How to Make a Fake Pumpkin

Written by alex smith
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How to Make a Fake Pumpkin
Make fake pumpkins using paper mache. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A giant pumpkin can make a great decoration in your yard or home during the Halloween and Thanksgiving seasons. There are many pumpkin decorations for sale in stores during the fall, but you can make your own for a fraction of the price. Use paper mache, which involves applying strips of paper and glue to build up a solid surface. You can even paint a face onto the finished pumpkin to turn it into a jack-o-lantern.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Garbage bag
  • Newspaper
  • String
  • Masking tape
  • Toilet paper tube
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Measuring spoons
  • Bucket
  • Mixing spoon
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Hot glue gun
  • Fake leaves

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  1. 1

    Stuff a garbage bag with newspaper until it is as full as you want.

  2. 2

    Tie off the top of the bag and trim off any excess above the knot with a pair of scissors.

  3. 3

    Tie a piece of string to the knot and wrap it tightly around the bag several times to simulate the pumpkin's ridges.

    How to Make a Fake Pumpkin
    Twine will simulate the natural ridges. (Jupiterimages/ Images)
  4. 4

    Cover the twine with masking tape to ensure that it cannot shift position.

  5. 5

    Slip a toilet paper tube onto the bag's knot and tape it in place. This will be the cut stem.

  6. 6

    Tear several sheets of newspaper into strips 8 inches long and 2 inches wide. The amount you need depends on the size of your pumpkin.

  7. 7

    Make paper mache paste by mixing equal parts of flour and water in a bucket. Add a tablespoon of salt to prevent mould from growing in the paste over time.

  8. 8

    Dip the newspaper strips in the paste, then squeegee off the excess between your fingers and smooth them over the bag. Cover the entire bag and stem with overlapping layers.

  9. 9

    Apply three more layers over the entire pumpkin.

  10. 10

    Apply a fifth layer of paper mache onto the stem, squeezing the strips into ridges to simulate a pumpkin stem's texture.

  11. 11

    Allow the paper mache to dry overnight.

  12. 12

    Spray two or three coats of white primer over the entire pumpkin until all of the newsprint is covered. Allow each coat to dry fully.

  13. 13

    Paint the pumpkin orange and the stem green. You can use spraypaint or brush-on acrylic paint.

  14. 14

    Hot glue a few fake leaves from a craft store to the base of the stem.

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