Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tutorial: DIY Primitive Reclaimed Wood Pumpkins

I’ve been feeling particularly crafty lately.  This interest, like most things in life, comes in waves.  But for right now I’m enjoying creating.

I will admit that this bout of craftiness was sparked by a recent visit to a semi-local gigantic craft fair.  It was a lovely day catching up with one of my dearest friends (whom I don’t see nearly enough).  There were a million things I would have loved to have bought; but my frugality kept saying, “I think I could make that.”

And so enters my new Tutorials.  Because as much as I love making beautiful things, I want you to know how to make beautiful things too!  There is nothing quite like the feeling of seeing a project begin and end in your hands.

Please note that I rarely use my measuring tape, much to my husband’s dismay, so my directions are certainly not exact or scientific.

Primitive Wooden Pumpkins

DIY Primitive Wooden Pumpkins Reclaimed Wood

Begin with a few pieces of wood the fatness of a landscaping timber – or with one actual landscaping timber that you can cut.  The older and rougher the wood, the better (as long as it isn’t rotten).  Also grab a couple of pieces of fire kindling that is similar to the circumference of a pumpkin vine.

Using a miter saw, cut the wood into three pieces.  The pieces should be approximately 12”, 7”, and 4” – approximately.  I suggest cutting both the top and bottom of your wooden pieces to ensure the pumpkins will be straight and level.  Also using your miter saw, cut the kindling wood into small pieces.  They should be approximately 2”, 1.5”, and 1” – again, approximately.

Be careful cutting the smaller pieces!  If you are trying to work with too small a piece of wood, your saw might grab the piece of wood, fling it past your head, scare the living crap out of you, and cut your finger open.

Begin by painting two of your pumpkins orange using quick upward strokes with a small craft paintbrush.  Paint the top of it as well.  Depending on the porosity of the wood, and the look you prefer, you may want to apply two coats of orange.

Don't mind my lovely "drop cloth" which is actually an old bed sheet.
A bed sheet that I thought was super awesome when
I ordered it from Delia's in 2002.

On the third pumpkin, paint only the corners orange.  While the corners are still partially wet, apply white paint with a small craft paintbrush in quick upward strokes.  The orange and white will meld together to create a lovely variegated look.  You should only need one coat of white.

Using a circularly craft sponge, create a polka dotted pattern on the two orange pumpkins.  Be watchful and don’t use too much paint on the sponge – drippy polka dots are quite unattractive.

On the white pumpkin, create stripes with that same circular sponge.  If you are particular – or just particularly messy – you can use tape for the stripes.  I am not patient enough to wait for the paint to dry thoroughly enough to withstand taping, so I just eyeball the stripes and they turn out pretty great.

Once the craft paint has dried, you can seal the pumpkins with a clear sealer (Deft brand in the satin sheen is my favorite) if you know they will be sitting out in the elements.  Otherwise they can be left as is.

Next, using an industrial glue, put the stems onto the pumpkins, pressing them into place.

DIY Primitive Wooden Pumpkins Reclaimed Wood

Once the glue on the stems has dried, tie ribbon or twine at the base of the stems.  I like black and white ribbon for a Halloween look, and twine for an Autumn appearance.

DIY Primitive Wooden Pumpkins Reclaimed Wood

DIY Primitive Wooden Pumpkins Reclaimed Wood

Display your pumpkins with pride (or gift them to your favorite friend), and know that you created them In Good Company.

DIY Primitive Wooden Pumpkins Reclaimed Wood

Post pictures of your completed pumpkins in the comments section, I can’t wait to see how you put your own personal touch on this project!

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