Scrap Wood Porch Pumpkins

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Introduction: Scrap Wood Porch Pumpkins

Where I live, people leave pumpkins on their porch until it snows or until they rot - whichever comes first. Carved pumpkins rot and mold into a decaying heap even faster. And while my wife likes fall decorating and décor - she often refuses to carve pumpkins with us. Carving pumpkins is one of my simple autumn joys. So, we set out to compromise by turning our growing scrap wood pile into an immortal porch pumpkin patch (well...two pumpkins).

Note: I will provide detailed instructions with exact measurements, but we literally took whatever we had in unused craft stuffs and scrap wood to construct these. I invite you to do the same. The construction is simple.

Supplies

Tools:
pencil
tape measure
miter saw (or hand saw)
brad nailer (or hammer)
paint brush

Materials:
scrap wood
1 3/8" brad nails (or nails)
acrylic paint (or anything that works on wood)
ribbon/twine

Step 1: Shape Your Pumpkin

From your scrap pile - gather any 1x2s, 1x3s, or 1x4s. I used all pine boards, but you can vary the boards based on your collection. Begin to shape your pumpkins as follows:

Large Pumpkin (8 pieces total)

(2) 1x2 boards about 18-20" in length - lay horizontal about 6-8" apart for the back supports of the pumpkin
(5) 1x4 boards varying lengths (12-20" in length) - lay out vertical on top of the 1x2s as the face of the pumpkin leaving a small gap of 1/8-3/4" between the boards; place the smaller boards on the outside with the largest board in the center and offset them to create the circular shape
(1) 1x3 board about 6-8" in length - lay out askew behind the center board as the pumpkin stem

Small Pumpkin (5 pieces total)

(2) 1x2 boards about 6-8" in length - lay horizontal about 4-6" apart for the back supports of the pumpkin
(3) 1x3 boards varying lengths (10-14" in length) - lay out vertical on top of the 1x2s as the face of the pumpkin leaving a small gap of 1/8-3/4" between the boards; place the smaller boards on the outside with the largest board in the center and offset as desired like the large pumpkin


Feel free to play with the shape depending on the pieces you have available.

Step 2: Cut Boards As Needed

Measure and mark out any cuts needed to fit your chosen design, or mark out based on exact measurements below. Using a miter or hand saw, cut the boards to size.

Large Pumpkin (8 pieces total)
(2) 1 x 2 x 18 1/4" boards - back supports
(2) 1 x 4 x 14" boards - pumpkin face pieces for the outside
(2) 1 x 4 x 17" boards - pumpkin face pieces for inside middle
(1) 1 x 4 x 17 3/4"" board - pumpkin face piece for the center
(1) 1 x 3 x 6" board - pumpkin stem

Small Pumpkin (5 pieces total)
(2) 1 x 2 x 8" boards - back supports
(2) 1 x 3 x 11 1/4" boards - pumpkin face pieces for the outside
(1) 1 x 3 x 13" board - pumpkin face piece for the center

Step 3: Prep for Nailing; Test Out Your Nailer

Place the pumpkin face down with the back supports on top. Position the face boards with equal space between them (from 1/8 - 3/4") so that the back supports are flush to the outside.

I used some other scrap pieces to test my brad nailer depth. Skip this step if you're using a hammer.

Step 4: Nail Together

Nail up your pumpkins. Secure the back supports to the face boards using (10) nails per back support. Nail (2) into each face board.

For the large pumpkin, don't forget the stem. I used (4) nails to secure this to the back of the center board slightly askew.

  • (20) nails for the back supports on the large pumpkin + (4) nails for the stem
  • (12) nails for the small pumpkin

Step 5: Decorate With Paint and Ties; Put Them on Display

Paint them orange. They're pumpkins! I used orange acrylic craft paint for the face boards. Multiple coats will get you a deeper color. I mixed a small amount of red to the large pumpkin. For the small pumpkin, I did one coat and mixed a little brown to get a lighter orange color.

Paint the stems. They're pumpkins! I mixed some brown and green paint for the color. Remember, the small pumpkin you will just paint the top portion of the center board.

Tie on some green ribbon and twine with a nice bow around the stem.

Note: if you want a rough finish like these, do minimal coverage and few coats. This will leave some of the wood exposed and give it that rustic look. I did not sand them before painting. This gave them a rough look overall. I even left the original markings on the lumber.


Now, put them on your porch until at least Thanksgiving. If you'd like, tie on a piece of red ribbon and incorporate these immortal pumpkins into your Christmas decorations!

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    2 Comments

    0
    Nikita Maree
    Nikita Maree

    11 months ago

    Really cool project. I am not a fan of rotting pumpkins.
    Halloween is almost in Summer here. And Rotting pumpkins bring the flies in real bad.