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Craft pumpkin from papier-mâché as an autumn decoration and for Halloween: with our tips and instructions you can do it!

  • DIY

Pumpkins are the symbol of autumn. They pop up on every porch and stoop, adding a bit of charm to dining tables and home entryways alike. But to make these pumpkins truly magical, you’ll want to make them last: Pumpkin carving templates are cute, but the harsh reality is that carved pumpkins never last as long as you’d like. If you craft a pumpkin from papier-mâché – the classic process of dipping newspaper in a glue-like mixture of flour and water – self-carved pumpkins can be pulled out of storage and used as decorations year after year. Here we share two easy tutorials for this autumnal craft that also makes great Halloween decorations.

It’s time for autumn crafts

You can create these DIY projects with your kids by crafting a papier mache pumpkin

Autumn is a time for creativity. And pumpkin projects fit perfectly into the fall spirit for family and friends. You can create these DIY projects with your kids and bring a colorful autumnal flair to your home by crafting a pumpkin out of papier mache.

Make a papier mache pumpkin with a balloon

Make a papier-mâché pumpkin as a fall decoration and for Halloween - With our tips you can do it

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own papier mache pumpkin:

Jute string
Adhesive tape
foam brush
Acrylic paints
Bowl and fork

Take all the ends and the knotted end of the balloon together and wrap a few pieces of tape

Step-by-step craft instructions:

  • First, inflate the balloon to the size pumpkin you want. The larger the pumpkin, the more papier mache you will need to add. Cut a piece of string that can easily be wrapped around the circumference of the balloon and attach it to the top of the balloon in the center .
  • Wrap the piece of string around the balloon and tie a knot at the balloon knot. Pull it tight so the balloon bulges out a bit.
  • Repeat this process with two more pieces of string. Then take all the ends and the knotted end of the balloon together and wrap a few pieces of tape around everything to form the stem of the balloon.

Follow our step by step instructions to make a papier mache pumpkin.

  • Next, tear off a few thin strips of newspaper.
  • Combine equal parts flour and water in a bowl and stir thoroughly with a fork. Try to get the mixture as smooth as possible. It should have the consistency of a watery pancake batter. Dip a piece of newspaper into the mixture and let the excess drip off. Drape it on the side of the balloon. The smaller the pieces of newspaper, the smoother the result will be, but it will also take longer for you to finish. And the more layers you add, the tighter it will be. Let the pumpkin dry for about half an hour and smooth out any bubbles around the edges with your fingers.
  • Once it is well dried, you can paint it as you like.

Make your own pumpkin craft with plastic bag

So easy and fast you can make your own pumpkin from papier-mâché

Materials needed:

Plastic bag (such as a shirt bag).
Filling from fibers
Masking tape
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups of water
Latex primer
Orange acrylic paint


Mixing bowl

You can make this pumpkin craft with plastic bag in a few simple steps

Instructions for making:

  • Fill the plastic bag with a filling of fibers. You can use the filling of an old pillow.
  • Tie a knot in the bag and make sure that the air is pushed out.
  • Cut off the handles of the bag, leaving a few inches of plastic above the knot.
  • Fold the remaining handle over itself and use masking tape to form a stem for the pumpkin.
  • Cut a piece of yarn and tie it around the pumpkin, pulling it tight to create grooves for the pumpkin. Tie a knot in the taut yarn and cut the loose threads near the knot. Tie three more strands of yarn around the pumpkin at different angles, creating the ribs. A cake shape should be visible on the bottom of the pumpkin. The craft is now ready to be covered with paper mache.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of flour. Whisk the mixture until there are no lumps. Tear the newspaper strips into different sizes. Place a strip of newspaper in the papier-mâché mixture and submerge it completely. Place the strip vertically on top of the pumpkin and smooth it out with your fingertips. Overlap the strips as you work your way around the pumpkin. If you place the strips at different angles, the papier mache glue will be stronger.

Let the pumpkin dry for about half an hour and smooth out any bubbles around the edges

  • Then add papier mache strips to the stem of the pumpkin, making sure to cover the top of the stem. Allow the papier mache pumpkin to dry for 24 hours. Then add a second layer of papier mache by following the steps above. Allow the second layer of papier mache to dry for 24 hours before painting.
  • Once the second layer has dried, you can paint over the entire pumpkin with white paint or primer. This is optional, but we found that it takes fewer coats of orange paint to cover the newspaper if you paint it white first.
  • Paint the top of the pumpkin orange and the stem brown. Let the paint dry for at least 30 minutes. Paint a second coat of orange and brown on the pumpkin and stem if needed.
  • Paint lines from the base of the stem down into the grooves of the pumpkins to give the stem more shape. This is a great way to recycle a plastic bag and make a cute craft for fall!