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DIY Paper Pumpkins for a Fun Fall Kids’ Craft

Learn how to make paper pumpkins with kids! Children will love this DIY craft that they can create for autumn or Halloween. It’s lots of fun for families to make together.

Skills Required: None. Even if you or your child have never crafted before, you should be able to make these quite easily. You’ll be cutting, using adhesive craft dots, and adding pipe cleaner stems.

Make a Paper Pumpkin

I don’t know about your kids, but my nieces absolutely love holiday crafts – fall and Halloween especially. My whole family really loves this time of year, so I’m sure she inherited it from her parents.

Well . . . their aunt (that would be me) also loves them. And is happy to do them any time!

The most fun thing about crafts with kids is watching them discover things that you used to do when you were little. It’s hilarious seeing their faces as they figure out how to make a craft you did forty years ago – and the most recent example of this is these paper pumpkins!

My mom guided this activity for my nieces as she used to teach preschool, and paper pumpkins are a craft they did every fall (it’s that easy!). There are several ways to do this paper craft project, but this is our favorite.

Make Paper Pumpkins

These cute gourds can be made in four simple steps. You’re going to cut the paper strips, glue them all together, then form the pumpkin shape. Then you’ll make the stem/add it to the pumpkin.

Before you get started, I want to give you a few FAQs about this project. If you just want to get into the nitty gritty, scroll down!

DIY paper pumpkins

What paper can I use?

I bought construction paper from Dollar Tree. I highly recommend shopping for supplies there, but you can also look at the craft stores or Walmart.

In addition to construction paper, you can use scrapbook paper, cardstock, or probably even cardboard (not too thick). Basically you need something has a bit of “body” and will remain just a little bit rigid. Notebook and standard thin computer paper is too flimsy.

What adhesives can I use?

I used Glue Dots for this project, which are basically (strong) little circular double-sided tape stickers. You could also use a hot glue gun. You can even use a glue stick, but the glue will need time to set. So you won’t be able to do the project as quickly.

Tools to use

I highly recommend having a paper cutter; I love my Fiskars. It makes it a lot easier to cut even strips of construction paper, and the older kids can use it too.

Having said that, you can also draw lines on the paper with a pencil and cut down the lines with scissors. This is great for kids that are practicing cutting with scissors in a straight line.

Learn how to make these DIY paper pumpkins of your very own with your kids. They are so fun! Get the tutorial below.

Gather These Supplies

  • Orange construction paper (about 9″ x 12″) – 1 sheet for a smaller pumpkin, 2 for a larger pumpkin
  • Glue Dots
  • Pipe cleaners – brown and green
  • Hole punch
  • Paper cutter or scissors and ruler
  • Pencil

Cut the Paper Strips

Start by cutting the orange paper into 1.25″ x 12″ strips. I used my paper cutter but you can also draw lines using a pencil a ruler. Then you can cut down the lines with scissors.

Cutting strips of construction paper with a paper cutter

Place your paper strips out on your work surface. If you’re making a smaller pumpkin, you only need four strips.

Four strips of orange construction paper on a mat

Assemble the Strips

You’re going to use Glue Dots (also called “sticky dots”) to assemble the paper. Place a dot down onto one of the strips.

Adding a glue dot to the end of a strip of orange construction paper

Then place a strip perpendicular to that strip on the top, creating an “L” shape on its side.

Attaching strips of orange paper together with Glue Dots

Put down another dot and stick a paper strip out to the left. Then put down another dot make place a strip down going up. Make two of these “plus” signs.

Creating two cross shapes with orange construction paper strips

Now you’re going to stick both of them together. Rotate one of them 45 degrees – basically so that the lines are now diagonal. Put down a glue dot and stick the piece to the other. You have the base for your paper pumpkin.

Strips of orange construction paper forming a star shape

Assemble the Pumpkin

Use a hole punch to make a hole at the end of each paper strip – for a total of eight holes.

Punching a hole in the end of a strip of orange construction paper

You’re going to use these holes to join the pumpkin at the top.

Construction paper strips with holes punched in the end

Place a glue dot right next to the hole on the bottom side of one of the strips. Bring two strips up and over, and press them together (matching up the holes).

Attaching two strips of paper together with a glue dot and matching the holes

Repeat this, sticking all the strips together at the top, matching up the holes. You now have a pretty little paper pumpkin. But it needs a stem and leaves!

Connecting all the strips together to make a paper pumpkin

Add the Stem and Leaves

Take one green pipe cleaner and one brown pipe cleaner and fold them in half.

Folding a green and a brown pipe cleaner in half

Twist the bottom (where the fold is) together, about 1″ or so. Bend it around so you can hook it into the pumpkin.

Twisting the folded part of the pipe cleaners together

Press this twisted end down into the hole at the top of the gourd.

Pushing the twisted end of the pipe cleaners into the hole at the top of the pumpkin

Bend the green pipe cleaners away from the two brown ones. Twist the brown pipe cleaners around the pencil, at the same time, to make the stem.

Twisting the brown pipe cleaners around the pencil

Remove the pencil and pull the stem up a little bit to “poof” it.

Removing the pencil from the pipe cleaners to create a stem

Twist the green pipe cleaners around the pencil individually to make the leaves. Pull them out a little bit.

Twisting the green pipe cleaners around the pencil to make the leaves

You’re finished with your paper pumpkin! Now if you want to make a smaller one, you can cut four 12″ strips. You won’t need to stick two together for the mini pumpkin.

Strips of orange paper to make a smaller paper pumpkin

Display your darling little pumpkins! These stayed out on my hallway table from autumn all the way to Thanksgiving. I hope you have a great time making them and let me know in the comments if you did.

DIY paper pumpkin
Yield: 1 pumpkin

Paper Pumpkins

DIY paper pumpkins

Make a paper pumpkin, step by step! Kids are going to love this fun craft idea for fall and Halloween.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1


  • Orange construction paper
  • Glue Dots
  • Pipe cleaners - brown and green


  • Hole punch
  • Paper cutter or scissors and ruler
  • Pencil


  1. Cut eight strips of paper that are 12" x 1.25" wide using a paper cutter and scissors or ruler.
  2. Tape two of the pieces together end to end with a glue dot, overlapping an inch or so. Repeat this three more times and you will have four long paper strips.
  3. Tape two of the long pieces together with a glue to make a plus (+) symbol. Repeat with the other two pieces.
  4. Tape one of the plus symbols onto the other plus symbol with a glue dot, rotating it so there will be eight even strips to your pumpkin.
  5. Punch a hole in approximately the same place at the end of every paper strip.
  6. Use glue dots to bring all the paper strips to the center and attach, matching up the holes. The pumpkin base is complete.
  7. Fold a brown and green pipe cleaner in half, together. Twist the bottom of the combined pipe cleaners and bend to make a little hook.
  8. Insert this end into the hole at the top of the pumpkin (created by matching up the hole punched holes).
  9. Fold down the green pipe cleaners, away from the brown. Twist both around the pencil to create a stem. Remove the pencil.
  10. Wrap each green pipe cleaner end around the pencil to create leaves. Pull them out slightly and your paper pumpkin is complete.


You'll use 1 sheet of construction paper for a smaller pumpkin, 2 for a larger pumpkin

Did you make this project?

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If you enjoyed making these DIY paper pumpkins, I’d love for you to check out these other ideas:

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