Painted Pumpkin Yard Stakes DIY

This simple Halloween project was made solely to please our 3 year old granddaughter, she loves pumpkins!

I found some old pumpkin cut-outs while sorting through decorations recently, and remembered how my young daughters enjoyed hanging them in the windows, and on the walls, changing them everyday.  It’s hard to believe that was over 25 years ago! Oh well, anyway, they inspired me to make some cheerful yard stake jack-o-lanterns to greet my grand kids this Halloween.

Using the cut-outs as a guide, I changed the pumpkin patterns up a bit; made them bigger, and fattened up the cheeks.  After tracing them onto a piece of scrap 1/4″ plywood, they were cut out with a jig saw and a scroll saw, and sanded before painting.
Paint the pumpkins with 3 to 4 coats of craft paint, let dry.  Sand again, removing more paint around all the edges for a worn appearance.


A garage sale find of wire grilling forks have been hanging on a nail in my garage, waiting for a worthy purpose. I was looking for something that wouldn’t be too noticeable, and wanted to keep the pumpkins low, so they would make great stakes.

The forks were glued to the backside of the pumpkins with Gorilla glue, and clamped in place overnight to dry. Gorilla glue expands as it dries, so you don’t want to overdo it. I probably could have used less, but I wanted to make sure they were adhered well, it gets pretty windy at our house sometimes. Sand down any dried excess glue. Paint the glued area with orange paint.


I found some rusty metal leaves from last Fall’s decorating. For some color, they were brushed with a thin layer of Citrus colored Alcohol Ink, and wiped off lightly before letting them dry.

All the pieces, front and back, were sprayed with a Clear Matte Finish. Let dry.

The metal leaf stem was curled and wired to the pumpkin with a scrap length of wire. Curl the ends of the scrap wire. Tie on some raffia, trim.  Gently shape the leaves and wires as desired.

I’m not too sure where my pumpkins will get settled as of yet, but sure it will be near the door, where they’ll be seen.  I might have to put a solar light behind them too!