How to Make DIY Luminary Pumpkin Lanterns

6 Materials
1 Hour

DIY luminary pumpkins are so easy to make and provide a beautiful glow to your fall decor!

Let’s make some, shall we?Gather your supplies.

  • Faux pumpkins
  • Spray paint
  • Drill and bits in various sizes
  • Fairy lights or faux votive candles
  • Pen or marker
  • Knife or pumpkin carving kit

Take your pumpkin and with your knife, cut the bottom out. This is where you will insert your light source once finished.

You can cut in a square or circle shape — whatever is easiest for you!

You can start to drill “freehanded” or you can take a marker or pen and mark your drill holes ahead of time.

Get your drill and add a bit in your preferred size to it (I used 5/16 for this one). With one hand firmly holding the stem, begin to drill your holes.

Our six year old asked to help since she loves drilling — that’s my girl. She drilled most of the holes herself. I was so impressed!

Once you make it all the way around your pumpkin, you’ll want to take your hand and pull out any extra pumpkin debris from the drilled holes. The holes don’t come out super perfectly, but you can’t tell when the pumpkins are lit up. Also this project gets messy, so you’ll want to do it on a drop cloth or in the garage

You’ll want to repeat the same steps for each pumpkin. I wanted a different look for all three of my DIY pumpkin lanterns, so I switched up my drill bits and the design.

This tiny (5/64) drill bit is easier to use than the larger bits. It drills in super quickly and this pumpkin was definitely the quickest one to make.

I simply drilled holes all over the pumpkin to my liking. These smaller holes make almost a constellation or stars look. So pretty!

Now it’s time to spray paint your DIY lantern pumpkins.

Spraying after you drill ensures coverage inside the drill holes.

I love this copper color. And the small one went metallic gold. So pretty!

I did another pumpkin off camera and sprayed it a more muted gold color. I decided to keep a metallic theme, but you can really choose any color you like.

Once your pumpkins are dry it’s time to add your fairy lights and find a home for them. I explored adding them to our entry table. I just love how the lights glow on the walls!

Ultimately they ended up on our stairs along a curved wall out of the walk way. I mixed them with a couple other fabric pumpkins I found around the house. I love the glow they put off along the wall.

I love how these DIY luminary pumpkins turned out and they only took about an hour from start to finish. I highly recommend them to add some sparkle to your fall decor!

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Audrey Kuether
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Bek Bek on Oct 11, 2019

    Once again, a project that got my brain skittering in several directions, and those are the VERY best kind! I have several pumpkin carving patterns with punch marks to outline the project. Why not drill through those punch marks, and outline a scary scene? Worth a try, at any rate! I'll choose a pattern without a lot of intricate detail, of course!

  • Cindy Cindy on Oct 11, 2019

    Beautiful work !! Love the colors as well. I do have a question though, I wonder if you or anyone out there knows, why are all of these craft pumpkins not for outdoor use????

  • Patsy Wyant Patsy Wyant on Oct 18, 2019

    Kinda confused. If you are using faux pumpkins why do you need a pumpkin carving kit

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  • Pat Pat on Sep 03, 2021

    If you don't have a drill you could use metal skewers. I use them to make holes in the pumpkins I'm doing with my grandchildren's initials. I went to the dollar tree and got the fall flowers

  • P Gillies P Gillies on Oct 12, 2021

    Have done this before but added little light covers sold in craft stores that are used for ceramic Christmas trees. They looked so cool! Great project!