Wednesday 21 October 2009


This is a fantastic autumn project for your little ones! A paper mache pumpkin which can also be used as a treat holder.   My own darlings are 3 and 5 and really threw themselves into it! It is really easy to make but does require some drying time.  It took us about two weeks from start to finish (but that wasn't every day, I wanted to hold their interest.)

1. Blow up a balloon, don't blow it up all the way as you want more of a round shape.  I then squished it a bit in my hands to make it even more round.  Tape down the knot.

2. Make up your paste by mixing 1 parts flour to 2 parts water.  You want a nice consistancy not too runny and well mixed so there are no lumps.
3. Then start stripping.....the newspaper!  Put the strips in the mixture and as you bring them out run your fingers down them so you get rid of any excess paste.
I found it helpful to stand the balloons up on old yogurt pots so they didn't wibble wobble everywhere.
You need at least three layers and let each layer dry completely before applying the next one.  We actually needed four and I was impressed that I only had to apply the last layer, normally I end up at the table doing craft projects while the kidlets run around screeching!


4. Scrunch up a few strips of newspaper and roll them in your hands until they come together in a sausage shape, then put on the top of the pumpkin to make the stalk.  Take another few strips and place them around the stalk to anchor it to the main body.

5. With a pen make a mark about one third down frm the top of the pumpkin and another mark about 2cm below that. Do the same on the other side.
6. Then with a craft knife cut around the top of the pumpkin, about two thirds up, inbetween the upper and lower marks.


7. Using a hole punch, put holes in the lid on either side and two holes in the main body where you made your mark.  If the paper mache is too thick to go in to the hole punch use a braddle or knitting needle.

8. Paint your pumpkin.  We used acrylic paint and I mixed burnt orange with gold to give a slight pearlescent sheen.  We painted the inside too.  I mixed a bit of the gold with the green for the stalk.  We put a couple of coats of paint on to cover the newspaper, and as excitment was mounting and patience running out I used a hairdrier to speed up the drying time. Then like everything else in our house it was given a liberal sprinkling of glitter! 
9. Finally I threaded a ribbon through the holes to make a perfect treat holder.


  1. Who doesn't love paper mache? When adults can get messy like the kids. Love that you added a string to hang them, this would be a wonderful treat/ find for any little one. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I just love those! They remind me of the vintage pumpkins that you can sometimes find ... I think those are made from papier mache too.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this. I made some of these with my daughter and they turned out so well! We made one smallish one for taking out trick-or-treating and one big big one that we left the top on, painted and hung as decoration. This was such a fun project and I think it's awesome that she can hang on to these and use them for many halloweens to come! Thanks again.

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