I love fall AND pumpkins.
Every year, I grow some pumpkins in my vegetable garden and then put them around my house.
Sometimes, I also add a few ‘faux pumpkins’ that are made out of foam because I can use them year after year. What I DON”T like about using ‘faux pumpkins’ is how expensive they can be.
So, I decided to make my own paper mache pumpkins. They are easy to make and use many items you probably already have.
Here is what you will need:
Newspaper (torn into strips)
Salt & Cinnamon
Small Cut Branch (1 inch)
Here is how you make them…
1. Blow up your beach ball, but not all the way. Then take the twine and cut 3 pieces and tie each piece around a section of the ball (you will need someone to help you with this so you can tie the knot). Place the twine between the colored sections.
2. Cut your newspaper into 1 inch strips.
3. For the paper mache mix, simply add 1 part all-purpose flour to 2 parts water. Then add a little salt and a sprinkle of cinnamon. The salt helps keep mold from forming on the paper mache and the cinnamon helps cover up the ‘glue’ smell some people don’t like.
Mix together using a whisk.
Add additional water or flour to get the right consistency.
NOW YOU ARE READY TO APPLY THE NEWSPAPER STRIPS TO YOUR BEACH BALL.
(This can be a bit messy, so I recommend wearing an apron and covering your work surface with plastic trash bags).
4. Dip a newspaper strip into the mixture and use your fingers to srip away the excess and apply to the beach ball.
Apply each strip beginning at the top of the ball. As you add new strips, slightly overlap them.
5. Each time you have finished applying a single layer of newspaper, you need to let it dry. (I used my clothes drying rack).
Apply a total of 4 layers.
6. Once your final layer has dried, your beach ball now more closely resembles a newspaper covered pumpkin. Take a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and lightly sand any rough spots, if needed.
7. Now it’s time to spray-paint your pumpkins. First, start off with black spray paint that will cover all the white and black of the newspaper, which can show through. Spray over the top and sides of your new pumpkin and let dry. Then flip over and spray the bottom.
8. Do the same with either orange spray paint (for an orange pumpkin), or off-white spray paint (for a white pumpkin). I applied 2 coats with good results.
9. Once the paint has dried, glue a small 1 inch piece of a branch on the top.
Now you are done!
I think they look just great without doing anything else to them, don’t you? And, they will last from year to year!
They are NOT meant to be carved – it just won’t work. But, you can paint a ‘jack-o-lantern’ face on them, or use a stencil to apply a design. There is a lot you can do.
**Although paper mache is easy to do, it can take a while, so I would turn on my favorite television program or DVD while I was putting on the paper mache.
I will keep on growing pumpkins, but I will also proudly display my paper mache pumpkins too!