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Let me start this off by saying the books used for this project were on their way to be tossed into the dumpster, so I asked if I could take them instead. Some people are upset that I used books for this project {and yes you could use phonebooks instead}, but since they were about to be thrown out, I decided they would make better pumpkins than trash so I rescued them. They make me smile every time I look at them.

How to make DIY paper book pumpkins for a creative table place setting or to use as Halloween or Thanksgiving decor.

DIY Paper Book Pumpkins

No, this is nothing new, but I like to think the stem on my pumpkins is different than those I’ve seen and if I make these again I will make the stems even longer and curlier. I could be wrong but was too scared to search Pinterest or google to find out otherwise, lol. I first came across this idea via Creations by Kara and she has a really great tutorial that you can check out.


Here is a photo of the steps and then I will quickly explain them:

DIY paper book pumpkins

Step 1:

Gather all of your materials and remove the front and back cover from the book.

Step 2:

Take your blank piece of paper and fold it in half. Then draw half of a pumpkin shape using the edge of the creased line.

Step 3:

Cut out your pumpkin shape from the piece of paper. This is the template you will use to create the pumpkin shape out of your book. Make sure to keep in mind the size of the book you will be using. No it doesn’t need to be perfect – pumpkins aren’t perfect anyway. You will want to keep the bottom line more straight though so that it can sit on a table.

Step 4:

Open the book about halfway and place your paper template on top with the center of the pumpkin matching up to the center binding of the book. I placed mine somewhat towards the top, where I would have enough of the book bind left behind to be the “stem” of the pumpkin.

Step 5:

Trace around the pumpkin template with your pencil

Step 6:

Using your exacto knife, begin cutting around the edge of your outline.  I would “carve” out one section of the book before moving on to the other side.

Step 7:

You will probably have to cut through a few pages at a time, so this will take some patience. You could also use scissors but I found the exacto knife to be easier and less messy. Towards the last couple pages I would use my scissors to cut the edges and make whatever tweaks I wanted, making sure to leave the book bind at the top so it could become the pumpkin stem.  I would also tear out the pages as I went along to make it easier and to get a little instant gratification knowing I was getting through the book. You can see a page I moved to the side in the photo of step 7.

Step 8:

Once you have one side of the book completely cut out, it’s time to start on the other side. My photo steps may seem a little confusing because I made 4 of these book pumpkins and did each one a little differently to see what I liked best. So the photos I used are a mixture of the different book pumpkins. {As you can see from the photo of step 7, I had started carving out the left side first and the photo of step 8 is vice versa}.

Step 9:

Once your pumpkin is all cut out then you will need to add glue down the center of the book bind with your glue gun {it’s hard to see the glue in my photo}. Then close the 2 halves together to make the pumpkin shape as seen in step 10.

Step 10:

Don’t freak out when you place your pumpkin down on the table and it looks all awkward, it just needs some fluffing. I went through each page and crinkled it just a tad to help keep it separated from the other pages. In the photo of step 10 you can see that I started fluffing up a couple sections.

Step 11:

Continue fluffing until you have gone around the entire book and achieve the look you want.

Step 12:

Enjoy your freakin’ adorable paper book pumpkin!

I made 4 of these cuties in a couple hours and was sorta in a rush when I made them because I had to head over to my sisters for some B-day celebrations, and to put together my fall tablescape. So… my living room may have looked like this for a little bit, but hey I’ve admitted that I can be a messy crafter!

How to make DIY paper book pumpkins for a creative table place setting or to use as Halloween or Thanksgiving decor.

Don’t worry though, it’s been cleaned up. Gotta love my coffee cup sitting amongst the chaos.

Here is a close up shot of one of the pumpkins from my fall tablescape:

How to make DIY paper book pumpkins for a creative table place setting or to use as Halloween or Thanksgiving decor.

How to make DIY paper book pumpkins for a creative table place setting or to use as Halloween or Thanksgiving decor.

I knew I wanted my table to be a little more monochromatic with just a little pop of green here and there so I opted to leave my book pumpkin the way it was. However, you could definitely add some color to it with an orange ink pad or some acrylic paint. You could also use a twig for the stem and add ribbon or burlap. The options are endless.

So what do you think?

DIY Paper Book Pumpkins