Fall Dining Room + Easy Pumpkin Centerpiece

With these cooler temps, it has definitely been feeling like fall, which has been more than welcomed at our house now that it’s October! And one of my favorite rooms to transition through the seasons besides our front door, is our dining room — this year I wanted to keep it simple, but of course create a statement! And I love the options this centerpiece has for this year and years to come.

This project cost a little more than I would’ve liked, but I was relying on the interwebs and getting things shipped to my door – so I was OK to pay a little more. I would’ve been curious to see what could’ve been found at the Dollar Tree or in an actual craft store. But I stuck to shopping on Amazon. I also got two different pumpkin varieties, because I wasn’t sure about the quality and tried to save a few bucks — I also ordered about 36-pumpkins, unsure of how many I would actually need and I used about 30, so it worked out perfectly!

DIY Shopping List:
– (2) 12 pack – White Pumpkin Pack w/ Green Stems
– (1) 12 pack – White Pumpkin Pack w/ Brown Stems (these were my favorite – price also went up)
Floral Dry Foam 2-pack
Bamboo Skewer Sticks
– Greenery/Fall florals
– Optional; paint with colors of your choice
– Wooden box: Whitewashed Planter or Wood Tray Centerpiece

Estimated Project Cost: $60

To create this centerpiece, it’s super easy! I broke/cut the skewers in various lengths to give depth and fill in and stuck them into the foam pumpkins. I filled them in mixing the larger pumpkins and smaller pumpkins, with a majority of the larger pumpkins alternated across the top. The best part if you mess up, or need to move a pumpkin placement it’s super easy to create a new hole/space with your skewer! Once I had all my pumpkins and the top filled, I took some left over greenery from a previous project and filled in larger gaps where you could see the green floral foam.

And wah-la! It’s a mini pumpkin statement and easy to move since it’s all contained. As you can see, the stem colors were different — originally I had the idea to paint them gold, but after getting them in place with the filler, the colors don’t bother me as much. I was planning to paint the white pumpkins in some dull, fall colors, but I ended up liking the all white look with the subtle pops of color with the table runner and faux florals. What do you think?

DIY – Modern Wooden Fence

As we were working through our backyard makeover, one of the curveballs B threw at me was wanting to hide the paint chipping white garage, in addition to adding the raised planter boxes for extra greenery. I instantly jumped on Pinterest searching for inspiration for a decorative solution that we would be able to customize. I searched ‘modern decorate fences’ and found some inspiration that we could easily recreate and pitched the idea to B.
DecoartiveFence(6)The pitch was a success and the project was a go! The advantage of this project and any DIY project is being able to create a completely custom fence that fits your space and dimensions. We ended up throwing in two other fences to place around our ‘property,’ one in front of our garbage cans along the side of our driveway, and then another on the North side of the house in front of our air conditioner. The thing to remember with these fences is they weren’t going to be complete privacy, but help off-set and distract from the ugly things.
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Project Supply List:
– (13) 1ft x 3ft x 8ft
– (6) 1ft x 2ft x 8ft (post supports for smaller fences)
– (5) 1ft x 6ft x 12ft
– (1) 1ft x 6ft x 6ft
– (2) 2ft x 4ft x 10ft (post supports for large fence)
Thompson’s WaterSeal Stain & Foam Brush
– Post Hole Digger
– Quick Time Concrete
– Nail Gun / Screw Driver + Screws (large fence)
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Figuring out the number of pieces of wood and sizes to get and make all three of our fences, was a headache and quite the math equation that B successfully conquered — even though it took us awhile to get there. As I knew I wanted 6″ wide pieces and 3″ wide pieces, I just didn’t have the complete layout and patterned figured out based on the height variations. There has also been a wood shortage this summer, so B had to do some home improvement store hopping to get all the sized pieces we needed — luckily we were able to get everything!

Our Fence Dimensions:
– Back Fence: 7-feet tall* by 4.5-feet wide aka (16) 3″ pieces, (5) 6″ pieces and (2) 1″ pieces
– Garbage Fence: 5-feet tall* by 3-feet wide aka (12) 3″ pieces and (4) 6″ pieces
– Air Conditioner Fence: 3-feet tall* by 3-feet wide aka (8) 3″ pieces and (2) 6″ pieces

*This is the height above ground, we accounted for 1-2ft in the ground depending on the overall height. 

Once we secured our wood, based on our estimations, B cut away to get the estimated pieces per board. Once we had everything cut, I was able to play around with the pattern and get the pieces figured out — it was definitely a move around, take a step back and see what looked and felt right. Once we had our pattern in place it was go time. For the two smaller fences we used a nail gun and getting these put together was relatively quick, as we also just eyed the spacing between each pieces, made sure things were level and fired away.
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The large fence was a bit different and took some adjustments after we created the two smaller pieces. One adjustment was switching up the support pieces to 2ft x 4ft x 10ft — due to the size and slatted wood pieces, this fence was not only heavy but also pretty big (see me standing with it above), especially accounting for 2-feet to put in the group, it was a bit guy to navigate. We also ended up screwing the large fence together (instead of a nail gun) and did the screwing from the back, so that you wouldn’t see any holes from the front.

When it came to staining, we used the same stain we had from our planter boxes, we had plenty left over to create a cohesive look. I ended up staining the fences two different ways, one with the fences built and one as individual pieces — I’m not sure which I liked better, the individual pieces was definitely a bit more tedious. But, I do know overall I would pick staining any day to painting — it’s so easy and workable to make it blend the way you want. Luckily we were staining in the heat, so they dry time was quick if we wanted to apply two coats.
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We ended up angling most of these fences for final placement so that more space was covered and we were blocking the ugly things just right. This of course, took a bit of time and tapping to get just right! We also made sure to strategically place the larger back fence in front of the garage, so that form a farther distance you couldn’t see the end of the fence! I think my favorite fence beside the big one, is the one in front of the garbage cans, when you walk into our backyard it’s just such a welcomed look and as we’ve worked on adding flowers along the side it definitely makes it feel more complete!

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DIY – Painted Cork Board Makeover

Whenever we travel back to visit my parents, I always try and snag some of my childhood things to bring back or get rid of! So when I saw my old high school half and half white-cork board, I initially thought I didn’t want or need this — but I still grabbed it and brought it back home. With my new semi-permanent home office, I realized I could definitely use a space to post inspiration, write important to-do’s and hang a calendar, so as the wheels kept turning, I decided this could use a little face lift!
DIYCork(4)The best part was I was able to cover up my high school doodles that have lived on for over a decade *cringes a little* and give the dated wood grain a fresh and affordable update with the craft and paint supplies we already had. It just required a few coats of paint and a little patiences.

Craft Supply List:
– Old Bulletin Board
– Craft Paint, Colors of your Choice
– Foam Painter
– All Purpose Cleaner
– Goo-Gone
3M Hangers Strips
DIYCork(1)Step-by-Step:
1. Once you’ve figured out your colors, it’s time to prep the space. I chose to go with a pretty pink and white!
2. Before I started painting, I had to do some cleaning to remove old dry erase phrases that have been sitting on here for over a decade, so upon doing some research I found that an all purpose cleaner would do the trick – and it did. I left the cleaner sit on the dry erase writings for a little bit and then wiped off, I repeated this a few times until it was all clean!
3. I also had some sticky residue on the wood frame, so goo-gone helped clean that up before it was time to paint. It cleaned off well with a little elbow grease and a few scrubs.
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4. I wasn’t entirely sure how the craft paint would go on the bulletin board part — but it went on relatively easy and surprisingly helped cover up some of the missing chunks and the written phrases, initials and numbers I had scattered throughout. It just took a few coats, especially where I had writing. I did sadly cover up ‘The O.C.” — RIP.
5. Next, it came time to work on the wooden boarder. I used some white wall paint for this, that had a bit of a gloss. This went on slow, since it did require about 4-5 coats – but it really helped make the pink pop and refreshed to something that would work better in my office space!
6. Once it was all painted, it was time to hang it up! I hung this with 3M strips and it has stayed up well! It’s the perfect space for my monthly calendar and a few other fun reminders. Although — I have not been great about getting my to-do’s crossed off!DIYCork(3)
Since I updated this old cork-white board, we’ve given the office space a bit of an update too — I’m excited to share next week as I’m just waiting for a few pieces to arrive in the main to finish up the gallery wall! The 3M Strips also worked great for already moving the placement already. It’s been great having a monthly overview calendar at a quick glance that has made this update so worth it, on top of having a fun pop of pink!

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DIY – Painted Front Doormat

This weekend was pretty great, and Saturday was pretty perfect. The sun was shining all day long and the temp was ideal to catch some rays. Meaning we were outside pretty much the entire day. B touched up the paint on the front porch, we got our patio furniture out, got a run in and I even got this fun DIY project done. This painted DIY doormat is an affordable and fun way to add a custom finishing touch to your front door decor.
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Project Supply List:
Plain Coco Coir Doormat
Outdoor Acrylic Paint
Foam Brush Variety Pack
Satin Polyurethane

Estimated Project Total: $30

Step-by-Step:
– Once you have your supplies secure – which pro-tip you can still order from Michael’s and they’ll bring it out to your car and throw it in the trunk, no human contact.
– Your rugs will most likely come rolled, so make sure you get them flattened out before you craft, I placed some heavy photo albums on the ends for a couple days.

Pro-Tip: If you’re painting the whole back drop of your rug, make sure to grab two of  your background color – I barely had enough pink! Also grab 3-4 bottles of the Polyurethane. Also the assorted foam brush packet had the perfect variety of sizes for the detail of my design, not the best quality but got the job done.
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– Now for the fun! Figure out your design. I found my inspiration from Gradin Road and thought it was totally perfect and a fun pop of spring to add to our front porch! If you’re opting for a phrase with letters you’ll want to get a stencil cut out – a Cricket would be perfect to help customize (I don’t have one of those yet!)

– I hand drew and cut out the body of my bee to help get me started and then free handed the rest of my bee with paint and brushes. But feel free to create stencils and paint as you feel comfortable. I did a lot of dabbing with my foam brushes to make sure the paint covered the mat properly.
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– Once you have your design painted, go over spots with painted to make sure it’s covered and pops as much as you’d like. From there I picked my background color and filled in the rest of the doormat it was a tough decision between pink or green. As I said above, make sure to grab at least two tubes of your background paint, I barely had enough with one of my pink and just barely enough to cover my 30″ x 18″ rug.

– Once you’re happy with your paint coverage and design, it’s time for the final step! Paint your polyurethane over top the entire piece to help seal in the paint. I used two full tubes, but could’ve definitely used at least one or two more – it dries clear so it doesn’t impact your design at all!

There is still time to see how this holds up in the weather — luckily it is on a covered front porch, but definitely gets full sun in the morning. I love how it turned out and layered with a colorful underlay rug to make sure it really pops on the front porch!  I still have another plain rug to paint and create a fun design — I can’t decide if I’ll safe it for the holidays or a funny saying, time will tell!

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Valentine Floral Letter Door Decor

With the last few days of January, I’m starting to get the house ready for the holiday and love! And our front door is always my starting point. Over the summer I finally made a floral letter craft that I’ve had on my list for year’s (and was a gift) and was inspired to create my own floral letter’s only for some new Valentine door decor. I was pumped when I snagged some seriously discounted pink and white florals over the holidays along with an oversized wooden X and O, this was just what I needed for some pretty and festive Valentine decor!
Valentines_Floral_Final(4)Ok! Here is what you’ll need to get started, in addition to a step-by-step guide to filling in your letters with florals and then securing for a stunning statement piece for your front door!

What You’ll Need:
13″ Wooden Letters from Michaels for $5.49 each
– Florals of your choice (7-9 stems)
– Hot glue
– Pink ribbon or color of your choice, make sure it’s at least 3-feet long if you’re working with 13″ letters

Pro-tip: Keep an eye out for discounted seasonal florals in the off season to stock up for future projects or gift ideas!

Step-by-Step:
1. Floral buying tip — always buy a few more bunches than you think! I used about 4-stems of the pink poppy flowers and 3 stems of the white flowers, and I was running short! My initial plan was to do all pink, but did not have enough… which leads me to an important step #2.
2. Once you’ve dead-headed all your faux flowers (removing flower from the stem) — it’s crucial to map out your placement before any gluing! This can help you determine if you need more fillers or need to switch up the design.
3. Now that you have your florals mapped out on your letters, it’s time to start gluing your flowers on! It’s important to be generous with hot glue on the base stem of the flower in addition to the petals if needed to help with coverage. Cut off any additional stem that might make your flowers stick out more than you want! Repeat, until letters are filled in.
4. Allow for plenty of hot glue dry time for your X and O flower filled letters before flipping over to add the handing ribbon. This ribbon will connect the two letters in order for them to hang. Make sure the length of the ribbon is long enough to span the X and O with some extra, to be able to tie a loop/knot for hanging — stretch out over the back of your letters before gluing to make sure you have length. Again, be very generous with your hot glue with this since your floral letters will be hanging from the ribbon. Allow this proper time to dry before trying to hang. Valentines_Floral_Final(1)
Once you have your letters filled in and the ribbon attached, tie a loop to hang on your front door — it’s time to hang! This would even make fun wall decor that could hang inside your dining room or in place of a photo.  I added extra ribbon at the top to have a bow for a nice finishing touch on the door – and love how the pink and white pops on our blue door! Our front door is now ready for the Valentine holiday and spreading love to anyone who passes by.

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Looking for more Floral Letter Inspiration? Check out my $25 Floral Letter for Baby Shower decor.

DIY – Easy Festive Letter Ornaments

Eeek, it’s Christmas Eve! And normally I have a bit more of my sh*t together, but this year I was a bit behind in the craft ornament department. Ornaments are always my go to Christmas gift not only are they great year after year, they are sentimental and the perfect keepsake for moments or milestones in time.  Beyond a sentimental ornament, I always like to get letter ornaments, especially as a fun present topper.
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This year I went the custom letter route with a fun holiday twist on something so simple and partially already made.  I found wooden letter ornaments in the dollar bins at Target and thought it would be fun to dress them up with festive jingle bells and colored pom poms. This project was about $15 in materials and took maybe a half hour of my time to make everything — so easy, so cute and super cost friendly!

What You’ll Need:
– Letter Ornaments
16mm Jingle Bells – 2 packs
Colorful Craft Pom Poms from Target
White and Red Craft Pom Poms from Michaels
– Hot glue gun and glue sticks
DIY-LetterOrnament-beelifeblog(1)Step-by-Step:
1. After you have your supplies it’s really quite easy and fun! The goal is to cover your letter with your jingle bells or pom poms — I laid out the design and determined quantity before I started gluing to make sure I had enough to cover each ornament, while having a mini road map made.

2. A few of the letter ornaments I decided to color block with the jingle bells with all silver or all gold, I even had a little fun alternating red, blue and green on a third one! The fun part is they even jingle, it;s the perfect little bling and ring for the tree.

3. For the pom poms, I had a variety of sizes, I liked both size options and how it looked mixing and matching the two different sizes to fill in the letter. I went with reds, whites and greens and then some multi-color pom pom ornament for us.

4. Let dry and gift a fun custom ornament to your friends or family!
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I’m definitely trying to cram it all in today — including a workout to start the day, some volunteer dog walking, squeezing in a few more of these ornaments and wrapping all of my presents before church! I am very much looking forward to relaxing a littler later and the next few days. Merry Christmas, Eve!

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DIY – Holiday Snow Globe Place Settings

Spoiler! I love decorating and hosting get togethers and I especially love transforming our house into a Christmas wonderland.  Included in that Christmas wonderland is playing around with our dining room decor and making a statement with our tablescape. I love shopping on Pottery Barn, we registered for our wedding there and I always find a few gems, especially seasonal ones that I grab when they’re on sale or occasionally splurge on. So long story short, I saw these Village Snow Globe Place Card Holders and was about to splurge — until I was like, wait it would be super fun to make those!
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What You’ll Need:

Plastic ornaments
– Mini wire brush trees, animals or houses – shop Christmas Village decor at Michaels. I bought (2) mini white trees and (2) green tree set
12×12 Glitter scrapbook paper/card stock, silver glitter and glue
Craft sparkle pipe cleaners, same color as glitter/paper, I used silver
– Cotton balls
– Uline knife
– Hot glue and mod podge

Estimated total project cost: $25

Step-by-Step:
1. First things first, you’ll need to cut a opening in the bottom of your plastic ornaments. This was a bit tricky to figure out, and should be done very carefully!  I used a sharp mini philips head to poke a hole in the bottom. Once I had a hole, I used a Uline knife to cut a smaller circle for the opening, go slow and wear gloves to protect your hands. Repeat based on the number of place settings you’re making – this is the least fun part of the whole project!
SnowGlobeDIY-beelife(1)2. Woo! We have our openings, so now it’s time to cut our our bases and start planning our wintry scene. I used thicker card stock, that I ended up painting and putting glitter on — I would highly recommend buying scrapbook 12×12 glitter paper. This would’ve saved time and a mess. *smiles*  So using your thicker paper, trace a circle using a drinking glass that is rounder than your ornament, trace and repeat to cut the same number of circles as you have ornaments. These are your bases!

3. Working from the center of your circular base play around with your mini trees/houses or animals. Once you have your scene figured out it’s time to glue in place! I started with my larger wire brush tree in the center, and flanked either side with smaller ones. Pull a cotton ball apart and shape around the base of the trees and glue into place. Wah-la, snow! Repeat, or switch up to have different variations.

Pro-tip: Don’t go to far from the center, so that you’re ornament can fit around your wintry scene especially the cotton ball snow

4. Once you have your bases decorated, glued and secured — place ornaments overtop, making sure everything is fitting within the ornament.  Glue and secure the base of the ornament with hot glue!
SnowGlobeDIY-beelife(2)5. Now, depending on if you bought glitter paper or not, this step may not be needed.  Using mod podge glue I painted the top of the white paper bases and then covered in silver glitter over a paper plate to catch the excess. I had to touch up a few spots once the glue dried and I dumped the remaining glitter off to see emptier spots.  If you bought glitter paper, you are 10-steps ahead of me!

6. Time for finishing touches! Get that hot glue back out and glue the pipe cleaners around the base where your ornament meets the base. You’ll most likely need to trim for an even meet at the back.  I then used the left over scraps of the pipe cleaner to create a circle to loop into the top of the ornament to hold place cards for guests! I used old place cards that we didn’t use from our wedding, but you can cut and customize as you want or not include!

7. Once your mini snow globes are created, it’s time to set the table and get ready to host a delicious meal with close friends and family!

This was such a fun DIY and I love how they turned out. For $25 I created 8-mini place setting snow globes compared to spending nearly $60 at Pottery Barn — plus I made them! I must admit figuring out how I was going to cut and create this using ornaments had be puzzled for a while, and it took a few trial and errors before I figured out how to cut the hole in the bottom. And I really wanted to use ornaments vs. mason jars or other types of glass cylinders I saw online.  So once I figured it out and put it all together I was so excited! The best part is you can keep and use year after year or send home with guests as a little keepsake <3.

Happy Holiday Hosting!

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DIY – Wooden Couch Sleeve

Ever have those pins that you saved at the beginning of Pinterest-time and have always wanted to make? I’ve wanted to make a wooden couch sleeve for a long time — it seems like an easy, practical solution without having side tables everywhere.  But our main living room furniture has rounded arms and these wooden couch sleeves definitely seem better suited for a squared off arm.
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I knew I would be able to make this fairly inexpensively as long as we had some scrap wood laying around — and luckily we did! I was able to utilize tools that we already had, so this project cost me $0.  And with our basement makeover, our furniture downstairs had squared off arms with a lower side table that only serves part of the seating, I thought this would be a perfect addition to our ‘finished-unfinished’ space especially with the natural rustic wood piece.

What You’ll Need:
– Scrap wood
– Table saw
– Sandpaper
– Satin/Gloss Clear Coat Spray Paint
– Nail gun
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Step-by-Step:
1. Determine the length of your main top piece based on your furniture. I decided on 13″ long and kept the original width of the board. You’ll want your sides to be the same length, width of sides can be all equal or shorter.

2. Using a tape measure and straight edge, draw a straight line for your top piece, then cut with table saw. For the sides because my scrap wood was older, I cut the same length and it pretty much split down the middle to make two smaller pieces.  I liked the more unfinished, raw edges as I wanted to keep the integrity of the older wood.

3. I then sanded the pieces on both sides and all of the edges.  Again, I liked the color of the wood – I just needed to work out a few rough spots and clean it up. After sanding, be sure to wipe down the pieces with a cloth to get rid of extra dust.
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4. I then did a top coat with Satin finished spray paint — that I happened to have at the house already.  Spray top coats are a little trickier to see full coverage until dry – so for that reason you may need to do a few coats depending on the finish and coverage you want (above picture before spray, bottom after spray).  I did two coats on the main top and sides, and one on the underneath part.

5. Once I was content with the top coat it was putting everything into place with the nail gun.  I opted NOT to use wood glue for two reasons (1) being lazy (2) we don’t have clamps, so we would’ve nailed in place shortly after gluing like we did for our floating shelf. This was a two person job to ensure the nails went in securely.  We put the sides in a bit so they would be snug against the couch, since I opted to keep the top the original width of the wood, avoiding too many cuts.

Pro-tip: I made sure all my cut edges were in the back of my piece, so the original rough edges would be facing out. I also determined my top early on when measuring and cutting pieces.
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This is the perfect addition to the space, and it’s sturdy for an afternoon cup of coffee, the remote or a glass of beer watching the game! Although we have a super cute trunk side table in this space, it’s much lower than the couch and chair so it isn’t exactly convenient for ongoing sipping. This couch sleeve is also portable, so it can move around depending on which spot you’re in or who needs it. I love how it turned out and it’s imperfections!  Plus — this could also be a sweet Christmas gift for just about anyone.

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DIY – Painted Paper Mache Pumpkins

Looking for an affordable fall craft to kickoff your October?  You’re in luck, I have this super easy and affordable craft using Target’s $4.99 paper mache craft pumpkins and craft paint and a gold craft pen you can create colorful and custom pumpkins for your fall decor! For around $10 a pumpkin, you can craft and create a fun piece to add to your interior fall decor collection.
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What You’ll Need:
Paper Mache Pumpkins – $4.99 each
Craft Paint Colors of Your Choice – $0.79 each
Foam Brush – $0.49 each
– Optional: Gold Craft Pen – $3.79

Pro-tip: Stock up on all the colors for your acrylic craft paint, you’ll always use them and a nice selection is always great to have on hand for spur of the moment crafts. Same goes for foam brushes, just grab a handful or two!

Step-by-Step:
1. Determine your colors! I opted for a paler orange and a lighter green for my pumpkins.  I mixed my colors with white to lighten them up a bit.
2. Paint your pumpkins completely using the foam brush and your paint color – leave stem unpainted, unless you want a more simplistic look.
3. Allow to dry before adding a second coat – you can determine the number of coats of paint based on how much the paper mache shows through.
4. Once your pumpkin base is painted, now it’s time to paint your pumpkin stem.  I opted for gold, I used metallic craft paint for this. You could also cover you stem with gold glitter!
5. Add detail with paint or gold craft pen – I kept this simple and added some flair around the stem. You could also do gold polka dots, stripes or writing a fun message or sentiment like “hello fall” or “I’m here for the boos.”
6. Style and decorate with other pumpkins around your house!
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I am still getting all my fall decor out, so I am sure these guys will be moved around a bit more — but this was an easy and perfect DIY to get all those fall decor juices flowing! How would you paint your paper mache pumpkins? Would you keep them simple like mine, or punch them up with patterns or words?

Happy Crafting!

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