New This Month


Paper Pumpkin Costume

Source: Martha Stewart Living


  • 3 packages (20-by-90-inch) sheet crepe paper in orange

  • 1 package (20-by-90-inch) sheet crepe paper in black

  • Scissors

  • Floral wire

  • Thread, in orange and black

  • Sewing machine

  • White tissue paper, for stuffing

  • Seam binding, or ribbon, in orange and black

  • Craft glue

  • Black rickrack

  • 1 roll green crepe-paper streamer

  • Pencil


  1. Using bodice template (as indicated for pumpkin costume) enlarged to 200 percent, cut out two front pieces and four back pieces from orange crepe paper.

  2. Cut four 20-by-44-inch rectangles of orange crepe paper. These will be used to create the pumpkin shape.

  3. Cut four 4-inch-wide strips crosswise from the folded black crepe paper. These will be used for the skirt (illustration 1).

  4. Using a template, cut out the nose, eyes, and mouth for the pumpkin's face

  5. Cut a 20-by-22-inch piece of orange crepe paper and a 1/2-inch-by-36-inch strip of green crepe-paper streamer, for hat.

  6. Snip a length of floral wire to 12 inches.

  7. With a 1/4-inch seam allowance, machine-stitch the two bodice front pieces to two layers of the 20-by-40-inch crepe-paper rectangles (illustration 2). Start at one side, and gather the paper to accommodate for the shorter length of the bodice piece as you stitch.

  8. Continue gathering and stitching around the armholes, shoulders, and neckline, and down the other side of the bodice.

  9. Trim excess gathered paper from around armholes, leaving excess at neck intact (illustration 3).

  10. Gather crepe paper at the bottom edge until it is the same width as the bottom of the bodice front, and stitch in place leaving a 4-inch opening for stuffing (illustration 4).

  11. Stuff the body front with white tissue paper, and sew up the bottom seam. Set stuffed pieces aside.

  12. Measure down 3 1/2 inches from center neck of bodice back, and snip a 1/4-inch notch. Then, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, stitch the four back bodice pieces together, starting below the notch. Fold seams open (illustration 5).

  13. Repeat Steps 1 through 5 with back bodice pieces, except when gathering and stitching around the center back seam cut a slit to accommodate the opening in the back of bodice. Sew around slit to close.

  14. Glue eyes, nose, and mouth to pumpkin front.

  15. Fold a series of 1-inch pleats at 1/4-inch intervals in each of the 4-inch-wide strips of black crepe paper (illustration 6).

  16. Align two pleated rectangles with bottom edges of the pumpkin front (illustration 7); cut off excess width of rectangles.

  17. Center a 28-inch length of black seam binding over the top edge of the pleats, and edge-stitch along top and bottom, as shown (illustration 7). This will be the skirt front.

  18. Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 with remaining pleated rectangles to create the skirt back.

  19. Center the skirt front on the bottom edge of the pumpkin front, leaving ends of seam binding free. Stitch skirt front to pumpkin front. Repeat with skirt back and pumpkin back.

  20. Cut six 7-inch ties from orange seam binding. Stitch one tie to each side under the arms and to each side of back neck opening. Use these ties to hold costume closed once it is on the child.

  21. Stitch pumpkin front to pumpkin back at shoulder seams.

  22. Fold the 20-by-22-inch orange rectangle in half lengthwise.

  23. Fold in half crosswise but don't crease; with a 1/2-inch seam allowance, stitch to create a cylinder (illustration 8). Turn right side out.

  24. Stitch a 21-inch length of rickrack along the inside of the folded edge. Then, stitch a 22-inch length of black seam binding along the outside edge (illustration 9), overlapping 1/2 inch.

  25. Measure 3 inches down from the top of the cylinder. Gather at the 3-inch mark (illustration 10), and tie with thread. Taper this stem by cutting downward at an angle, as shown.

  26. Insert the length of wire into the top of the stem. Bind the stem by gluing one end of the strip of green crepe paper to the base and then wrapping upward (illustration 11). Pull the paper taut as you wrap. After wrapping the stem, continue up the length of wire until it is covered, and glue at the end.

  27. Coil the covered wire around a pencil. Remove pencil.

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