How to Make Paper Mache Jack-O'-Lantern

by Buffy Naillon Google
Make a pumpkin to hold candy while trick or treating.

Make a pumpkin to hold candy while trick or treating.

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Papier mache crafts allow you to inexpensively create decorative items for holidays such as Halloween. This craft material works well for simple items like jack-o'-lanterns, which provide seasonal decor for front steps and porches, a Halloween pinata, or a trick or treat bucket. Make this craft a week or two before Halloween to reuse items that would normally go into the trash.

Items you will need

  • Balloons
  • Newspapers
  • White glue or flour
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Stir stick
  • String
  • Straight pin
  • Craft knife
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Wire
  • Cellophane
  • Ceiling hook
  • Heavy string
  • Broom handle

Jack-o'-Lantern Treat Holder

Step 1

Blow up the balloon that serves as the pumpkin's base and knot the end.

Step 2

Tear newspapers into long strips and set aside.

Step 3

Lay out newspaper on the work area.

Step 4

Tie a string securely onto the balloon by the knot.

Step 5

Mix equal parts water and white glue or equal parts flour and water in a shallow bowl to make a paste. Stir it well with a stick.

Step 6

Dip the strips of newspaper into the paste mixture, stripping off any excess. Apply the strips to the balloon. Continue adding strips to cover the balloon, overlapping them for complete coverage. Add two or three layers of newspaper strips to the balloon.

Step 7

Screw a hook into the ceiling or tie the string onto the bar of the shower, putting newspapers below on the floor, side of the tub and in the tub. Hang the balloon by the string and allow it to dry completely, which may take several days.

Step 8

Take the balloon down once it's dry. Pop the balloon using a straight pin, and pull the balloon out once you pop it.

Step 9

Cut a larger opening at the top of the balloon with a craft knife. A cut that measures about 4 inches in diameter will work for a trick or treat jack-o'-lantern.

Step 10

Paint a jack-o'-lantern face onto the papier mache with acrylic paint.

Step 11

Puncture a hole on each side of the hardened papier mache about one inch from the top by the jack-o'-lantern's face.

Step 12

Cut a piece of wire about 10 inches long. Push one end through one of the holes until about two inches protrudes. Twist the 2-inch end around the longer piece. Repeat this process on the other hole to finish the handle.


Step 1

Cut a hole at the top of the undecorated papier mache jack-o'-lantern and fill it with candy. Cover the candy with cellophane.

Step 2

Puncture holes in the side of the head with a craft knife.

Step 3

Dip newspaper strips into the paste mixture and cover the hole on top of the jack-o'-lantern. Allow them to dry for at least 24 hours. Don't cover the holes.

Step 4

Paint the jack-o'-lantern's face.

Step 5

Screw a hook into the ceiling.

Step 6

Insert the string into the holes on the sides of the jack-o'-lantern's head. The string should measure a couple of feet, depending upon how high your ceiling is. It should be long enough for you to hit the pinata with a broom handle.

Step 7

Hang the pinata on the ceiling hook.

About the Author

Buffy Naillon has worked in the media industry since 1999, contributing to Germany's "Der Spiegel" magazine and various websites. She received a bachelor's degree in German from Boise State University. Naillon also attended New York University and participated in the foreign exchange program at Germany's Saarland University. She is completing her master's degree in educational technology at Boise State.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images