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Paper Mache Emoji Pumpkin Halloween Craft

Paper Mache Emoji Pumpkin Sculptures.
Paper Mache Emoji Pumpkin Sculptures.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Creating unique crafts and decorating the house is a tradition for my family. My son and I enjoy listening to music or watching a spooky movie while we work. It's a blast!

While searching for a little inspiration, I came across The Ultimate Paper Mache, a website that lives up to its name and offers ideas for many different projects. In honor of Halloween, I decided that my son and I would create paper mache pumpkins, but I wanted to set our project apart and add a little twist. Because my son and I love emojis, we thought it would be cool to create paper mache emoji pumpkins. We would get our dose of trendy fun and create a sculpture that we can keep for a long time.

This project is enjoyable! However, it does take a little time to complete. It took us three days to complete our paper mache emoji pumpkins. Most of the materials you can find around the house, but I encourage you to be innovative and think outside of the box. If a particular material or ingredient doesn't work for you or if you don't have it, make a substitution. In addition, the steps for the project are broken down by day. Be creative and remember to have fun!

Day 1 Part 1 Materials needed.

Plastic grocery bags, old ads and newspaper, rubber bands - Materials needed to make your pumpkin.
Plastic grocery bags, old ads and newspaper, rubber bands - Materials needed to make your pumpkin.

Day 1 - Part 1 Make Your Pumpkin

  • Layer 3 plastic grocery bags inside of each other.
  • Crumple up ads, newspaper, old paper and fill bag halfway.
  • Gather up ends and twist. Tie a knot to close bag.
  • Wrap a rubber band around the end to create a stem.
  • Move parts of the band to create lines in the stem.

Layer three plastic grocery bags inside of each other. Crumple up newspaper and fill halfway.
Layer three plastic grocery bags inside of each other. Crumple up newspaper and fill halfway.
Gather ends of bag to twist and tie in a knot.
Gather ends of bag to twist and tie in a knot.
Tie ends.
Tie ends.
Use a small rubber band to wrap around the ends, creating a stem for your pumpkin.
Use a small rubber band to wrap around the ends, creating a stem for your pumpkin.
Ready for paper mache.
Ready for paper mache.

Paper Mache Mixture

  • Flour
  • Hot Tap Water

Put 2 cups of flour into a mixing bowl. Stir in hot tap water, mixing well. You want the paste to be a little runny, not too thick.

See the video from Ultimate Paper Mache below for more information.

Day 1 - Part 2 - Paper Mache

  • Cover your work space with newspaper. You may want to add scrap cardboard on top as an extra layer of protection. This project is messy.
  • Rip newspaper into strips and place them in a pile. I used varying widths and lengths of strips.
  • Make your paper mache paste.
  • Begin dipping strips into the paste and layer them on your bag pumpkin.
  • Cover everything except the bottom.
  • Allow the pumpkin to dry completely. This is very important.


Jonni's Paper Mache Paste Recipe - Ultimate Paper Mache

Rip newspaper into strips and gather into a pile.
Rip newspaper into strips and gather into a pile.
Paper Mache Paste
Paper Mache Paste
Begin layering newspaper strips, dipped in paste, onto pumpkin bag.
Begin layering newspaper strips, dipped in paste, onto pumpkin bag.
First layer of paper mache complete. Allow pumpkins to dry completely.
First layer of paper mache complete. Allow pumpkins to dry completely.

Tinted Plaster Mixture Ingredients

Plaster mixture ingredients.
Plaster mixture ingredients.

Day 2 - Add a Second Layer.

Once your pumpkins are completely dry, it is time for a second layer. Before beginning, choose which emoji you would like to create. Then gather up the following materials.

  • Plaster or Joint Compound
  • White glue, I used Elmer's.
  • Food Coloring
  • An old container, I used an old coffee can.
  • Putty knife

Take your putty knife and put a few scoops of joint compound into your container. Squeeze some white glue into the container and mix well. Ultimately, you will want about 2/3 of joint compound to 1/3 white glue. Add in drops of food coloring to tint your mixture to the desired color. Be sure to mix it thoroughly.

Use your putty knife to carefully spread some of your tinted plaster mixture onto your pumpkin. Have a jar of warm water handy. Use a paint brush or sponge brush to spread the mixture over the pumpkin. If any cracks happen as the plaster dries, simply spread a little water on your brush and run it over the area to smooth it out. I found that the sponge brush worked really well in spreading the plaster mix over the larger areas of the pumpkin. The paint brush was great for the smaller areas, around the stem, and getting the plaster mix around the bottom. Take your time and make sure that you cover the bulk of your pumpkin. Be careful around the stem. Allow your pumpkin to dry completely. This can take up to two days. I put a dehumidifier near my pumpkins to help speed up the drying process. My pumpkins were dry the next afternoon.

Note: If you don't have any plaster or joint compound on hand, you can repeat the flour paste and newspaper strips step above. The important thing is to have a second layer on your pumpkin to make it more sturdy. I like the tinted plaster mix because it not only added a second layer to the sculpture, but also provided a base color which reduced the amount of paint needed for the emoji pumpkin.

Add food coloring and mix.
Add food coloring and mix.
Spread the plaster mixture onto your pumpkin.
Spread the plaster mixture onto your pumpkin.
Allow pumpkin to dry completely.
Allow pumpkin to dry completely.

Day 3 - Time to Paint!

Once your pumpkin is completely dry, you may carefully remove the grocery bags inside of your pumpkin. Be gentle and go slowly so that you don't crack your pumpkin. Once you've removed the insides, it's time to paint! Gather up your paint brushes, paint, and a jar of water and have some fun! I decided to use Tempera paint because that is what I had on hand. Many people recommend using acrylic paint on paper mache sculptures. Whichever you decide, be creative with your emoji pumpkin and have fun! (I recommend drawing your design out with pencil before painting.) Once the paint has dried, you can seal it with an acrylic varnish to ensure that it lasts a long time.

Carefully remove paper bags from your pumpkin.
Carefully remove paper bags from your pumpkin.
Gather painting materials. Brushes, paint, and water.
Gather painting materials. Brushes, paint, and water.
A grinning face emoji pumpkin.
A grinning face emoji pumpkin.
Evil purple smile face emoji pumpkin.
Evil purple smile face emoji pumpkin.
Silly wink face emoji pumpkin.
Silly wink face emoji pumpkin.

And that's it! You now have a paper mache emoji pumpkin. Once it is dry, proudly display your sculpture with your Halloween decor.

If you are interested in creating more paper mache sculptures or for more information and tutorials, please visit http://www.ultimatepapermache.com/

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    Alyssa Nichol profile image

    Alyssa (Alyssa Nichol)50 Followers
    48 Articles

    Alyssa loves holidays and enjoys making fun crafts. She is a wife, a mom, and drinks a lot of coffee!



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