Hey there, my did-it-yourself friends!
As we slip away from Halloween and toward Thanksgiving, want to share my book page pumpkin craft. But in the interest of full disclosure, my pumpkin didn’t turn out at all like I thought it would! Find out below where my project deviated from these directions I pinned to my Seasonings board on Pinterest. Next time you are visiting Pinterest, would love to have you follow me!
Book Page Pumpkin
Debated whether to use a real pumpkin or a Walmart pumpkin for this project. Wally-world had some very realistic=imperfect=natural looking artificial punkies this year. I bought 3 and decided to use a cream-colored one for my book page pumpkin.
Almost too pretty to mess up!
Not only is this project pretty straightforward, at least for most people (I might be the only exception!) but it is cheap! Just requires a few supplies.
- pumpkin (real or artificial)
- Mod Podge
- clear polyurethane spray
- container to mix Mod Podge with a little water
- old book
I have been weeding out old books with great abandon from the Whitaker library. You’d think finding a book would have been easy. But I wanted just the right book. Even though I would be destroying it by tearing the pages into bits to stick on my pumpkin. When I found this yellowed copy of Betsy-Tacy, a book I read as a child, I knew I’d found the perfect one.
Begin ripping book pages into strips. I decided to use strips rather than a patchwork of smaller torn page pieces. Thinking now it might have been easier to use the smaller pieces. But I kind of wanted the words to be readable on each strip. Thought patched pieces would be harder to read. On second thought, it isn’t like anyone is really going to “read” my book page pumpkin. Small pieces would probably have worked better.
My Mod Podge was very thick (old) I discovered when I tried to pour it from the bottle. It kind of plopped into my bowl. So I mixed in a little water. Then began dipping one strip at a time into the Mod Podge and arranging each one, overlapping, onto the top half of the pumpkin. I tucked the top end of each strip up near the base of the stem.
I was still on track at this point. Even added some strips with illustrations for fun.
Once I had strips overlapping and covering the top half, I set the pumpkin upside down in the mouth of a little plastic bucket and began covering the bottom half of the pumpkin. Since I was still on that kick to have the words readable, I made sure the words were right-side up on each strip. In hindsight, it might be more interesting to have the words going all different directions.
*Yesterday, I wrote a post about 15 things I am grateful for, following prompts provided by The Blended Blog. One of the prompts was about being thankful for something I love to do. I answered something about always second-guessing and feeling uncertain about every project (thing) I attempt. Read my response here. This project is a prime example.
When the entire pumpkin was covered, I took it outside to dry in the sunshine. But as it did, the edges of the strips started popping up. I grabbed my Elmer’s and tried to tack them back down. They still pulled away from the pumpkin in places.
See those little edges that aren’t cooperating? I was hopeful that the spray gloss would help smooth things out. Was I in for a surprise.
Here’s where things got crazy. Scroll up just a sec to the first or second photo. Do you see anything not quite right in those pictures? How ’bout that spray can? See anything wrong there? Well, I didn’t.
I set my pumpkin on a box out in the driveway, shook up my spray gloss and then sprayed a swath of gloss onto the gourd. Was I ever surprised when the pumpkin turned white. I looked at the can, back at the pumpkin, back at the can. Decided that the gloss must go on white and dry clear. Sprayed another path of white across the pumpkin. What??? Why was this gloss spraying white? Improperly labeled can? Defective spray?
Nope. White spray paint. Semi-gloss protective WHITE enamel. When I was looking for the polyurethane spray, I accidentally picked up white spray paint instead. I was sick. And mad. What kind of librarian has so much trouble reading? What’s wrong with me?
I couldn’t decide what to do. Finally, after mumbling a few choice words in ‘French’, I sprayed the whole pumpkin lightly with white. The text on the book page strips still showed through, only partially obscured.
The strips kind of looked like lace ruffles. If you squint. Or like mummy bandages. I was so frustrated and discouraged that I almost threw the stupid thing away.
Step Six – Salvation
The next morning, I was renewed and re-energized. Wasn’t going to let a plastic pumpkin and can of white spray paint whoop my butt! I sprayed from the top of the gourd at the stem, down its sides with adhesive. And then sprinkled silver glitter onto the adhesive. Not bad.
Maybe this thing could be salvaged after all. Ran to the Dollar Tree to buy a few seasonal picks but the pickin’s were slim. Grabbed two steams of fall leaves and hurried back home. Glued leaves around the stem, along with a couple of bunches of berries and a pine cone. Added more glitter.
Sparkles can make even the ugliest things pretty.
Maybe next year I will try again. Or maybe I will just be happy with my own version of a book page pumpkin.
Do you ever start a craft project or activity then feel like throwing in the towel, mid-way? I know my mix-up could have been avoided if I had just read the paint can better or paid more attention when I was looking for the spray gloss. All in all, I kind of like my quirky pumpkin. We belong together.
Linking up this “Did it Myself” craft with Carrie and the girls for “Creative Corner”. Hope you will run by to see the beautiful things Carrie, Christina, Kendra and Lauren are creating.
My keyboard is giving me fits again. That pesky ‘O’ isn’t working. I have a callus on the tip of my right ring finger from pounding the ‘O’ key all night. Off to bed. Thank you for visiting. Would love to hear about an autumn craft project you have created in a comment below.
Hugs and kisses,