This beautiful pumpkin topiary would look great as either an interior or exterior decoration. Made of carved foam pumpkins, it won’t deteriorate and can be displayed through Thanksgiving and used year after year.
Total Prep Time — 8 hours
Stacked Pumpkin Topiaries – 2 hours to make 2
Materials for each topiary:
3 carvable pumpkins, varying sizes
Versa-Tool Heated Craft Knife
Large brass cup hooks
1 strand twinkle lights
Sticky clay or sticky wax (optional)
Artificial bittersweet vine or garland
Stacked Pumpkin Topiaries
1. Decide the position of each pumpkin, bottom, middle or top.
2. Beginning with the bottom pumpkin, draw a circle around the top of the pumpkin that is only large enough to fit the bottom of the middle pumpkin. Use the heated knife to cut out the pumpkin top (figure A).Note: Artificial pumpkins are hollow. They can also be carved using a sharp serrated knife.
Note: To make the topiary, you will be carving a circle out of the bottom of the top pumpkin, then cut a circle out of the top and bottom of the middle pumpkin, and finally carve a circle out of the top of the bottom pumpkin.
3. Trace roughly around the fall leaf onto the bottom pumpkin in several areas, turning the leaf in different directions to resemble falling leaves. The leaves only need to cover the front 3/4 of each pumpkin.
4. Using the heated craft knife, cut out all leaf shapes (figure B). It is necessary to occasionally tighten the band on the heated craft knife with pliers to prevent the blade from pulling out of the tool handle.
Expert Tip: Carvable pumpkins are a great option to live pumpkins because they are not going to rot and you can save them to use year after year.
DIY Tip: Save the cutout shapes because they can be used on other craft projects.
5. On the middle pumpkin, draw a circle around the bottom of the pumpkin that is only large enough to fit the hole cut in the bottom pumpkin. Draw a second hole around the top or the pumpkin that is large enough to fit the bottom of the top pumpkin. Cut out these two circles.
6. Draw a variety of sizes of swirls on the front three-fourths of this pumpkin. Cut out the swirl shapes with the heated craft knife, tightening the blade as necessary.
7. On the top pumpkin, draw a circle around the bottom that is big enough to fit the top hole of the middle pumpkin. Cut out this circle.
8. Again, draw a variety of sizes of swirls on the front three fourths of this pumpkin. Cut out the swirl shapes with the heated craft knife, tightening the blade as necessary.
9. On the inside of the top of the top pumpkin, screw a large brass cup hook (figure C).
10. Fold the strand of twinkle lights into equal sections so that it is about the same length as the height of all three pumpkins. Allow some extra length for the plug end.
11. Gather the folds opposite of the plug end and place onto the cup hook.
12. Feed the hanging lights through the middle pumpkin (figure D), resting the top pumpkin on top of the middle pumpkin. Place the middle pumpkin onto the bottom pumpkin, hanging the lights inside the bottom pumpkin. Reach into one of the back leaf cutouts and pull the plug through.
13. Place the bottom pumpkin, with all pumpkins stacked on top, onto the urn. Use sticky wax to secure each pumpkin.
14. Starting from the bottom, wind garland around the pumpkins (figure E) using T-pins.
Expert Tip: When you go to a party, it is often common that people worry about what they are going to talk about. The most important thing and the best conversationalist is the best listener.
Carving Tip: If you are free-handing a design on a pumpkin, you need to use a dry erase marker. That way if you mess it up, you can wipe it off and start on a clean slate.