Monday, September 11, 2017

Dollar Store Fall Leaf Handcrafted Pumpkin

It's that time again for our Monthly Challenge Blog Hop!
I've joined a group of creative bloggers to bring you a monthly challenge blog hop. On the 2nd Monday of each month we share our themed creations for the month, be it Upcycling, Family Recipes or Dollar Store Crafts.  This month, it's Dollar Store Crafts, new or old and it's one of my favorites! Who doesn't love creating dollar store crafts???  

It's amazing what can be created with items from the dollar store!  For this month's theme, I created a handcrafted leaf covered pumpkin out of items from the dollar store that included punch balloons, faux fall leaves, brown craft paper and even mod podge. 
While looking around the store for ideas, I didn't realize the dollar store carried punch balloons until I saw them near the regular balloons. Yes, 3 for $1.They're so much larger and stronger than regular balloons and very easy to blow up! But did you know they make great faux pumpkins, too!!!!  Here's how:
Gather the following -
  • punch ball
  • twine
  • newspaper
  • mod podge
  • foam brush
  • brown craft paper
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • stem wire
  • acrylic paint or stain
To make the pumpkin, after blowing up a punch balloon to around 12 inches, knot and push the blow up end into the balloon to grab the opposite end, pulling it up and tying both ends together with twine into a .  .  .
pumpkin shape. 
This might be a bit tricky to do for some, but keep trying until you've pulled the balloon together and tied it off. I've done it before here, when I made a paper mache vase.
Then take four strips of twine - more than enough to cover the entire balloon and wrapped each one evenly spaced around the balloon, tying and knotting as tightly as you can to make grooves similar to a pumpkin. Knot all the twine ends together at the top and cut off excess. 
Next, paper mache (just like you did as a kid, except we're using mod podge instead of homemade flour, salt and water glue) the balloon by tearing small strips of newspapers and applying mod podge using a sponge brush over the entire balloon. Apply four or more layers of newspapers for strength, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. Be sure to paper mache over the twine, and to rub between the grooves, too!
Once dry, paint the pumpkin in a color to match the leaves. I didn't care that the print from the newspaper showed through since I was covering it with leaves, but painting on a primer first would have covered the print, if you prefer. 

Next, turn the pumpkin upside down (it's so much easier to glue on the leaves this way) to begin hot gluing the leaves on, one row around at a time. I just added a dab of hot glue to the center of the back of the leaves for a fluffy look. Start each new row by overlapping above and between the previous  leaves. 
Continue adding leaves, row by row until the pumpkin is completely covered. 
To make the pumpkin stem, crumple small pieces (the length you want) of dampen brown craft paper together and then smooth them out.  You can also use a brown paper bag to make this.  Lay a shorten stem wire on top and roll up the paper - adding more to thicken the stem.
Twist and bend the stem into shape with one end wider as the base. Add mod podge to the twisted paper and any open areas to seal and allow to dry. 

Place the wider stem base on top of a piece of brown paper and draw around the base for a cover pattern. Cut out and glue on cover to the stem base.   Paint stem and let dry. 
And finally, hot glue the twisted paper stem to the center top of the leafy pumpkin and Ta Da!
What a beauty!
So adorable!!!
This is such a great and inexpensive way to make your own decorative pumpkins for just a few dollars!!!!  Have you noticed how much the larger faux pumpkins are? Even with a discount? So, why not make your own!

Be sure to visit all of the ladies' blogs for their awesome Dollar Store Crafts:

And don't forget to come back next month for our Upcycle Challenge using clothing!  What a fabulous challenge that will be!
Thanks for stopping by, and
Happy Fall Crafting!


  1. You are so incredibly clever! I love your pumpkin! Thank you for the tutorial. -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  2. Gail, your pumpkin looks great! I would never have thought to use a punch balloon this way. I love the technique and the end result is so cute! Pinning & Sharing.

  3. Gail, Love this so much! What a fantastic idea with the punch balloon. I can't wait to try it out and the leaves on the pumpkin are just adorable! Great Dollar Store Craft!
    Pinning and sharing!

  4. Gorgeous Gail! I love using dollar tree items to make crafts which I do quite often, I also love up cycling and we do quite a bit of it at my church, I would love to post in your next blog hop! Thanks!

  5. This is such a clever craft, Gail--I love it! I would have never thought to use a punch balloon to make a pumpkin--great job!

  6. Your pumpkin is amazing! I love the fall leaves you used to cover your pumpkin! Such a cute fall craft!

  7. Your pumpkin is amazing! I love the fall leaves you used to cover your pumpkin! Such a cute fall craft!

  8. Such a sweet pumpkin. Nice to know about the punch balloon. You are so talented. Love your vision.

  9. What a cute project!! Love it!! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  10. And here I was thinking you added the leaves to a plastic pumpkin. Wow I am super impressed Gail. A balloon. Not in a million years would I have thought of that.

  11. You did an AWESOME job on the Dollar Store Craft Challenge! Very creative...
    Come share your creativity at Reader Tip Tuesday (open & growing all week)

  12. You never cease to amaze me, Gail! I love your Fall Leaf Pumpkin and thanks for the tip on how to make leaf stems too. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around how you pushed the twine end up into the balloon and out the other end without popping it. Never in a million years would have thought of this! Pinned

  13. I'm just now seeing this and I love it! You are so, so clever! Plus you always have the best tutorials. Love your leaf pumpkin!

  14. This is gorgeous! I started making fabric pumpkins (mostly from thrifted clothing) last fall and want to add this one to my repetoire! Will be on the lookout for fall leaves as I thrift and yard sale this summer! I'd love to try an ombre one!

  15. P.S. Years ago, we made a pinata from a punchball with flour, salt, and newspaper. Multiple layers. It was SOOOO hard that no one could break it. Maybe 1 or 2 layers would have been better@


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