DIY Halloween Pumpkin Decoration
Fall is here, the leaves are starting to turn, and Halloween is just around the corner. All of that means we’re decorating and celebrating for my favorite time of year.
Halloween has a special place in my heart, and I can remember spending hours with my parents as a child cutting and sewing my own costumes. It wasn’t just about the dressing up as my favorite superhero or interpretation of a scary movie monster. It was also the pride that went with being able to create my own costume. And yes, everything I ever made could have easily been bought in a store for much less than it costs to make, and it would have likely looked better and been easier. But that was never the point.
I’m older now and while I don’t dress up as often, my wife and I still love creating around the holidays. That means making as many of our own decorations as we can and skipping the crowded stores and lines. It’s even more important now with a global pandemic going on, this is a great way to spend some quality time and doing it physically distant from the rest of the world.
I wanted to make this design as easy as possible for anyone to follow, and so it was created with simplicity in mind. The only tool you’ll need for this project is a jigsaw, but if you had the motivation and wanted a workout, you could likely do it with a hand saw too.
For materials, a 2’x4’ sheet of plywood, a 1.25” in diameter wooden dowel, and some paint will get you a single 2’x2’ pumpkin. We painted our pumpkin burnt orange and the stem green, but feel free to use whatever colors you’d like for a more whimsical approach.
- 2ft x 4xft sheet of plywood
- 1.25 inch in diameter wooden dowel (at least 12 inches long)
- Spray Paint (Colors of your choice)
- Printed Template (Download link at bottom of this page)
Start by printing out your template. Each pumpkin half requires 12 sheets of paper but will use minimal ink. Make sure you set your printer to print in poster mode and select “Include Cut Lines” if this option is available.
Assemble the template by cutting or folding along the cut lines. You can easily cut using a razor knife and a metal ruler, or if you have a paper trimmer that is even better. Use clear tape such as scotch tape or clear packing tape to tape your templates together. Take your time with this step because the more accurate you assemble your templates now, the less you need to worry about accuracy later on.
Cut out both templates along the black lines and place them on your 2’x4’ sheet of plywood, they should easily fit in the space you have. You’ll want to tape them from the back side with a couple rolls of not-too-strong tape like masking or scotch tape. You don’t want to tape these down from the edges since you’re about to trace them out.
You can use a pencil, sharpie, or my person favorite, spray paint to transfer your template to the wood. Just as long as you get the general shape. You’ll want to take the most care in accurately transferring the slots where your pumpkins will fit together and where the stem will go since these are measured out.
Using a Jig saw (or a hand saw if you are brave) cut out the shapes from the wood. Again, the you don’t need to be too concerned here since no pumpkin is perfectly round and uniform but where your slots are you will want to take extra care to cut those accurately. You can always trim them a little small if you are unsure and then adjust if needed.
Once your pieces are cut out, test fit them together, you may need to trim a little away to get the two half to easily slide together. You don’t want any friction here, once they are painted they will get a little harder to move and you want the fit here to allow for that.
Cut your dowel to about 8” in length, shorter or longer is up to you. I like to leave enough stem so that there is enough room to grip and pull them apart when it comes time to take down my decorations. Test fit your stem and again trim if necessary.
In a well-ventilated area go have a blast painting. Spray paint is fastest but if you happen to find some orange latex paint or even acrylic you can use that. (if you are using an acrylic you will need to seal them with a waterproof sealer to withstand the weather) Of course you don’t even have to go with orange if you are going for a whimsical fun color scheme.
Once the paint has had time to fully dry you can go ahead and assemble! Stand back and admire your work. From here the pumpkins can be done up a little with festive bows, hay, lights, or anything else you can think of.
You can download the paper templates to print and cut out yourself here.
Watch the step by step video: