How to Create a Papier Mache Pumpkin

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Pumpkins are a symbol of autumn, Thanksgiving, and maybe most of all, Halloween. The jack-o'-lantern is a classic Halloween design, sending up images of trick-or-treating, ghosts, and the spirit of Halloween. Instead of setting up a pumpkin that will rot and decay, you can create a papier mache pumpkin that will last all year long.

How to Create a Papier Mache Pumpkin
(Andres Arango/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Balloon
  • Orange paint
  • Black paint
  • Brown tissue paper
  • Old newspaper
  • Glue
  • Water
  • Flour
  • Bowl
  • Pencil
Step 1

Pour 4 cups of water into a bowl. Add two cups of flour and mix together for about a minute. This will help create the papier mache mix. Set the bowl aside.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 2

Shred strips of newspaper about 3 inches long. You do not have to measure these out, but try to keep the shreds about the same length.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 3

Blow up a round balloon to the size of an average pumpkin. Set the balloon on a couple of sheets of newspaper.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 4

Dip the shredded strips of newspaper into the papier mache mix. Layer the newspaper over the balloon until it is completely covered. Repeat this process three times so there is a thick layer of newspaper around the balloon.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 5

Let the balloon dry overnight. This is so you do not have any moist spots that could cave in when you attempt to paint the project.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 1

Coat the whole pumpkin with a layer of orange paint. Use multiple coats of paint to make the orange brighter.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 2

Let the orange paint dry and then give the pumpkin a face with the black paint. You can also use multiple colors to give him more human qualities.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 3

Use a pencil to draw curved lines all around the pumpkin. This represents the natural curves and waves found on a pumpkin.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 4

Roll some pieces of brown tissue paper together to create the stem of the pumpkin. Glue it in the top and the center of the pumpkin to finish the creation.

Andres Arango/Demand Media

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