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How to Make a Wooden Pumpkin for Your Tablescape

How to Make a Wooden Pumpkin for Your Tablescape main article image
Posted on September 10, 2022 by Julie Richards

The fall season seems to creep up on us towards the end of summer. The night air starts getting cooler and the leaves start their subtle color change. The next thing we know, our summer décor seems out of place and needs an autumn update. You can make some adorable wooden pumpkins for your tablescapes that will transition your home from summer to fall. Don’t worry if you have no woodworking skills. These little pumpkins are made from scrap wood you can pick up for free from many lumber yards.

Size (and Shape) Doesn’t Matter

Any piece of wood is great to make a wooden pumpkin. Your tablescape determines the size of the wood piece you use. Even a tiny 2-inch by 2-inch piece of wood can make an adorable little wooden pumpkin. I have even used triangle pieces that were cut off of a 2-by-4 to make these pumpkin decorations. As long as the wooden piece has one flat end, you can turn it into a pumpkin to use in your fall décor. And don’t rule out popsicle sticks! If you want to see how these wood pieces evolve into wooden pumpkins, keep reading.

What You’ll Need

I use acrylic paint and a paint marker. You can use any paint to add color to your wooden pumpkins. For detailed work, you can use a small paintbrush. Since these wooden pumpkins you are making for your tablescape won’t be seeing the outdoor weather conditions, any paint will work.

If you want to add patterns and texture, you can cover the pumpkins with a wide variety of paper or fabric. I like to use material with muted colors and/or a floral pattern when I cover the wooden pumpkins. This is crafting at its best. Feel free to experiment with your wooden pumpkins to make them match the rest of your décor. When it comes to home interior designs, every color is fair game to use in the creative process. Just one more thing about the fabric, I use it on the back and sides if I add it. I generally detail the front of these wooden pumpkins.

Where to Begin

Gather the pieces of wood that you want to use. I have a local lumber yard that has a scrap box that I can rummage through for small pieces of wood. They offer these scraps for free to anyone who wants them. Another lumber yard in the area charges less than $2.00 for a large box of wood scraps. These scrap pieces of lumber are perfect for this project. You can also check with any carpenters or builders in your local area to see if they offer their scraps for free or at a minimal price.

Next, you need to sand the wood pieces on all sides to remove any rough spots and dirt that might be present. The rough spots will show on the finished project. And so will the dirt. In some instances, this is good. This is not one of those times. You want the wood to be clean and smooth. It only takes a little sanding to achieve this. Once the pieces are sanded, wipe the wood down to remove any sawdust that may remain on the wood. Even the fine sawdust will leave blemishes on your wooden pumpkins.

Choices Choices Choices

You want to make the wooden pumpkins fit into the theme of your tablescape. For instance, if you are decorating for a children’s party, you might want to paint the wood in bright colors and put funny faces on the pumpkins. A variety of orange colors and more realistic pumpkins fit in better with rustic décor. White pumpkins with fabric, lace, and bling look great in a more formal environment. I say all this because the next step is painting the wood pieces for your pumpkins to match when you use them in your tablescape.

Paint the wood in any of the colors you want the wooden pumpkins to be, keeping in mind the colors you plan to use in your tablescape. I always paint all sides, and even the bottom, of the wooden pumpkins. I do this because guests often pick up my decorative pieces to see the detail more clearly (I think they just want to check if I really made it or actually bought it!). Painting the bottom and sides also gives the wooden pumpkins a finished look when you place them in your tablescape. You can skip painting the sides and bottom if you plan to cover them with fabric or decorative paper.

The Peduncle

For those who don’t know, the stem on the pumpkin is called a peduncle. I don’t know who thought up that word, but I’m sure there is some scientific reason behind it. But I digress. Every pumpkin has one and so ours will too. You can use so many different things to make the stem. You can choose another smaller piece of wood. Sometimes a wine cork looks great as the peduncle. My personal favorite is a piece of a stick I find in the yard. The sticks vary in shape and size. So, I have an assortment of peduncles to choose from when I make these wooden pumpkins.

Attach the peduncle with either wood glue or hot glue. I actually apply the wood glue to both the stem and the pumpkin and then add a dab of hot glue before joining the two pieces. The hot glue dries quickly for an instant attachment. The addition of wood glue is a more permanent method for the peduncle to stay in place. If you are only using the wooden pumpkins for a single event, you probably only need the hot glue. For continued use throughout the years, the wood glue will make the bond between pumpkin and peduncle permanent.

I hope you give this quick and easy wooden pumpkin craft a try. They are fun to make and can fit just about anywhere in your tablescape. Have fun crafting!

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How to Make a Wooden Pumpkin for Your Tablescape

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