{Tutorial} Paper Pumpkins

When I first told my friends I was setting out to make a fabulous paper pumpkin, the idea did not seem to astound them as I thought it should. I could see the vision and wondered why their response was so unenthusiastic. I suppose paper has a narrow reputation. People consider it to be a two-dimensional medium containing limited capabilities. I am here to expand that reputation and shed some light on the full capabilities of paper craft potential! Okay, so I'm not going so far as to start an official movement, but I aim to give credit where credit is due. And paper does not get enough credit!

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So enter my 3D paper pumpkins. Pick out some pretty paper, add a little Mod Podge, throw on some good old Rock n' Roll twist music, and voila! Magical paper pumpkins.


  • Scrapbook paper in shades of brown

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  • Scrapbook paper in coordinating designs

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  • Original Mod Podge (matte finish)

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  • Hot glue gun, wire cutter & wire pliers

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  • Floral wire

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To make the pumpkin stem, cut strips of brown paper (I used Basic Grey Paper Pack in Basic Kraft) into 2 to 3 inch strips. Cover strip on both sides with Mod Podge and twist paper into a stick. Make sure paper is twisted tight, and not just rolled up. It should not be a hollow tube. Make several sticks, in alternating colors and widths, and allow to dry. Trim sticks to desired length (slightly shorter than your pumpkin will be tall) and glue several of them together to create a stalk.

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Cut coordinating papers into one inch strips. I used Basic Grey Paper Pack in Capella. Dip a strip into Mod Podge to cover completely, and remove excess. Twist the piece into a tight stick, taking care not to rip the paper, or leave it hollow. Place onto non stick surface to dry. Repeat with more paper strips.

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When mostly dry (as early as 20 minutes) bend each paper stick into a "C" shape and hot glue onto the stem starting about an inch down from the top, and ending by slightly overlapping the bottom. Attach paper strips one by one, shaping them as you go. Eventually the paper sticks will completely cover the bottom of the stem, and accumulate several layers to add dimension to the project. Continue until your pumpkin is the size and shape you want.

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Cut paper into very thin strips (about ⅛ in.) and cover with Mod Podge. Wind paper around floral wire to fully cover, and allow to dry. Use round nose pliers to bend into tendrils. You can also coil the wire around a pencil, but I find this to make the curls a bit too perfect. I like to keep things a little messy and inconsistent. Glue the tendrils close to the stem, and arrange them as you wish.

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And you're done! Yes, I'll admit that this can be a tedious process, but isn't it worth it in the end?

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Here's a few tips I found helpful along the way:

  • Wear latex gloves when Mod Podging (it helps keep things moving faster).
  • Try to be in a time and place free from interruptions, because it's hard to respond with your hands covered in a gooey mess!
  • Wrap your TV remote and phone in plastic wrap before beginning (for obvious reasons), you should have seen my husband's face.




  1. [email protected] says

    Great idea! Love the pumpkins!!

  2. Laura @ Ms Smartie Pants says

    Well darn, I just saw this for the first time, thinking it's too late for this year… hmmm…. wonder if I could make Christmas trees. Adorable, thanks for sharing!

  3. Jenny @ An Apple for the Crafter says

    My friend just pinned this and I had to come here because I truly didn't believe they were paper. I'm sorry you didn't get the shock you deserved! I promise to send you pictures when I make mine!

  4. Karen says

    These are AMAZING!!!! I am going to try this out, can’t wait to have these in my home! About how many 12×12 sheets did you cut up for the pumpkin? Thanks so much for sharing!!!! =)

  5. says

    Super fantastic. Love it! Is this the same technique used in the 12 Days of Christmas wreath from last year? I have always wanted to try that one. Thanks for sharing your tutorials and inspiration.

  6. LalalaLola says

    I have a suggestion, and I think you'll like it! Instead of paper for that inside stem, why not a cinnamon stick? It would smell MARvelous AND give extra strength to the project. … just a suggestion and I'm going to try!

  7. Diane Phillips says

    I cannot figure out what the wire is for?  Am I reading it and just not seeing it?  I have to make some – – – – TODAY!!


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