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DIY // Faux Natural Horn Decorative Pumpkins

09.01.16 By //
The Design Confidential x #MichaelsMakers // DIY Faux Natural Horn Decorative Pumpkins

It’s officially September, which means it is time to kick fall projects into high gear and pumpkin decorating shall now commence…

It seems like Fall sneaks up on me every single year and before I know it, the holidays are upon us, eek. I’m never really ready to let go of summer but the reward of holiday decorating is a nice consolation prize. I am a firm believer that any and all holiday decor should blend seamlessly into your existing decor, and this pumpkin project is no exception. I have a relatively neutral and somewhat masculine thing happening in my family room which was crying out for beautiful horn accessories to coordinate. Naturally I gave in to this need and gave these faux pumpkins a durable and lasting decorative finish that was precisely that.

The Design Confidential x #MichaelsMakers // DIY Faux Natural Horn Decorative Pumpkins

I wish I could say this project was easy, but in fact it wasn’t. It did however, lead me to happen upon a few helpful hints to make this easier for anyone trying to reproduce it. Because the process was so piecemeal, I don’t have decent images showing the steps, but I think you will do fine anyhow.

MATERIALS // Faux Pumpkins, Paper, Flour, Water, Foam Brush, Paintbrush, Mod Podge, Craft Paint in white, black, brown, grey and beige (or a close match to several of the colors in your design).

The Design Confidential x #MichaelsMakers // DIY Faux Natural Horn Decorative Pumpkins

You will need to find a natural horn pattern you like on the interwebs. I found a series of three tumblers on a shopping site that I liked and cropped a screenshot of each one into a square shape to print. I then covered each pumpkin with paper mâché to smooth the surface and level some of the ridges. I used a combination of flour and water to make my paste and kept it fairly thick. I initially tried to simply cut my horn design into strips to glue onto the pumpkins, but along with the circular shape it was also the ridges that made decoupaging so difficult. By removing this obstacle, it was so much easier to get the paper to lay down in alignment, without wrinkling. It also helped tremendously to keep my printed strips fairly skinny, but finding the perfect size was absolutely a Goldie Locks conundrum. As it turns out, the wider your strips, the more realistic your design will look, but the greater width makes lining them up properly an exercise in futility. The size of the pumpkin will also alter the ideal width of your strips so I recommend trying a few sizes before you commit to cutting them up. Don’t worry about how the strips line up around the base of the stem because you can cut away any excess paper with an exacto knife and use a bit of brown paint to blend the edges of the paper and the stem. This is also a great way to hide the seams of your paper strips and any areas where there are slight gaps in your design. With the paper mâché underneath, you have an ideal surface for blending things with a few coordinating colors of paint.

Dab and blend with several of your paint colors until all evidence of the paper disappears and your pumpkin looks as if it was carved straight from the horns on the head of something magnificent – in a vegan and cruelty free way, of course.

Psst… If you are looking for more pumpkin projects or inspiration, click here to browse the full arsenal of our Pumpkin Project list.

To kick off fall in your own home, visit and check out the variety of craft pumpkins available – they have every color, shape and size imaginable! Be sure to check out all of the other Michaels Makers pumpkin ideas on the Michaels blog.

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