Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Little Papier Mache Pumpkins

So I know it's early to think about Halloween but I have a whole series planned.

First up these little pumpkins.


- a few paper towels, make sure they are the cushiony ones not those industrial ones
- white glue
- a recycled container for your glue mix
- water
- little plastic pumpkins from the Dollar Store (optional)
- paint, either acrylic or tempera
- wire
- a few beads

Now you could use a balloon, just inflate it a little and mache up to where the top section is gone but I just use these little pumpkins.  They are super cheap (6 or 8 for a $1.00), and because it's a firm base this works well for little kids.

Remove the plastic handle.

Tear or cut your paper towel into small strips.
Combine your glue and water at a 1 to 1 ratio and start wetting your strips.  Apply in a criss cross way.  You'll only need 1 to 2 coats here because you have a base.  Build up some features onto the face.  I used little balls for the eyes and a carrot shape for the nose.  Stick onto face and add some strips overlapping both the feature you've added and part of the face to adhere.  There are lots of options here, you can add lips, eyebrows, ears, etc.  Let dry overnight and then turn upside down to let the bottom dry out for a few hours.

Once this is dry you can trim out any excess paper at the top if needed with scissors.

Now I wanted a kinda of distressed look so I painted them black first.  You can only do this with acrylic paint if you are using tempera just start with the final colors you want.

Paint your face.  If you have some really fine details you can have the kids add these with fine sharpies after the paint has dried.  I find young kids have more control with the sharpie than a fine paintbrush.

Let dry.

Now with the little pumpkins you should still be able to see or feel the hole on the inside.  Insert an awl, knitting needle, or a piece of really strong wire to open up that hole pushing to the outside.

I'm keeping these as little baskets so I added a wire handle and a few beads. 

If you want you can give these a quick coat of glossy Mod Podge and that's it.

I have a few more projects coming up that are based on these little plastic pumpkins so if you're at the Dollar store I would definitely pick up a bunch!

.....and if you are tree trimming for Fall keep a large branch as I can already visualize a Halloween tree on display at school with each child's very individual pumpkin.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for the DVD set of "Art of the Western World", the draw is Friday!  See previous post for all the info.

We'll see you soon!


  1. They are so cute!!!!

    Have a great weekend Gail, enjoy yourself.

  2. These are so wonderful! Love the vintage look to them, and I love the method. thanks for the great idea!

  3. I love these...very cool! saw you on Facebook from Dollar Store Crafts link

  4. Did your paper mache pumpkin project with 5th graders....HUGE SUCCESS! Wish I could post a picuture of the finished poject...I think you'd be proud! Thank you, Gail!

  5. Excellent- great charachterisation

  6. Very cool. I love the antiqued vintage look.