Guest Post | Halloween Papier-mâché Pumpkin How-to

This is Marcie McGoldrick, the editorial director of crafts at Martha Stewart Living.  I am excited to share a project here on Made by Joel from our new Handmade Holiday Crafts book, which just went on sale today.   It is never too early to start thinking about Halloween. One of my favorite Halloween projects is papier-mâché pumpkins.   Papier-mâché is great for kids and adults to do together and it requires only a few basic ingredients.  You will need balloons, orange tissue paper, jar or glass (for resting the balloon), scissors, white craft glue, pencil, and a clothesline and clothespins (for drying).

In a bowl make a mixture of 2 parts craft glue to one part water.  Blow up a balloon and tie it off.  Rest the balloon on a jar or glass and brush the glue mixture on a small section of the balloon.  Drape a strip of orange tissue vertically on the balloon.  Brush more glue mixture over the strip and add another slightly overlapping.  Continue around the balloon until it is completely covered.  Cover the balloon with 3-4 layers of tissue.

Hang balloons on a clothesline from their knots to dry.  When they are completely dry pop each balloon and remove the balloon through the hole around the knot.

Cut a hole surrounding the knot end and a small hole around the other end to create a base.  Mark and cut out eyes, nose and mouth. On the inside cover these holes with a single layer of tissue paper.  Add battery powered lights inside and you have a glowing Jack o lantern that will last well beyond pumpkin season.


  1. September 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Like it so much!

  2. September 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    So cute!!! This makes me wish we celebrated halloween over here!!!

  3. Patricia Ágreda Ferrán
    September 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I like it too, Marcie!

  4. September 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    These are beautiful! And so easy that even my youngest can make her own!

  5. October 3, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Cute idea!!! Thanks!

  6. October 3, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Very cute! I just made paper mache the other day and it didn't look quite like this! Maybe I need more patience. :)

  7. October 13, 2011 at 6:08 am

    [...] from my “mom perspective” makes Halloween a little more fun.  I came across these pumpkins and waited for the perfect opportunity to get [...]

  8. October 14, 2011 at 6:22 am

    [...] fine ho trovato questo sito che spiega in inglese come realizzare delle finte zucche di carta tessuto, davvero simpatiche e [...]

  9. October 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    We did it yesterday... at least a first layer. It took a while to figure it out without ripping the paper over and over. Eventually, we got it going. However, after 24 hours, even one layer was not dry. This is going to be a "days" project around here. Humidity, maybe? The kids are looking forward to designing their faces when it is all done!

  10. Marci
    October 18, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I'm Marci, too! Yes, really! these are amazing that I think I need to go to the store at lunch and buy baloons and tissue! thank you so much

  11. Chris
    October 18, 2011 at 10:06 am

    If by 'new book' you mean this exact tutorial was the cover of Martha Stewart Living October 2001 issue. MSL does so much rehashing of ideas, it'd be good to see some more new content.

  12. December 2, 2011 at 7:34 am

    So pretty, i love Halloween !! bouhhhh

  13. January 24, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    [...] See the full original article here: Halloween Papier-mâché Pumpkins [...]

  14. VicTorious
    February 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    This is genius. I didn't discover this feed soon enough. Dang.

  15. oko
    February 21, 2012 at 8:49 am

    OSOM love it

  16. Grace
    March 12, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Wow they look real! I thought they were!

  17. January 3, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    [...] Papier Maché pumpkin,  by Made by Joel [...]

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