Esther Ramirez runs the design and paper craft business Essimar. She lives in Chicago, and has a passion for travel, color, and of course, making things with paper. Her work has been featured in Craft, TimeOut and Frankie. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
September is here, which means crisp autumn air, changing leaves, and trips to the pumpkin patch are just around the corner. And while pumpkins make beautiful autumnal home decor all on their own, I like to decorate with handmade projects as well. These handmade paper pumpkins look great around the house, and also work as a centerpiece for dinner parties or entertaining. The project itself is kid-friendly, and takes about an hour or two to complete.
Let’s get started!
You will need:
Tissue paper or paper towels
Paint brush (to spread glue on the paper and help keep your hands clean too)
1. Start by crinkling newspaper into a ball to create your desired pumpkin size and shape.
2. Crinkle newspaper to create a stem shape.
3. With the paint brush, spread glue around the top of the pumpkin and glue the stem part to your pumpkin figure.
4. Cut your pieces of paper towel/tissue paper so that your strips are long and slightly wide (about an inch or two wide). If you are using tissue paper, fold the paper horizontally and cut about two inches wide.
5. With your strip of paper, twist your paper (starting from the center) to create a rope effect until you reach both ends. Do this for every single strip you cut.
6. Starting from the top near the stem, apply glue to your rope.
Attach rope to the pumpkin, and work your way down, alternating colors if you’d like.
7. To create paper rosettes, start from one end of the rope and circle around, using your fingers to keep pressure on the center.
8. Apply glue on one side of the rosette and place on pumpkin. Start from the top near the stem and work your way down.
Let the pumpkin dry for 6 to 8 hours.
Tip: Experiment with paints and glitter to create a more colorful or festive look to your pumpkin. You might try painting the stem or creating patterns and mixing colors.
All photographs by Esther Ramirez.