Make The Perfect Papier-Mache Fall Pumpkin Sculpture Container

How to easily make a beautiful papier-mache pumpkin sculpture container using newspaper or leftover wrapping paper and a plastic Halloween pumpkin bucket.
I cut the pumpkin in half to use the faceless side as a mold. You will need to make two (identical & separate) pieces to create the body of the papier-mache pumpkin. If your pumpkin bucket does not have a face with indentations or if you wish to include the face, you can use both sides of one bucket as a mold and make both pieces of your pumpkin at the same time. You could also use two smooth sides from two separate buckets that are the exact same size. I only had one bucket and did not want to include the face, so I just used one side of the bucket as a mold and repeated the process to make the two pieces.
I started by forming water wet strips of paper (no paste) onto the mold. I then added a couple of layers of paper strips dipped in paste to the mold and allowed it to dry overnight. Starting out with with strips dipped in water only prevents the project from sticking to the mold. Once the water wet layer dries, the project will slip easily from the mold.
The next day after removing the individual pumpkin sides from the mold I added a couple of layers of paste dipped strips to the inside to secure the loose (previously water wet) layer.
I then added more layers of paper strips and one layer of scrap fabric strips dipped in papier-mache paste, drying in an oven in between layers at 200 degrees F for about 15-30 minutes. Be sure not to put the plastic pumpkin mold in the oven it will melt!
When all layers were dry on both sides of my pumpkin, I held them together and added a circle of think cardboard to the bottom cut from a heavy paper plate.
I then lined up the sides and secured the open seams with additional strips of paper dipped in papier-mache paste. I then allowed the whole thing to dry overnight
The next day I gently smoothed away any sharp or rough spots and then painted with silver metallic acrylic craft paint. I allowed it to dry and it was all done.
For more detailed instructions and my favorite papier-mache paste recipe be sure to see this full post on my blog.
Thanks so much & happy crafting! :)
preview mache

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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2 of 18 comments
  • Lynn
    on Sep 17, 2015

    Great idea, and the pumpkin mold can be used again. Neat!

  • Homeroad
    on Sep 17, 2015

    Very creative! Spray painting the pumpkin would have not been nearly as creative! Nice job!

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