DIY 3D Paper Pumpkin Craft – Perfect for Fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving Centerpiece
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It’s PUMPKIN SEASON which means that it’s the perfect time to make this easy paper pumpkin craft! It’s a fun and easy paper craft that looks complicated but is easy enough for kids to make. If you make just one craft this season, it should be this 3D paper pumpkin!
These paper pumpkins are perfect for the fall season and all its holidays – from Halloween decorations to Thanksgiving centerpieces.
DIY Paper pumpkins are made from a few simple cuts of paper that are then glued together to create a 3D paper pumpkin shape. I love seeing how this project starts as two-dimensional pieces of paper and turns into a head-turning 3D paper pumpkin! Keep reading below to find out how to make one of these adorable DIY projects on your own.
Just to make things even more exciting, I’m going to share 3 different variations of my paper pumpkin craft that you can make using just a few simple supplies. I’ll show you how to easily create small, large, and tiered style pumpkins in this tutorial so have your glue ready–we’re about to go crazy making tons of cute pumpkins!
To make these 3D paper pumpkins, all you really need is some paper, glue, and a cutting machine or scissors! That’s all! I’ve done all the hard work for you by creating 2 easy to use templates that make this project easy enough for kids and versatile enough to match any home decor or theme! In my step-by-step video tutorial and the instructions below, I’ll share with you everything you to know including how to download and use my SVG and PDF, what glue works best, and how to assemble the pumpkins so you get beautiful results every time!
Alright, let’s jump right in and get to the really good stuff!
I mentioned that I have 2 3D paper pumpkin templates. One is designed to make a smaller pumpkin and cuts the main portion of your pumpkin out of a single 12×12 sheet of paper.
The second is designed to make larger pumpkins and will require more than one sheet of 12×12 cardstock. You can of course use this version to make smaller pumpkins too but it includes extra cuts. It’s up to you though!
In this step-by-step video tutorial, I’ll show you just how to import my DIY paper pumpkin patterns into design space (if you’re using a Cricut machine) and how to put both variations together. If you’re cutting these out by hand, you can skip ahead to the assembly part.
MATERIALS needed to make these DIY 3D paper pumpkins
Easily view all the supplies you will need in my Amazon shopping list or click any of the links below!
- Cardstock in whatever colors you choose (See lots of options here!)
- Glue (I like this one best for this cardstock project!)
- Scissors or a cutting machine (I love my Cricut cutting machine because I can do precise cuts really quickly! If you’re new to cutting machines, check out this post)
- A scoring stylus or scoring tool
- A printer (If you’re cutting these out by hand and need to print my pattern)
- My 3D Paper Pumpkin SVG and PDF – Available in my members only resource library! Fill out the form below to sign up free access!
Best cardstock for 3D paper pumpkin crafts
You can make these pumpkins out of almost any paper. I made mine out of 65lb cardstock because I find that it’s the most versatile and I always have a ton of it on hand!
While testing out the design, I made pumpkins out of smooth, linen, metallic, and glitter cardstock and all worked beautifully! I had no issues with any of them – so get creative and make whatever style of paper pumpkin your heart desires!
Best glue for 3D Pumpkins
With this project, you’re going to want extra-strong glue and you may get a bit of glue on your fingers so it’s really important to use glue that won’t burn your fingers, dries clear, and holds strong! That’s why I chose this glue for these 3D paper pumpkins!
After I had created about 7 pumpkins, I got the idea to try turning some of them into tiered pumpkins to see if they’d make a great centerpiece. Spoiler alert – they did! In the process of making it though, I had to remove the pumpkin stems so that I could stack them and boy was that hard! I can confirm without a doubt that this glue is SUPER strong because it was so hard to remove the stems from the pumpkins I had made the day before!
With this glue, you can definitely pick the pumpkins up by the stems or let your kids play with them without worrying that they will fall apart.
3D Paper Pumpkin SVG and PDF
Grab both of my Paper Pumpkin patterns from my members-only resource library! Get access for free with this form:
I’m obsessed with my cutting machine. I have two and I use them almost daily! I think they are incredibly helpful when making projects like this (and so many others) because they help you make precise cuts really easily and quickly! While you can 100% make these pumpkins by hand, it definitely takes longer with a scissor.
You can make this 3D pumpkin craft with a Cricut Joy, Cricut Explore Air series, and Cricut Maker series cutting machines!
If you want to learn more about cutting machines, check out my Cricut review post.
If you’re a fan of paper crafts, make sure you also check out my rolled paper flowers!
How To Make a 3D Paper Pumpkin Craft
Parts of the instructions below focus on how to make these 3D pumpkins using a Cricut machine. If you’d like to make them by hand, scroll down and you’ll find step-by-step instructions.
Easy 3D Paper Pumpkin Craft - Perfect for Halloween or a Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Turn just a few sheets of cardstock into beautiful paper pumpkins you can use to decorate your home for fall, for Halloween, or Thanksgiving!
- Cardstock in whatever colors you choose (See lots of options here!)
- Glue (I like this one best for this cardstock project!)
- A scoring stylus or scoring tool
- A printer (If you're cutting these out by hand and need to print my pattern)
- My 3D Paper Pumpkin SVG and PDF - Available in my members only resource library! Fill out the form below to sign up free access!
Step 1: Download my free 3D Paper Pumpkin SVG, PDF, and PNG!
If you already have access to my members-only resource library, you can head straight there and download pattern C16. If you don't yet have access, it's FREE! Just click here or fill out the form in this post and you'll get the password and instructions via email within moments. Once you sign up, you'll have access to a lot of other projects too!
Once you download the pattern, you will need to unzip/extract the file to get to the individual patterns.
Step 2: Decide on the size paper pumpkin you want to make
Once you have the individual pattern files, you will need to decide on which you want to use. If you are making a pumpkin that's about 5" in diameter or smaller, then you should use the file called "Pumpkin - Small and Medium". If you want to make a pumpkin that is larger than that, use the file called "Pumpkin - Extra Large".
Step 3: Upload the Paper Pumpkin SVG file into Design Space
You have two options here. Now you can either upload the SVG file to Design Space (or whatever software you use for your cutting machine), or you can click the Design Space link included in the Zip file.
Option 1: Upload the 3D Paper Pumpkin SVG
Open Design Space
Click "New Project"
Then navigate to the files you just unzipped and double click on the SVG you want to use
Select the file you just uploaded from your library and click "add to canvas"
Option 2: Click the Design Space share link
I'm testing out including design space links. If you use this link (and it works the way it should!), you should be able to skip Step 4 and go straight to sizing and cutting! Just click the link in my "Links" file to access my design through Design Space.
Now that the design is imported, you may notice that there are multiple pieces. You have the main portion of the pumpkin, the stem, a leaf, and a tendril.
Step 4: Add score lines to make creating these paper pumpkins easier
The first thing we need to do is convert some of our lines to score lines.
First, right-click anywhere, click ungroup.
Now look at the object list on the right-hand side - you'll see a plus sign looking shape with a bunch of small lines under it that each say "basic cut".
We need to change these lines to score lines.
To do this, select each of these small lines, then click the "Operations" drop-down and select "Score".
If you have a PC you can hold down the CTRL button and click each of the intended score lines to select them all at once.
Now, once that's done, you need to attach the score lines to the shape. Select all the score lines and the plus sign-looking shape (it's brown) at once, right-click, and then choose "attach".
One way to do this easily is to click and hold near the shape, then drag your cursor to the other side of the shape and release the button. This will select it all at once!
If you need more help with this step, just watch my video to see it in action!
Step 5: Resize the Pumpkin
Now it's time to resize your pumpkin pattern!
As you may know, you can only cut up to 11.5"x11.5" when using a 12x12 cutting mat. If as you change the size of the pattern, you exceed that size, you will get an error message. If that happens, shrink the size of the design a bit and try again.
When resizing the design, make sure to select all the pieces at once and then stretch the design. You want to select everything so that all the pieces change in size at the same rate. You don't want to double the size of the pumpkin but leave the size of the stem the same for example.
Step 6: Cut your pumpkin out of cardstock
Now we're ready to cut! Woohoo!
Just click "Make it" and follow the prompts.
I like to glance at each virtual mat and see if I can combine any of them. Sometimes for example, it will try to cut some of the "orange" pieces on multiple mats when they can actually fit on one.
Did you know that you can move pieces from a virtual mat to another? To do this, click on the three dots next to the item you want to move and then click "move". Then select the mat you want to move it to. You will now need to move things around so they don't overlap.
Once you're done with this step, click "continue".
Now you'll need to pick you material. From within Design Space, select the material that matches your cardstock. For example, if you are using glitter cardstock, you need to make sure to pick that as your material or the machine won't cut it through all the way.
If you are using a Cricut Explore machine, turn your dial to "custom" and then choose your material from within Design Space.
Tip: Always keep your Explore Air dial set to custom so you are always prompted to choose your material. Before I started doing this, I often forgot to adjust my dial!
4. Check the tools list. You will see that you need a scoring wheel or scoring stylus and the fine tip blade. Make sure that these are in your machine.
Tip: If you don't have a scoring tool, just place a Cricut-friendly pen in that slot instead. It won't score your cardstock but it will allow the machine to continue AND mark where you need to fold your paper for you!
5. Now look at Design space to identify what color cardstock you need. For example, if you see the leaf will be cut first, grab the cardstock you want to use for your leaf. Place that cardstock on a light or standard grip cutting mat. Then load the mat into your machine, press the flashing double arrows and then the flashing C. Your machine should now start cutting the cardstock!
Tip: For the base of the pumpkin, I like to use two different colors! For example, for a standard orange pumpkin, I would pick an orange color and then pick a slightly darker orange. This gives more depth to the final product! You don't need to stick with "standard" colors though! For example, I LOVE my gold pumpkin! A black 3D paper pumpkin would also make a great Halloween decoration!
6. When it's done cutting, just click the double arrow again to unload the mat and repeat #5 again until you've cut all your pieces.
Step 6: Assemble your Paper Pumpkin Base
Now we finally get to the really fun part! Getting to see our pumpkin come to life!
Small Paper Pumpkin Assembly
Let's start with how to assemble the smaller paper pumpkin pattern. Start by grabbing the two parts that look like an "X". the circle in the middle is the base of your pumpkin and each "arm" looking piece is going to be part of the side. The little circles at the end of each arm will make up the top of the pumpkin.
Grab something cylindrical like a pen, pencil, your scoring stylus etc. Scrape the edge of it along each arm to curl the arms making sure that each arm is curling inwards. Do this for both pieces.
Now grab the smaller of the two "X" shapes and glue the circle of each arm to each other to make a ball.
Now we're going to glue the shape you just made to the larger "X". To do this, we're going to glue the base of the shape you made to the inner circle of the larger X. When you do this, make sure you align the two pieces so that the arms of the bigger "X" align with the space in between the arms of the shape you just made.
Now just glue each of those arms to the top of the shape we made previously so that we have a complete 3D paper pumpkin!
Watch my video tutorial to see this step in action for a great visual!
Large Paper Pumpkin Assembly
For the larger pumpkins, we have an extra step. For the larger pumpkins, you need to glue the individual "arms" together to make each "X" and then you can follow the steps for the small paper pumpkin.
When doing this, make sure that you don't mix up the smaller arms with the larger arms.
Now just follow the same steps for the smaller pumpkins above!
Step 7: Assemble Your 3D Paper Pumpkin Stem
Now we're going to put the together. Start by folding along the score lines to make the process a bit easier. There should be four score lines at the very center of the stem and then one along each arm near the edge. Once you fold them, all you do is glue the tops together to form a bit of a box. Take a look at my video if you need a visual.
Step 8. Curl your paper tendril and assemble all the pieces
We're just about done! Now we get to put the finishing touches on our paper pumpkin craft and put it all together!
Find the long thin piece and use your fingers to curl it. Then stretch it out a bit.
Next, glue your leaf to the top of the pumpkin. I like to have the edge of the leaf aligned with the center of the pumpkin - so that the leaf itself is off center. Then I like to glue the tendril to the center of the pumpkin on top of the leaf and then glue the stem on top of that. This way the stem covers the edge of the tendril.
That's it! Now you're done!
Tip: You can add more than one tendril! They are super easy to cut by hand so you can cut extras of different lengths and add them!
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How to make a 3D Tiered Paper Pumpkin Craft
These cute paper pumpkins are great just as they are but if you want to really take it up a notch you can turn them into tiered pumpkins!
All you have to do is either remove the stem or omit the stem from the bottom pumpkins and then glue them together!
For a 3 tiered paper pumpkin design, for example, you’d stack them as follows: Large pumpkin base, leaf, tendril, medium pumpkin base, left, tendril, small pumpkin base, leaf, tendril, stem.
ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT MAKING 3D Paper Pumpkins
I recommend making these pumpkins out of cardstock. I usually have a lot of 65lb cardstock on hand because it’s really versatile. It worked amazing for this pumpkin craft and it’s the weight paper I’d recommend. That said, you could use just about any paper! If you use very heavy weight, though, it may be hard to curve the pumpkin and you may end up with a taller pumpkin vs. wider.
Nope! When you sign up to get a free copy of my 3D paper pumpkin craft pattern, you’ll get access to the cut file AND a PDF you can print and cut by hand. Once you cut the printout, you can use that as your template! Just place it over some cardstock, trace it, and then cut the cardstock out! Then you can assemble your 3D paper pumpkin as described above! Just skip ahead to step #6.
Yes and no. Since these 3D pumpkins are made out of paper, they are definitely delicate and shouldn’t get wet. If you want to put them outside though, like on your front porch, there’s hope! Just spray them with a few coats of acrylic spray. The best way to do it, would be to spray the individual pieces before you assemble the pumpkins to that there’s a good coating on the inside and outside.
Yes! If you make a large pumpkin, you can likely slide a small LED light in between the arms of the finished pumpkin. Alternatively, if you have a small LED light with a remote, you can actually glue the light to the inside of the pumpkin as you make it and then turn it on and off with the remote!
Just don’t put an actual candle anywhere near these paper pumpkins since they are made of paper! Only use LED lights that won’t catch fire or get hot and don’t leave it unattended.
You sure can! They might just be a bit small.
You could make up to an 11″ diameter pumpkin fairly easily. Much bigger than that will require some creative engineering! To make an 11″ diameter pumpkin, use the large pattern and expand it so that each arm measures about 23″ long (so that it uses nearly the full length of a 12×24″ mat). To do this, you’ll need 12×24″ cardstock though which has limited color options.
I hope you love these cute paper pumpkin crafts as much as I do and I hope that I answered all your questions! If I didn’t, feel free to comment below or message me on social media and I’d be happy to help out!
I’d love to see YOUR 3D paper pumpkin crafts and how you made yours! What colors did you choose? What sizes did you make? Did you stack them?
Please share a photo in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #analyticalmommycrafts or @analyticalmommy! I can’t wait to see how they turned out!
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