Mache Pumpkin from Plastic Bags

This pumpkin is made from about 40 plastic grocery bags, some Saran wrap, 3 rubber bands, newspaper, paper towel and mache, topped off with a beautiful new orange glitter paint I found at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I'm so excited to have found this beautiful way to recycle plastic grocery bags.

Plastic Bag Pumpkin Tutorial
1. Collect about 40 plastic bags and loosely stuff them inside each other, one at a time. Compress lightly and tie bag shut with a slipknot at the top.

2. To smooth the surface, wrap the outside of the bag with a few long pieces of Saran Wrap. Overlap as necessary to keep edges lying flat. Take a rubberband (I used a 3" dia.) and slip around the center of the ball. Repeat with 2 more rubberbands, adjusting them evenly.

Adjust your rubberbands on top to be as close to the “stem” as possible, and the bottom to make a nicely centered crisscross as shown above.

3. Cover the pumpkin with one layer of paper mache. Be sure to run your finders through the creases often so that they stay prominent and don’t get smoothed over. For my favorite mache recipe, click here. Let dry overnight. Repeat with another layer of newspaper and let dry.

4. This step really helps to smooth out the bumps and gives you a nice white background to paint on. Cover the pumpkin with one layer of mache and paper towels.

5. I painted my pumpkin with two shades of Americana® orange acrylic paint. First a darker Cadmium Orange, then highlights of Jack-O-Lantern Orange, and finally Holly Green for the stem. After the paint dried, I added a layer of “Craft Twinkles Orange” from DecoArt®. It’s a kind of gel-looking paint that not only adds glitter, but a nice shine as well.

I’m going to experiment next with making more of these in different sizes. I think for elementary age students though, this size or larger would be best. This pumpkin measures about 8" in diameter.
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