Paper Mache Pumpkins
These paper mache
pumpkins are made from balloons wrapped in newspaper strips that have
been dipped in a mixture of flour and water.
This project does take some time depending on how many pumpkins you would
like to make. For me, it took about 30 minutes to wrap up each pumpkin
in paper mache.
The pumpkins also have to be allowed to dry for 2 to 3
days. Once dry, the balloon is popped and a face is carved with an
exacto knife. The pumpkins can then be painted and hung along a string
of lights. If you take good care of them, this decoration will last for
Needed to Make Paper Mache Pumpkins:
- A balloon for
each pumpkin, small or large, you choose.
bowl and spoon
- Exacto knife/blade
paint (spray paint works the quickest)
- Mod Podge to
- String of lights (optional)
(one for each pumpkin)
1. Decide where you
would like the pumpkins to dry and get that area ready. If you do it
indoors, protect the floor in case there is dripping. Tie a length of
string to allow the pumpkins to dry on (like a clothesline). Begin the
paper mache pumpkins by blowing up all the balloons, one balloon for
each pumpkin you would like to make. Then, tie a length of string to
each balloon. This string is just used to tie the balloon to the
clothesline and later it will be cut off.
Prepare your newspaper strips in advance. Simply tear about 1 inch wide
strips of newspaper and put them all in a big pile. Do not make them
too long, as it will be hard to wrap them around the balloon if they
are too long. This big pile shown here was enough for me to cover five
Prepare the paper mache mixture. Mix 2 cups of flour to 2 cups of water
and mix until it is smooth. You may have to make more of this depending
on how many pumpkins you make. For example, to do the five pumpkins
shown in this project I needed 4 cups of flour to 4 cups of water.
Dip a newspaper strip into the paper mache mixture until it is
completely soaked, and then run your fingers over it to remove excess
paper mache. Then, wrap the strip of paper around the balloon. Protect
your work surface if you need to. This is a messy job and the table you
are working on will get messy, but usually it will wipe up easily later
on with a soapy sponge. Cover the entire balloon with newspaper strips,
overlapping then when necessary, so you cannot see any of the balloon.
You can leave the stem pointing through. The goal is to cover the
balloon with three complete layers of newspaper strips. I found the
easy way to keep track of the layers is as follows: The first layer is
easy; you will know you are done when you cannot see anymore of the
balloon. For the second layer, add drier newspaper strips on top of the
already wet strips to help keep track. For the last layers, layer on
wet gooey strips once again.
When you are finished, use the length of string you tied to each
balloon and tie it to the clothesline you prepared. Allow the pumpkins
to dry completely. This may take 2 to 3 days. When they are dry, remove
them from the clothesline and cut off the balloon stem. The balloon
will slowly peel away from the sides so it can be removed.
Draw a jack-o-lantern face on each pumpkin with a marker or pen. Don't
worry if you make mistakes, everything will be covered later with
Cut out the jack-o-lantern face with an exacto knife, much the same way
you would do if you were carving an actual pumpkin. Do not allow
children to do this step, the exacto knives are sharp! There is no need
to hide the lines you drew, since you will be painting the pumpkin
next. Try to remove the pieces as they fall into the pumpkin if
Take the pumpkin outside and give it one or two coats of orange spray
paint. Or, paint it with acrylic paint with a paint brush. Allow the
paper mache pumpkins to dry completely. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to
seal them, if desired.
Your paper mache pumpkins are almost done! To hang them on a string of
lights (or any other garland or string) cut two small holes on either
side of the top hole that is on the end of each pumpkin. You can then
use a pipecleaner to thread through these two holes and secure to the
lights. The tiny light bulb can fit inside the top hole where the
balloon stem was. Enjoy!
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