I’m not a big holiday decorator. In fact, other than Christmas, I don’t really decorate at all. The thought of cleaning everything up and packing it away after the holiday is generally enough to deter me from buying or making anything cute, but I know my kids wish I would decorate at least a little. (I did make one Halloween decoration already this year, you can see it here). So I set out to find a few things the boys and I could make together to Halloween-ify the place. These easy patterned paper pumpkins fit the bill perectly.
I originally saw the idea and instructions here, but their pumpkins were made with plain orange paper and required paper that’s 15 inches long. I figured pumpkins would be cuter with patterned paper in different colors and prints (and they are!), and I made three different sizes of pumpkins, all using standard 12×12 inch scrapbook paper.
Easy photo directions are below, but here are a few tips to begin with:
- stick to cardstock or other stiff paper – if you try making these with printer paper they’ll wilt!
- use anywhere between 16-24 strips of paper for each pumpkin. The chevron pumpkin was made using 16 strips, while the rest of the pumpkins used 20-24 strips. Decide which look you like best and go for it.
- You can make 2-3 small pumpkins or 1 medium pumpkin from one 12×12 sheet of paper, while a larger pumpkin (like the black chalkboard one) will take 2 sheets of 12×12 paper
- You’ll want to use either a small hole punch (like a cropodile) or a thumbtack to make the holes in your paper strips – a standard size hole punch will be too large
Here are the instructions:
1. Cut 16-24 strips of paper in the following dimensions: small | 6 inches long by 1/2 wide; medium | 9 inches long by 3/4 inch wide; large | 12 inches long by 1 inch wide
2. Punch a small hole near both ends of the paper strips.
3. Thread one paper strip onto a 12inch length of medium weight craft wire.
4. Loop the wire around the end of the paper strip to secure it. The pattern on the paper should be facing the short or looped end of the wire (down).
5. Thread the rest of the paper strips onto the wire, being sure the pattern is facing down. Fan out the paper strips slightly.
6. Pick up the bottom paper strip and thread the wire through the hole on the other end.
7. Continue with all the other paper strips in order, always threading the bottom strip on next.
8. Wrap the wire around a pencil, wrapping and curling the wire to force the paper strips into a pumpkin shape.
8. Finished! Add a leaf if desired.
Older children should be able to complete the entire project by themselves, especially if they have access to a paper trimmer to make uniform strips. Younger children can help thread paper strips onto the wire as you hold it for them. Either way, it’s a quick project with a very pretty result. Try using script, chevron, diamond, polka dot, or striped papers for a sophisticated look.