Papier-Mache Pumpkins

Papier-Mache Pumpkins

Photography: Jose Manuel Picayo Rivera

Source: Martha Stewart


The stairway in an entry hall is an appropriate spot to display graduated sizes of handmade paper jack-o'-lanterns. For safety, these beaming faces are lit from within by battery-powered lights. A single sheet of tissue pasted inside diffuses the light and hides the working parts.


  • Empty jars

  • Wheat paste

  • Orange and yellow tissue paper

  • Paintbrush

  • Clothespins and clothesline

  • Utility knife

  • Manicure or sewing scissors

  • Floral wire

  • Floral tape

  • Cotton balls

  • Pencil

  • Masking tape

  • Craft glue

  • Needle

  • Black crepe paper

  • Protective gloves

  • White and black card stock


  1. Begin by resting a balloon on an empty jar. Dab wheat paste on a small section of the balloon, and drape a strip of orange tissue paper vertically from the balloon's crown to its knot. Using a paintbrush, apply paste over the strip. Add another strip so that it slightly overlaps the first, and brush on more paste. Continue around the balloon. After two layers of orange tissue, apply two layers of yellow.

  2. Using clothespins, hang balloons from the clothesline by their knots; let them dry. When they are dry, pop each balloon with a snip of a scissors as you hold the knot. Remove the balloon through the hole around the knot.



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