It’s that time of year again – HALLOWEEN! This year we wanted to make something a little different for the spookiest season of the year. We decided to make a DIY Halloween Pumpkin – well… three pumpkins. And they are terrified, or slightly concerned. You be the judge.
Here’s what we used to make it:
- 4′ x 4′ sheet of 1/4″ plywood (handi-panel at Menards)
- Acrylic Craft Paints (found at any craft store or Wally World)
- Clear Enamel Spray
- 1″ wide pine board for the legs
- Jig Saw
Check Out The DIY Halloween Pumpkin Build Video
Creating The Pattern
For those of you that really want to make this project from scratch, you can make the pattern as well. I designed this pattern, first as a sketch and then scanned it in to Inkscape. In Inkscape I cleaned up all the lines by tracing them, which refined the whole image and then allowed me to tweak and scale it.
Once the pattern was how I wanted it, I exported it and then loaded it into a program called Posterazor which allowed me to enlarge it into a multi-sheet PDF that could be printed, cut and then taped together to make a larger pattern.
If you’re not sure how to use Inkscape for this purpose you can check out some of our Inkscape Tutorials on our YouTube channel.
Transferring The Pattern
I transferred the pattern to the wood by, first taping it down do it wouldn’t move. Then using an ink pen I applied a decent amount of pressure and traced the outer lines of the pattern. This leaves an indention of the pattern on the wood once the pattern is removed. Since this transfer is really light and somewhat hard to see, going back over the outline with a pen is required.
Cutting Out The Pattern
I cut the outer shape using a jig saw. This is as simple as following the lines and taking your time. Since jig saws like to mangle the wood pretty good, sanding the edges after the cut is required.
First Paint, Second Transfer
The majority of the paint is orange for this project. So we made that our base coat. We covered the whole thing in orange paint and let it sit to dry for about an hour.
Once it was dry we place the pattern back onto the piece and started tracing lines just like before. These are the detail lines; the eyes, mouth and run-in line from the outer lines. This time we didn’t do a follow up trace on the actual piece, that way the ink wouldn’t show up.
Painting The Details
This step is pretty self explanatory; it just takes some time. We used a combination of brushes to accomplish this paint scheme. Basically, the eyes are white with black pupils, the mouth is solid black and the stem is a combination of browns and greens. One thing that we didn’t record or photograph was painting the edge of the wood. This is just painted black and helps make the edges look a little more crisp.
We made some simple legs for the back of the pumpkins that will help it stand up. These are just two sets of pine board, screwed together and then nailed to the back through the front with some small brads. The legs are on there in such a way, that placing a brick or sandbag on them will keep the pumpkins sitting upright.
We also added a couple coats of clear enamel to the front and the back to help protect it from the weather. This will probably need to be reapplied every year before we place it outside for the season.
That’s all there is to it. If you make this or something like it, be prepared to spend most of the time painting. It took us around 3 hours to make this and 2 of it was probably painting. Other than that, this is a really fun project and probably one the kids could even get involved with.