A twist on the paper pumpkin craft

Google Paper Pumpkins.

They are the cutest little craft ever. I came across them on Pinterest which then of course linked me to the Martha Stewart tutorial on them because apparently even if you try and think of something new to do, there’s a good chance Martha and her team have already done it before it was even a thought in your head. In fact if you’re thinking about that craft right now, I am betting her team is currently finishing up the photoshop to have it appear online within the next 24 hours. Damnit.

I admit I am not a very good indoor Fall season decorator. Not that I don’t like it, I just tend to go a little bit crazy on the outdoor. The indoor crazy, we save that for Christmas – which in our household that insanity gets going as soon as the Halloween Pumpkins are in the compost bins. Just wait until you see our indoor holiday lights. Cuckoo. But I loved these paper pumpkins however I wanted them to hang outside. Sort of like garland or individually off of my tree.

And well paper + rain = destroyed craft.

But foam sheets + rain = waterproof Halloween decoration.

So that’s exactly what I did.

What you’ll need:

– a  roll of foam sheet or individual orange foam sheets (I get mine at the dollar store where  a 74″ – just over 6 foot – roll runs me a $1.25)

– green foam sheets for your leaves

– twine

Now working with foam was a bit tricky because foam doesn’t hold its shape like card stock or construction paper does when it comes to this craft.

It’s sort of like trying to shape a wet noodle. So it took me a couple of tries to figure out a way to direct them to form a pumpkin shape vs the traditional paper pumpkin craft assembly.

First I cut out a group of random strips – about 12 or 14 strips per pumpkin depending on how full you want your pumpkin. These strips were around 10″ long.

Hole punch your ends on both side of the strips.

Oh and when buying foam sheets make sure you actually buy the foam sheets.

Versus say buying regular pretty sparkly card stock for your leaves that was right next to the foam sparkly sheets at the store.

I improvised with lots of leftover foam from the rainbow party garland.


Get your twine.

With the regular paper pumpkin craft you can get away with using a brad/paper fastener here or even just a single knot at the bottom and the top.

However, with these you need to make at least 3 knots in your twine so that your foam sheets can be positioned where you need them to be.

First knot. At the bottom.

Then insert the strips over the twine.

Second knot, inside the bottom part of the sheets.

Tie this one very tightly to the foam sheet base to secure the sheets together. This will help them to stay put when they’re being blown around outside in the wind.

Then leave approx 7″ of string and tie a 3rd knot at the top for the top part of the foam strips to sit on.

Thread the twine through the top parts of the strips.

Add foam leaves (if I ever re-do these I would thread them vertically like thread going through garland so the leaves wouldn’t lie flat on top of the pumpkin but face out).

But see what I mean below about foam not hold its shape like card stock.

When you sit it down, it flattens like a pancake.

But because you created knots inside it to hold it in place like little ledges when you hang it, it looks like this.

And then you can hang them outside all waterproof and ready to go.

And then they can have fun being blown around in the wind confusing the birds looking for their bird feeder.



  • Reply
    Pillows A-La-Mode
    October 26, 2012 at 10:05 am

    How clever is THAT??? 🙂

    • Reply
      October 27, 2012 at 9:59 am

      It’s astonishing how many crafts we do that are for indoor use only. I’m always looking for materials to make them out of to hang them outside.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    My daughter just said “very cute… I want to try that!” Looks like we have a fun weekend project ahead of us.

    😛 <—- From Tessa

    • Reply
      October 27, 2012 at 10:01 am

      NICE!! Teenager approved (and by one who has excellent design taste no less!)

  • Reply
    Victoria Elizabeth
    October 27, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Cute!! I have a theory about how Martha has some supernatural agreement that lets her (and her magic elves) think of things that are obvious and simple, and make you wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself…

    I love Halloween and Halloween decorations. They’re second only to Christmas decorations. The only part I don’t like? Is taking all this stuff down and storing it away neatly… I have so much enthusiasm for the decorating part and about zero for the cleaning up part.

    • Reply
      October 27, 2012 at 10:03 am

      I have a game that I do that if I find a craft I like or want to try to see if I can do a 6 degrees of link backs to Martha’s website.

      Storing yes. Oh God. The bins in the basement. There’s a reason my IKEA star lights usually stay up til Spring in our living room window. Half ambiance and half do I need to take that down.

  • Reply
    Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen
    October 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    These are ADORABLE! I can’t wait to decorate my apartment for Halloween (I know I am so last minute)

    • Reply
      October 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you! Looking at your roasted pumpkin seeds reminds me how badly I need to carve out our pumpkins and I haven’t even started on the cookies!! Your site is delicious! I should try the cinnamon rolls for Christmas!

  • Reply
    October 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Love this project! I saw it on Pinterest too! but I forgot about it and I was sure not to succeed at it! Yours came out great! 🙂 Happy Halloween!

    • Reply
      November 4, 2012 at 10:11 am

      LOL! It took me several tries to figure out a system that worked b/c foam is like a wet noodle. Next time maybe indoor paper ones for us both?

  • Reply
    November 3, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I’ve seen this craft before, but would never think to use that foam to make it for the outdoors! Love it! You could round them out a bit, change the colors and make ornament balls for Christmas!

    • Reply
      November 4, 2012 at 10:12 am

      TOTALLY!!! They even sell kraft foam in glitter paper which would make excellent outdoor ones.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    GOOD IDEA!!! I LIKE hahahah

  • I love your comments!

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.