3D Paper Pumpkins for Fall

Well its finally autumn, that’s “fall” for all the US folks, bringing with it; fabulous colors and cooling nights. We can finally turn off the air conditioning and open the windows. The coming of autumn also means it’s time to start decorating for the busiest part of the year with autumn, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all in a 3 month span.

These paper pumpkins are idea to being a bit of that color inside:

3D Pumpkin3D Paper Pumpkins

This weekend I finally got around to thinking about making autumn decorations. The mantle is an obvious place to decorate and I’ll get to that next weekend, but looking around to what else is crying out for a bit of fall color, my eye stopped on the three different sized cubes that hang above the television.

Empty Boxes, ready for fall

I’ve wondered what to do with these for a while. But as they are different sizes and only hang on 1 nail, they don’t lend themselves to anything consistent or too heavy.

These paper pumpkins fit the bill perfectly though. They are completely customizable in relation to size and as they are only made of card-stock, are (virtually) light as a feather.

I measured each box to make sure that a) the pumpkin would fit and b) so I could keep the size around each one of a similar proportion.

This means I have pumpkins of:

6.25 inch circle, 4 inches squared off at the bottom

4.5 inch circle, 3 inches squared off at the bottom

2.5 inch circle, 1.5 inches squared off at the bottom

Just make sure you keep a record of how big your circles are, you’ll need to do some math later… really easy math, but still math

What you’ll need:

  • Various sheets (I used 6 sheets) of card-stock in orange hues
  • At least one type of green card-stock (although variation is great too)
  • One sheet of brown card-stock.
  • Glue, Pencil, Compass and Clothes pegs (yep!)

Coloured Cardstock

The pumpkins themselves are simply a series of circles, with the bottom trimmed off, stuck together with the next one in the series only using half of each pumpkin ( set up photos for how to do this ) with a paper stalk and leaves

Here is basically what we’ll be cutting and scoring

Cut Sheet for Paper Pumpkins

Cut out your circles, I found 6 for each gave a nice amount of depth. You can add more, but I wouldn’t go less than 5 for each. If you’re lucky enough to have a paper cutting machine, set it up to cut your circles the required size. Although I have a Cricut, I decided to use an old fashioned compass and scissors for this part. Knowing that I would most likely have to trim any excess when glued together anyway, so although precision is required sometimes, this project allows some wiggle room.

Use a compass to make a circle

The circles need a little removed from their bottoms to provide footing for standing, this also makes the circles a little more oval which is keeping with the real shape of a pumpkin.  To do this, use a clear ruler and place it so the edges of the circles transect the lines on the ruler.

Trim the bottom of each circle

Plastic rulers do not play well with craft knives, just use a pencil to draw a line, and cut with scissors.

Each circle now is scored perpendicular to the bit we’ve just trimmed.  A bit more math coming up…width of circle divided by 2 (this is the radius). Yes it’s really that easy.

Use a bone folder and score

I cheated by using my fabric cutting ruler as its clear and it helps keep things aligned correctly. Score with a bone folder (or back of a pair of open scissors – but be careful) and make a strong crease. Do this to all your circles.

Now you’ll have a little stack of cut and creased pumpkin bits to be stuck together.

Fold each circle with a bone folder

Line them all up and now let’s get sticking. This sounds hard, but in real terms is easy. You need to stick one half of each piece to the piece next door.

Once dried, trim of any excess overhangs.

Pumpkins need leaves and stalks. Here is a template for ease of use. Print out on white cardstock. Cut out the template and transfer to the appropriate color card-stock.

Leaves and stalks pattern

Glue the leaves to the back of the stalk (clothes peg are great for holding these until dry)

Two leaves per stalk

Glue the finished stalks to the back of the pumpkin. Those pegs come in handy again. See the finished piece for approximate placement, but its up to you where they go.

Finally the finishing touch. The vines. Use a craft knife and trim some really thin slices of paper. Pull along an open pair of scissors and then wrap around a pencil. Hold for a few minutes so it’ll keep its shape.

Use a pencil to make the vines

Glue at the back of the pumpkin or in-between the slices.

Now just allow all that glue to dry.

Didn’t they turn out fabulous? I’m thinking of using the same technique for some holiday napkin rings…. I’ll keep you posted.

3D Pumpkins


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