DIY Vintage Pumpkin Pail

by Crafty Lumberjacks

This time of year we’re sure you’re seeing those plain faux plastic pumpkins just about everywhere. They make great filler home decor, but are a great blank canvas to craft with! Our Halloween aesthetic is definitely vintage whimsey. We love feeling nostalgic this time of year so having some retro inspiration always makes us scream (with delight)!

In this post we are going to show you how easy it is to carve a faux pumpkin and add some vintage touches to it. Including a colorful insert to really take your jack-o-lantern over the top!


How To Carve:

Carving a faux pumpkin is a lot like carving a real pumpkin, minus all of the guts! Sorry if you like pumpkin seeds like we do! If you really want to feel festive while creating this, buy some pumpkin seeds and snack and craft!

  • Draw a simple face on the center of the pumpkin. There’s no need to add too much detail, because lots of detail will shine through with the insert.
  • Cut off the top before starting!
  • Stick the Heavy Duty Craft Knife on the drawn line and begin to cut. Although the blade isn’t cerated, cutting in a back and forth motion helps keep the blade on the line. Cut out each piece carefully. Tip: Make sure to cut away from the hand holding the pumpkin. 

Paint the Pumpkin:

  • The inside of the pumpkin we were using was an off white. Paint the cut edges yellow to give it a more realistic feel. Don’t feel like you have to be too precise while doing this, use a wet paper towel and wipe down any from the front of the pumpkin while the paint is still wet. You can paint the inside of the pumpkin, but we decided not to. Our reasoning is we want the candle to shine as bright as possible, so the off white will help reflect the light.
  • Faux pumpkins usually look to plain and perfect, add a distressed look with this easy layering technique. Add all your paint to a dish or paper plate. While painting dab off a lot of paint so your brush is on the dryer side. Start with the brown paint paint in a vertical up and down motion, mimicking the lines of the pumpkin. Repeat with the yellow and the dark orange paint. Tip: Start on the back of the pumpkin, this way you get a hang of the technique before moving to the front side! 

Add Wire Handle:

  • Using the Craft Knife Poke two holes directly across from each other towards the top hole.
  • Cut the wire about 8 inches longer than needed. Poke the wire into the first hole and bend the end of it so it stays in place. Stretch the wire and coil it around a thick paintbrush or dowel. This will really give it that vintage look. Then poke the other end into the adjacent hole and bend it. Tip: Roughly paint it to give it that vintage look. 

Create Face Inserts:

  • Trace the cut out eye and mouth pieces onto the clear poster board. Use permanent markers to draw facial features. To get the best look, flip over the poster board and draw the same image on the backside. This will help fill in the drawn areas. Tip: Search “Vintage Jack-O-Lanterns” online for inspiration!

  • Cut around  each piece with the Mixed Media Shears.
  • Tack them into place, sure you could hot glue them in, but this allows you to really make sure each piece is positioned perfectly. If you really want to glue them in, use a low temp glue gun!

Add an LED candle and enjoy that whimsical glow!!!

Watch the full tutorial from our live class we did with Fiskars through Michaels!


Patsy February 9, 2024 - 9:02 pm

I enjoyed watching you guys cut out the pumpkin and paint it. Will watch more of your videos.

Patsy February 9, 2024 - 9:03 pm

I enjoyed this video! Will check out more of your videos.


Leave a Comment

We think you'll like these too

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're okay with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept