Tutorial: Book Pumpkin

I have to admit, I was a little bit surprised that my pumpkin turned out so well. I had seen these all over Pinterest, and thought it might be an easy, sick-day project. So with two old paperback books in hand, a pencil, and some good scissors (Tim Holtz Tonic from Michaels), I began. Here's how I did it:            

1. Find two paperback books that have he same text style and size and are printed on the same color and texture of paper. It is surprising that there are white, beige, and grayish book papers!

2. Tear off the covers and the title pages. Blank pages and pages with little text will stand out too much in the finished project.  Trim the rough edges where the covers were to make them smooth. I used my scissors.

3. Fold an 8 1/2" by 11" sheet of paper in half.

4.Draw the shape for the sides of your pumpkin starting from the folded side.  The fold will be the center of the pumpkin.  You might have to draw several lines to get the shape you want.  When you cut the shape and open your paper, you will have perfectly symmetrical sides.

5. From this step on is where patience and a good BBCor Masterpiece Theater show come in handy.  Lay the template on one book and trace the design onto the top page.

6. Take about 10 pages and cut just inside the line.

7. Draw around the cut part onto the underlying uncut pages and cut again. Repeat this step until you have cut through the whole book.

8. Take the next book and repeat steps 5 through 7!

9.  Once the books are cut, open pages at random and rub real hard on the spines to try to flatten and spread the pages away from the spine. This will help your pumpkin open evenly all the way around.  After you finish pressing, your books will look like this:

10. This step is optional, but I like the aged look. Take a brown reinker, or some instant coffee and mix with hairspray or alcohol. Lightly mist the edges and some of the inside pages.  Don't wet the pages, or they will curl and wrinkle. If they do, press them with your hand, flip through them like a magazine, and then press them under a light weight like a water bottle. They should dry within a few minutes.

11. Once dry, bend both book spines into a half circle (see the picture above).  Using a hot glue gun, put glue along both edges of one of the book spines, and then press the other book onto it.

Fluff the pages so they are evenish. Your pumpkin now looks like this:

12. Cut a small square, circle, or use some other kind of flat circle to provide a supportive base.

14. Put a lot of glue on it and then carefully set your pumpkin in the middle. I used Beacon's clear adhesive, which is as strong and grippy as hot glue, but gives you a little time to move it if you don't quite hit the center.

15. Now you are ready to decorate. I had a piece of grapevine garland with fall leaves and acorns that I attached with hot glue, and a stem of burlap roses that I got on clearance at JoAnns. I added a few extra leaves in red silk and burnt orange velvet. Ta da!!!!

14. Display and enjoy.

I'm linking up with Cottage Style's Crafty Party


foreverdecorating said...

Beautiful. Thanks for the tutorial even though most of your pictures would not open.

Merissa Revestir said...

Thanks for sharing Laura! I do hope to try it :) I really love how you decorated with the flowers and leaves. Gorgeous!

Unknown said...

I love your paper pumpkin! It is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I really like that look, you did a great job and wrote a clear tutorial. And the vignette is beautiful.


Cathy said...

That turned out great! How long did it take to do?

Laura Turner said...

It probably could be done in an hour or maybe less. It's really quite easy--just be sure to use a good pair of scissors.

Maureen Rauchfuss said...

Absolutely LOVELY - I have to try this!

Unknown said...

Beautiful n very creative, sometimes it's hard to let go of a special book...great way to still have it, but in a new way!!wtg