DIY Metallic Paper Mache Pumpkins

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Every year it seems my kids want to decorate or carve pumpkins and every year they get 15 minutes into it before quitting.  That leaves my husband or myself to finish cleaning up the pumpkin guts and carving faces.  This year I decided on a less messy, longer lasting version of our Halloween pumpkins.

Paper Mache has always been something I have avoided.  It’s usually messy and my patience for dry times doesn’t last through an entire project.  These were different.  They were actually really easy and very little mess.  You see instead of using plaster or a homemade flour mixture, I used Southern Blenders Pearl Paste. These metallic pastes come in Copper, Pearl and Pewter.  They’re a thick textured paste that dries to a hard surface.  I’ve seen people use them for things such as raised stencils and to add texture to a project, so it just made sense to see how they worked for my pumpkins.

First things first, grab a few balloons and some string.  Blow your balloon up to a good size and tie the end.  Then with a good sturdy twine or butchers string start by tying a knot around your balloons end.

Wrap your string around the balloon and start creating your pumpkin shape.  You may find it easier to get started by using a piece of tape on the bottom of the balloon to hold your first loop until you get a few started.  Each loop around the balloon feed your string under the previous loop to create tension.

Once you get all your loops tied around your balloon, make sure you space your string out evenly.

Now start tearing up some newspaper.  You will need uncoated newspaper, the kind that leaves ink all over your hands.  Tear it into roughly 1″ wide strips, any wider and your paper will wrinkle.

Now using the Southern Blenders Pearl Paste and a brush, coat one side of a strip of paper before applying to your balloon.

Once you have one layer all the way around your balloon pumpkin, put a light coat of Pearl Paste over the entire surface. Let that dry about an hour before layering 3-4 more layers the same way.

For the stems, vines and leaves I used a few things I found around the house.  The stem we choose a few sticks out of the yard for.  When my pumpkin was fully dry, I used my drill to open a hole in the top first.

Then using a little E6000 glue I attached the stem.

I also grabbed a little bit of my husband’s scrap wire and strippers.  I stripped off the plastic and wrapped the copper wire around a pencil to create a vine.  Each piece was also attached with E6000 glue.

For my Pewter colored pumpkin I also added Southern Blenders metallic gilding wax to define the creases a little.

Then I grabbed some scrap pieces of canvas from my sewing scrap and drew a rough outline of a leaf to cut out.

Once those were cut out, I did a layer of Southern Blenders metallic paint in Copper Nails to hide my canvas color.  These are going to get some sparkle and I want a good base for that.

I let those dry before spraying them well with spray adhesive.  Let the adhesive sit for a few minutes.

Then I grabbed some German Glass Glitter and coated each leaf well.  These were allowed to dry and also attached with E6000 glue.

I let everything dry overnight before placing them out for our holiday decorations!  They turned out great and I love them.

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