DIY Paper Mache Pumpkin

I’ll be honest. Fall isn’t favorite season. But I can get on board with candy, costumes, and pumpkin decorating! This year I decided not to go the traditional carved pumpkin route. Instead I wanted to make a pumpkin I didn’t have to worry about rotting from the inside out on the front porch. 

I considered a foam pumpkin that claims to be carvable, but it just seemed so generic. So I decided to make a pumpkin. Like from scratch. I knew with a little trail and error I could figure out how to construct a pumpkin. And I did! That’s what I’m sharing with you today. How to literally make a pumpkin.


Here are the supplies you’ll need:

Several sheets of newspaper
Yarn or string
Celluclay (about a 1/4 cup depending on the size of the pumpkin)
Toilet Paper tube
Paint and brushes
Collage papers
Acrylic Medium (Mod Podge, Tacky Glue, or Elmer’s will work too)

So here’s how to make this fabulous pumpkin!

  1. Create a ball using a sheet of newspaper. Continue to wrap more sheets around the ball until it’s the desired size of your pumpkin. It will expand on its own but you want to focus on the size of it when it’s squished together. 
  2. Wrap with yarn to create the rib indents that mimic a pumpkin. I made six indents for 7 sections. You’ll want to tie the string pretty tight. That helps make the puffy part between the strings. You can use this time to shape your pumpkin a bit, too. Smoosh it against the table, squish it tighter with strings, whatever helps you get the pumpkin shape you’re wanting. Also, keep in mind, some pumpkins are tall and skinnier, some are fat and squat, and some are anything in between. Have fun with creating your pumpkin shape!
  3. Cover the whole pumpkin with Celluclay. This is an instant paper mache product that can be found at most big box craft stores and online. You can use traditional paper mache if you like, but this product makes it fast to cover and leaves a bit more texture. 
  4. Wait for the clay to dry. This is the hardest part. It takes about 24 hours to dry. If you’re in a more humid climate or it was a humid day, give it another several hours to really set. 
  5. Once your pumpkin is dry, you can paint and decorate it anyway you want. I painted mine all black. Then added collage papers in triangle shapes. I added additional painted details once the collage was dry. The “Boo” was hand cut and layered from papers. I also added a stem using a coiled piece of toilet paper tube. You could add the stem before covering with Celluclay, if you want it to have the same texture as the pumpkin. 

Sounds pretty easy, right? I can’t wait to see your pumpkin!  

PS- the papers I used for the collage is a free digital download here