Pumpkin

This is a fun quick project for the fall, and fall related holidays. I tried it with the kids I work with, and it went over very well. All of the kids tried it, and a few continued to make them after I left for the day. I think with proper adult prep work this is a project that most kids could do or help with.


Step 1: Ingredients

For this project I used colored construction paper, scissors, tape, and some patterned scrapbook paper.

Step 2: The Center Piece

First I took a piece of brown construction paper and rolled it into a roll. The perfect length for this was about half a sheet of the construction paper (maybe 5 inches). I taped the edge of the roll down so that the roll would hold its shape.

Note: the size of the center stalk will matter to the whole shape of the pumpkin. If you discover it's too long and the shape of the pumpkin is too stretched, just cut some off the stalk and retape. However, if you are making multiple ones and want a variety of shapes and colors, try different sizes.

Step 3: Prepping Paper Strips

No pick a color for the pumpkin (or a pattern from the scrapbook paper). I chose red for this one and orange for a prior pumpkin. The red one turned out to look more like an apple, but its still a nice effect. I cut a few sheets of this color into approximately 1/2 inch strips.

Note, I cut all the strips with scissors. Using one of those big arm cutting blades I used to see in school to cut paper would make it faster and easier. It would also allow for more uniform cut sizes. However, I think the overall effect is better with slight irregularities in the paper slices.

Also Note: The more strips you cut, the thicker the final product will be. I like the look of more strips but the overall effect is recognizable with far fewer ones.

At this point I also cut the vine swirl paper. I took another colored paper and made very thin (about 1/8 inch thick) strips.

Step 4: Start Taping

There may be a better way to proceed than tape, however, it seems to work fine, and is uncomplicated when applying. For this step I took individual strips of scrapbook and put some tape off the end of one. I slipped the end into the tube and pressed the tape down. I then folded the last 1/2 inch of the strip as in the picture above, added tape, and bent the strip until I taped the other end of the strip to the bottom of the tube. At this point you will see the overall likely shape and contour of your pumpkin. If you don't like it, trim or recut the center tube and start again applying the strips until you like the effect.

Once you find the right curves, start taping in more strips to the top and contouring them to be taped to the bottom . I found that I wanted to overlap the strips frequently to give the overall product more substance. I continued to tape in strips, overlapping other strips, and placed to fill hole in spacing, until I was satisfied with the end product.

Step 5: The Stem

I then took another strip of the brown construction paper, and cut out a long strip about 2 inches wide. I rolled this and pushed it into the opening hole at the top of the pumpkin. I found that I didn't need to tape this, as the pressure of it wanting to unroll kept it in place.

Step 6: Vines

I then took the thin strips of scrapbook paper that I put aside for vines and rolled then into tight loops around a pen or pencil. I did this to give the paper a vine like twirl in shape. Once I let it unroll a little, it looked like a vine.

Step 7: Leaves

I also took the scrap book paper I had chosen for the vines and cut out a few simple shapes. I wrapped them around a cut to give them a slight curve as well.

Step 8: Attaching Leaves

I put a little tape at the end of the leaves and taped them into the pumpkin. I did the same with the vine swirls. I used a pen to press the tape into the center hole for a better hold.

As you can see, I think this one turned out to look more like an apple than a pumpkin. However I posted some pictures at the beginning of one that looked more pumpkin-ish. I like the variety and would probably make different shapes and sizes for accent decoration for fall holidays.

I hope you like the project. Give it a try.

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Pumpkin Challenge

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