How to make perfect picture book pumpkins

Halloween pumpkins you and your children can make together, with zero carving, scraping or sticky gunk to clean up.

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I love the idea of everlasting decorations – the kind you make with the children one year, carefully store away and then joyfully re-discover twelve months later. If you, like me, can never bear to throw away your little ones’ craft projects (how could I?), then these stylish Halloween decorations might be for you.

These Halloween book pumpkins are a great way to appreciate the beauty of an old book that’s too tatty for a charity shop. They’re as fun to make for adults as they are for children, and, best of all, they don’t start to smell a bit iffy after a few days like a regular carved pumpkin!

All you need to create them is some old books that you no longer read – the dog-eared, slightly-torn, battered ones work perfectly. This is a chance for them to avoid the recycling and be turned into something beautiful.

The type of book you use is up to you – we went for the children’s un-read picture books, but old novels or musical manuscripts look wonderful, with a vintage feel.

For the stem of your pumpkin, head into the garden or your local park for some twigs. You need the straightest twigs you can find so they lie flat against your book spine. You could choose ones with a few leaves at the top or decorate with some seasonal ribbon, like we did.

Step 1

Take your book and separate the block of pages from the spine

Step 2

With a pen, draw half a pumpkin shape on the first page. Remember you want your pumpkin to stand up, so make sure you draw a slightly squashed circle shape with a wider base

Step 3

Gather together the first six pages or so and carefully cut around your pumpkin outline. Take the next few pages and, using the outline of the last cut page as a guide, continue cutting through all the pages to the end of the book.

Step 4

Open the book at the middle and flatten. Using a glue gun, spread some glue down the spine of the book and press your twig into place. Hold it down for 30 seconds until it sticks fast.

Step 5

Stand your pumpkin upright and spread out the pages until it balances.

Hooray! A Halloween decoration with no carving, no mess and no rotting vegetables. A forever pumpkin. Why not make a whole set out of different sized books to sit on the mantelpiece?

 

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Lucy Heath

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Lucy Heath