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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


  1. I LOVE this idea!!! I’m going to try this out tomorrow! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  2. How beautiful! I’ve seen them before on Pinterest, but not with the detailed instructions. I think I can do this. Thanks for taking the time to share all the steps.

  3. I have seen these floating around pinterest for a few years and I have always wanted to try them out! I am going to pin it, and make a point to actually make them this year! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Kristen! I love them too, although this was my first attempt at actually doing one. These books were going to be thrown away so I’m so happy to have been able to rescue them and make them into something oh-so-pretty πŸ™‚ The old age definitely gives them character and a hint of color too. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. This is great! Thank you for the tutorial, I especially liked # 7″s encouragement πŸ™‚

  5. I was just thinking I need to somehow turn loose of Summer and just embrace the inevitable arrival of Fall. I am hoping that throwing myself headlong into decorating for it will help. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the tute, I was just going to try to find one of these!

    1. What a neat idea, I never even thought about making trees from books but I will definitely have to try that out! Thanks for stopping by and I would love to link up at your party, thanks for the invite πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks for stopping by DIY Vintage Chic’s Friday’s Five Features and Fun Festivities. Don’t forget to stop back by this Friday!

  6. Wow, just wow! These are so understated and gorgeous! I am pinning this now so I can get the supplies and try it. I’m visiting from the Brag About It link party.

    Christy @ Creating a Beautiful Life

  7. This is so cute! I plan on following your tutorial to make a few. Thanks for sharing. Love your blog!

    1. Thanks Brooke and no way are you behind, it’s not even September yet! The weather this summer has been really confusing though these last couple of weeks – it’s been feeling like a combo between Spring and Fall, lol. I do love fall though, it’s my favorite time of the year, and also my favorite time to order the vanilla soy chai latte from Starbucks πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Abby! I saw similar ones on Pinterest but didn’t realize how much I loved them until I held one in my hand. They are just so stinkin’ cute! Thanks for popping over to check them out πŸ™‚

  8. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Hi Katie!

    Oh my gosh!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these pumpkins!
    I know it’s early, but I’m going to start making them now. I have the perfect place for them come late September!
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Have a great week,

  9. I’ve made Christmas trees out of old books, but never thought of doing something like a pumpkin. Great step by step tutorial. Thanks for the idea.

  10. This is an adorable idea. I am going to make some as soon as I can find some old books. Pinned.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Visiting from A Stroll Thru Life linky party


  11. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial with us. Would you be able to share a pdf or jpg of the template you used for your pumpkin? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Jackie – I sorta just drew half of a pumpkin shape on a folded up piece of paper so that when I cut it both sides would be even and then made sure the bottom was more straight so that the pumpkin would sit when on the table. You can google pumpkin images to get an idea of what you want but pumpkins aren’t perfect and some are fat and others are tall and skinny so it just depends on what you want. It will also depend on the size of your book because that is what you want to base your template on – you want to make sure your template is smaller than the book. Hope this helps!

  12. Okay Katie, these are seriously about the more adorable fall craft I have seen in a long time. LOVE I have seen Christmas trees done like this but pumpkins! Awesome! I would be over-the-moon if you would share this or any of your amazing fabulous projects at our new mega-party Work it Wednesday if you haven’t already. Each link will be shown on 4 blogs! The Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, The Turquoise Home, and My Place for Taste:) Work it Wednesday. Hope to see ya!!

    – Krista @ the happy housie

  13. These are great and I LOVE pumpkins of any sort. Any idea how many pages, on average, you used to make such a nice shape?

    1. Each pumpkin is actually an entire book – not exactly sure how many pages they had because they were all a little different and the way I cut them cut out the page number, but I think it was about 300. If you look at the photo of the book in the tutorial that should give you an idea of how thick the book was. Hope this helps!

  14. Great tutorial! I did a bunch of these, but int he shape of Christmas Tree’s last Christmas. I dipped the edges in glitter for “sparkle”! I’ll give these a go & dip the edges in orange glitter!!! Found you through the pin it party, love your site!

  15. This is certainly new to me! I absolutely love these! We have a bit of a bookpage craft obsession around our house. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Lol, I have started my own book page craft obsession as well. In fact, I just used book pages in the boutonnieres for our wedding πŸ™‚ I tried lots of different fabrics and papers but the book pages just gave the rosettes character that the other materials couldn’t compete with πŸ™‚

  16. These are going to be all the rage this Fall. Jus’ Sayin’

    I hope to make a few of these. There are so many great Fall ideas, but this one I really REALLY want to make!

    1. Well this isn’t anything new, I found the general idea via Pinterest, but I definitely think they are an awesome fall craft that everyone will enjoy making! Thank you so much for stopping by to check them out πŸ™‚

  17. These are so adorable! I love them and have pinned this post. I have tons of old books and just have to do this with a few. Thanks so much for the tutorial!
    Saw you sharing at Pretty Handy Girl’s Before & After contest. Good luck!
    Debbie πŸ™‚

  18. I loved this project, Katie! You Were Featured TODAY on VMG206 ~ Brag About It Tuesday’s Link Party from last week! Stop by and grab a Feature Button and Link something new; the party is LIVE Now. I’ve also pinned this to my Brag About It Features Board on Pinterest. I can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on this week!
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  19. These are adorable! I definitely want to give these a try this year. Pinning πŸ™‚

    PS I found you through This Sarah Loves and I’m looking forward to looking around your blog more πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Steph! These pumpkins were fun and easy to make, plus they are freaking adorable and everyone that sees them loves the fact that they were made of books. Thanks for stopping by!

  20. I just came across a huge stash of books in a dumpster and next to a dumpster. I couldn’t believe it when I saw this at Elizabeth and Company!! Pinning and hopefully making some tonight. If you have a moment tomorrow afternoon, I would love for you to stop by Redouxinteriors to share this awesome tutorial. Thanks!

  21. O.K. diregard my dumb comment earlier. You linked it up!!! I was wondering how I missed it the first time around. Must have been during my bout with stomach flu. Anywho…..I am featuring at my party tomorrow, starts at 5:00 EST. Thanks!

    1. Haha, I was just like “Wait, I didn’t link up to Redoux Interiors?!?” And trying to figure out how I missed it. Yay for the feature, thank you!!! Hope you are feeling much better πŸ™‚

  22. Wow! 85 comments! Clearly I’m not the only one who thought these little pumpkins were fabulous! Thanks so much for linking them up to our All Things Thursday Blog Hop last week. They were one of my picks for features today. I hope you’ll be by again tonight to link up more great projects!

    1. Hi Nici,

      Lol, yeah the number of comments has definitely surprised me too, but I’m so happy that everyone love them as much as I do πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much for the feature, I appreciate it!


  23. LOVED this so much! Featuring this Saturday on our DIY Saturday Favorites post for the past weeks DIY Sunday Showcase! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  24. Yours are so cute too!! Thank you for checking mine out as well. I do like the book ‘stem’ on yours. I definitely need to make some more this year now that my hand has recovered from all of that cutting!!!!

    PS I couldn’t reply to your comment directly via email because you come up as a “no reply blogger” (not sure if you were aware of that). πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Heather! I have heard of that “no reply blogger” thing but thought it only applied to those using blogger and Google +? I’m on wordpress but will definitely have to look into it so thank you for letting me know!

      I gave these little pumpkins to my sister so I will definitely need to make some more – and next time I want to try and make the “stems” longer and see if I can curl them a bit. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  25. I recommend making the pumpkins a tad smaller, so that you can get 2 out of one book. Less waste πŸ™‚

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