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Vintage Inspired Dollar Store Pumpkin Makeover

Turn fake dollar store pumpkins into pretty vintage inspired fall decorations with this easy makeover that’s the perfect creative craft for kids and adults!

An easy dollar store pumpkin decorating craft using paper napkins

I love decorating with mini dollar store craft pumpkins – and so do my kids! This year, I’ve taken a different approach and created these pretty vintage inspired pumpkins that are the perfect way to decorate for fall.

I was recently in Pier1 and came across pretty blue napkins. I was hoping they would have some other accessories with a similar print but when they didn’t, I instantly knew that they would be the perfect print for decorating my little fake pumpkins. While I’m showing this tutorial using the styrofoam dollar store pumpkins, I’ve also used the hard plastic craft pumpkins available at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. They are a little on the yellow side so if you don’t paint them first, they will have a warmer undertone like the one of the far left below.  You could even use real pumpkins (the white baby boo variety would be best!) if you wanted to.

DIY fake pumpkin craft

My son is in pre-kindergarten and was able to help me make these, so while these are a great adult craft, it’s also an easy (and messy!!) one for kids to enjoy this season.

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What You’ll Need

DIY Tutorial For The Vintage Inspired Pumpkin Makeover

If you are starting with orange pumpkins, you will firstly want to neutralize the color with a couple of coats of white paint. Any paint will do as long as it’s pretty close to white. Allow the paint to fully dry.

Decoupaging fake pumpkins is an easy fall craft idea for pretty fall decorations

Separate the paper napkins by removing the white backing so that you’re only left with the printed side. Rip into strips. I ripped mine into vertical strips so that I could maintain the correct flow of the pattern on my pumpkins. If you’re working with a pattern that doesn’t need to be oriented a certain way, it won’t matter what way you cut up your pieces.

A great pumpkin craft for kindergarten age kids that actually looks like real fall decor

Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the pumpkin. Adhere the first strip of napkin by pushing it on with the paint brush, ensuring you get in around the stem. Apply another layer of Mod Podge over it. Continue this process until the entire pumpkin is covered and making sure that you follow the curves of the pumpkin.

A fun and creative fall pumpkin decorating idea

Don’t worry about wrinkles in the napkins, most of them will settle down with the push of a paint brush but the ones that remain give a fabric effect to the finished look. Allow each pumpkin to dry overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours (until they are rock hard).

Pumpkin decorations for fall don't have to be orange!

For the final step, paint the stems gold. I used this liquid gilding which has a beautiful metallic finish.

A close-up of a pumpkin after it has been covered in a vintage patterned napkin and the tip has been painted gold

Coincidentally, these pretty blue pumpkins tie in perfectly with my guest room decor – so they’ve found their home there!

An easy and pretty pumpkin decorating craft
Vintage inspired DIY craft pumpkin tutorial
A close-up of a pumpkin after it has been covered in a vintage patterned napkin and the tip has been painted gold

Vintage-inspired Pumpkin

Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour

Turn a classic fall decor staple into something unexpected and exquisite with a little Mod Podge.

Materials

  • Paper Napkins
  • Craft Pumpkins
  • Mod Podge
  • Gold Paint

Tools

  • Paint Brush

Instructions

    1. If you are starting with orange pumpkins, you will firstly want to neutralize the color with a couple of coats of white paint. Any paint will do as long as it's close to white. Allow the paint to fully dry.
    2. Separate the paper napkins by removing the white backing so that you're only left with the printed side. Rip into strips to maintain the correct flow of the pattern on the pumpkins. If you're working with a pattern that doesn't need to be oriented a certain way, it won't matter what way you cut up your pieces.
    3. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the pumpkin. Adhere the first strip of napkin by pushing it on with the paint brush, ensuring you get in around the stem. Apply another layer of Mod Podge over it. Continue this process until the entire pumpkin is covered and making sure that you follow the curves of the pumpkin.
    4. Allow each pumpkin to dry overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours (until they are rock hard).
    5. For the final step, paint the stems gold.

Découpaging has never been so pretty!

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3 Comments

  1. How sweet! I have fallen in love with it!!! I’m an avid DIYer and always try to be busy with some new projects. Was searching for a unique idea to start. The Pumpkin made me stop and crazy to make it asap! In a hurry to start. Wish me good luck, Jenna! :)

  2. I love this idea so much. I have used Mod Podge before, but never thought of doing it on pumpkins, even in a pretty blue print napkin. I have used Mod Podge on frames to make the less expensive frame look more classic. I then used a bronzing product to antique the edges for an elegant effect. Making things my own style is what I strive for. Thank you for the Ideas to get me thinking more outside of the box.

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