DIY Paper Pumpkins

Whether you're looking for a unique table centerpiece or a fun little doodad to put on a bookshelf, mantle or somewhere else around the house, these paper pumpkins are the perfect solution. Bonus: You'll also have tons of fun making them with your kids.

Supplies

assorted colored paper in yellow, orange, green and brown (construction paper is fine and will probably be easier for younger kids to work with, but thicker paper with different textures will last you longer and create a more high-end final product. Michaels has a great paper selection.)

ruler

scissors or X-acto knife

pliers

flower wire

Directions

1. Get your paper ready. For a small pumpkin you'll need 10 paper strips, each one 1 inch by 6 inches. For a larger pumpkin you'll need 24 strips, each one 1 inch by 12 inches. Use a ruler to help you cut out the paper properly. Also, cut out leaf shapes from the green and brown paper (you'll use these later).

2. With your pliers, poke the beginnings of a small hole on each end of each paper strip, about half an inch away from the edge. You don't need to go all the way through the paper—this is just to make it easier to push the flower wire through later.

3. Make the base of your pumpkin with a piece of flower wire. Cut a piece of wire about 12 inches for a small pumpkin or 16 inches for a big pumpkin, and then loop one side to make a sort of stand.

4. Start layering the strips of paper onto the wire. Poke all the way through the hole you've already scored at the end of each strip. If you're using a few different colors of paper, layer them in a pattern. In your final pumpkin, the strips that you layered on top of each other will wind up next to each other.

5. Once you've layered all the strips onto the flower wire, fan them out in a circle so that they all extend out from the center flower-wire base.

6. Start loosely curling each strip of paper up and poking the flower wire up through the hole you scored on the other end of the strip. It's easiest if you start with the strip of paper that was last layered onto the wire. Don't worry if your project doesn't look like a pumpkin yet—it shouldn't at this point.

7. After you've curled each strip of paper up and through the flower wire, it's time to make your pumpkin shape. Keeping the flower wire in the middle pointing straight up, push down on the tops of the now-curled papers until they make a shape that you're happy with.

8. Once you've created your pumpkin, create a small loop with the wire to secure the shape in place.

9. Add the leaves—poke the ends through the flower wire just as you did with the strips.

10. With a pen or a pencil, curl the remaining flower wire to make a decorative stem. When you're all done layering and curling, make sure all the strips are fanned out evenly so your pumpkin looks nice and plump.

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