Halloween Paper-Mache Pumpkins




About: Mom of boys, happy wife, acrylic painter, amateur gardener, craft maker, Halloween enthusiast, travel lover and sunshine fan. In a nut shell

I made a paper mache pumpkin a while back that was a O.K. but wanted to see if I could improve on it. I found this amazing sites all over Pinterest to research on different ideas and tried it again!!

Step 1:

So one tip I found was that stuffing plastic bags and then taping it into the shape wanted allowed more options of the shapes of pumpkins instead of my first try with the old school balloon idea I grew up with. I also rolled up light cardboard (an old cereal box) and taped it on for the stem.

Step 2:

Now Both pumpkins all stuffed with paper and plastic. The outside all taped up and stem in place, it is time for the "paper-mache" time. I use basic white glue and watered it down. The paper was just cut into strips. And lots and lots of layers. (I had it placed on a cookie rack over a cookie sheet just in case the gluey water dripped.)

Step 3:

One pumpkin down, one to go!

Step 4:

After a lot of glue, water, paper and time - Two pumpkins are done and ready to dry!!! The hardest part!! Waiting for them to dry!!!

Step 5:

It took almost two full weeks for these guys to dry!!! But now time to start the fun!!!

Draw on the face first! I picked up cheap molding clay from the dollar store and have more empty boxes to add to the face. I am hoping to add some depth to the face.

Step 6:

I cut out the areas for the face. I then cut the light cardboard and kind of wrapped it around the edges of each cut out and taped it into place. Once the cardboard was secure I started adding in the molding clay.

* Quick note. In this pumpkin, because I was so excited about the front face that I didn't consider the weight the clay added. It made this pumpkin face heavy and i ended up having to weigh down the back side with a rock on the inside. I kicked myself for not realizing that ahead of time.

Step 7:

But it does look good with another layer of paper-mâché

Step 8:

After letting him dry again!! Ugh!! Waiting......... Again!

I used acrylic paint to give him his colouring. I blacked out the inside of the "ledges". I finally watered down some black paint for that drip look.

Step 9:

I then turned him upside down and cut a hole to pull the stuffing out.

* Another learning tip - the hole I cut was too large which didn't allow for as much support in the end!!!

But it is all about learning I guess.

Step 10:

I finished him off with a clear glaze to set the paint. Here he is. Not to bad!!!

Step 11:

Time time to start the next pumpkin. This one I added another step by doing another layer on the bottom and lower side to make the base stronger.

Step 12:

Face is taped up and now to add the clay

Step 13:

A silly face this time

Step 14:

The top layer added and back to the dreaded waiting...........

Step 15:

Time for some Painting fun!!!

Step 16:

The eye ball was just a plastic golf ball we had laying around. LOL!!

Step 17:

I added cheese cloth the to inside of the eye. Saw the idea for this from one of the posts I got my ideas from.

Step 18:

Now he has had his spray paint clear coating is all glossed up. Now I just add a flameless candle via the hole cut out in the bottom and he ready to go!!!

Step 19:

The pumpkins take a long time, but they can be so fun. And they are great to adding a bit more to your decorations.

Halloween Contest 2018

Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2018



    • DIY Summer Camp Contest

      DIY Summer Camp Contest
    • Planter Challenge

      Planter Challenge
    • Paint Challenge

      Paint Challenge

    11 Discussions


    Question 9 months ago

    have you ever tried paper clay on paper mache?

    1 answer

    Reply 9 months ago

    I haven't tried the paper clay yet but it will definitely go on the list to try!!!


    10 months ago

    Yay, an idea to do with my granddaughter. If you want to light it up, a couple of battery t lights could be carefully inserted, or fix it with a few LEDs. Fun project.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 months ago

    I used the flameless candles with the timers inside to light them up and they look pretty!! I may get the battery powered wire fairy lights to try them out. It was definitely fun. Designing the different faces was my favourite part.


    Question 10 months ago on Step 6

    Oh. what Dwight said. Paper in the blender does make a modeling substance that is lighter and cheaper. They do sell powdery stuff to make this substance, but with an old blender you can easily make your own. I've never seen the wheat paste idea, but it probably gives the slurry more texture. Your pumpkins look great!


    10 months ago

    Going a different route, using typical wheat paste as the adhesive, in addition to the application of strips you can make a "molding paste" as well for the details. Newspaper can be soaked and shredded with water in a blender or using a mixer (keep it watery). Then add some wheat paste powder and mix into a thick slurry. You can then mold like clay - but yes it will take a long time to dry. Dray outside on sunny days or use a fan can help speed that up. Acrylic paints will add strength and can help waterproof in the end. Looks like a fun project!


    10 months ago

    beauty :))


    10 months ago

    Interesting idea. I like it. As for the clay issue, could you have used some Expand-a-foam and cut out the shapes using that? IDK, just wondering. Either way, they look great.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 months ago

    Ooo!! I like the foam idea!! Thank you for the tip!!!