Fall Decorating – DIY Reclaimed Wood Pumpkins

Reclaimed Wood Pumpkins Tutorial

Hello fine friends.

I love nothing better than to create something new that would have otherwise ended up in the trash.  And that is truly the case with my reclaimed wood pumpkins.

Wood Pumpkin Art

Do you happen to know what a squash bug is?

I do.

They are nasty little creatures that we have battled for years and they destroy all of our vine plants in our garden.  And if a pumpkin or two manages to survive the onslaught of these buggers, then the rabbits eat them up.

So this year, I decided to be ready.  If no pumpkins make it, no worries, I am making my own.

(In case you are wondering – one little white pumpkin made it and a handful of jack-be-little pumpkins are decorating our home – the rest are fake or purchased!)


I made them out of reclaimed wood.

But not just any old wood.

Truth be told, I am quite the sentimental girl.  All of the wood we used was salvaged from my Grandfather’s house, that he built by hand, piece by piece.  It had to be torn down 2 years ago and I salvaged what I could.  This project seemed like a perfect way to actually use the wood and get it out of storage.


The process is quite simple, if you are comfortable using a jigsaw, you can do this.  I recently completed a similar project using the same basic technique to make a whale.

Materials Needed:

– 1/4 Plywood ( we used scrap we had)

– Salvaged wood, reclaimed lumber, pallet wood – whatever you can get your hands on

– Wood glue

– Small brad nails and screws

– Sandpaper

– Hanger bolts (double threaded screws)

– Small tree branches

– Stain, wax and sealer

– Tools needed are a chop saw or miter box, screw gun, hammer and jigsaw

Step 1:

Sketch your pumpkin shape on plywood and cut out the shape with a jigsaw.

Reclaimed Wood Pumpkin Tutorial

 Step 2:

Using your miter box or chop saw, cut down the salvaged wood in lengths that go about an inch beyond the length of your pumpkin on all sides.  Line them up on top of the pumpkin to form the pattern.  Our wood happened to be tongue and groove, but that is not necessary.

Planked Wood Pumpkin Tutorial

Place another piece of plywood on top to make a “plywood sandwich” (this does not get attached, it is just there to steady the planks to be flipped over).  Now flip everything over.  The placed piece of plywood should now be on the bottom and the plywood pumpkin should be on top.  Apply wood glue to the front of the plywood pumpkin and place it back down on the back side of the reclaimed wood.  Now attach small brad nails through the plywood and into the planks spacing throughout.  We also decided to add some small screws to the edge pieces so they held tightly.  Just take note of the thickness of your wood so it doesn’t come through the front.

Place something heavy on top of the pumpkin and leave over night or several hours to dry.

Step 3:

The plywood pumpkin is now your pattern and guide for cutting the reclaimed wood.  Follow the profile with the jigsaw and cut the pumpkin shape into the planks.

How To Make Reclaimed Wood Pumpkins


Step 4:

Sand down all of the rough edges.  I used a palm sander and it went very quickly.  I also softened down the front edges of the perimeter of the pumpkin.

Step 5:

Drill a hole in the top of the pumpkin where you would like the stem to be attached.  Make sure the hole is large enough to accommodate your hanger bolt.  Drill another hole into a piece of branch for the stem (this can be cut down with your miter box or chop saw).  Attach the hanger bolt into the pumpkin first – turning it with a pair of pliers.  Attach the stem/branch turning by hand.  Depending on the curve of the top of your pumpkin, you may need to sand the bottom of the stem slightly to fit snuggly.

Salvaged Wood Pumpkin Tutorial

Using scraps from your cuts, or whatever you have available, attach one board at the bottom using wood screws.  Drill a small pilot hole for each screw to avoid risk of splitting the wood.

Step 6:

This step is purely optional and up to personal taste.  I added a light coat of dark stain to everything and wiped it off really quick.  It unified everything a little bit.  I also added a coat of clear was because I love the way it finishes everything off.  Because this is going to be outside and needs protection I added a spray clear coat.  This also keeps the wax from melting in the heat.

And now our front porch is all set for fall.


Reclaimed Wood Pumpkin

If you would like to see the rest of our home decorated for fall, you can visit here. 

Actually, it is the start of a home tour of 16 bloggers home and ends with tips from Better Homes and Gardens.


The wreath on our front door can be found here.


Thanks so much for reading and wishing you a great day.

Sharing at…

The Lettered Cottage
Follow along for other fall ideas on Pinterest…




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  1. Susan M. says

    Those dang squash bugs are the bane of my existence and I soooooooo feel your pain! Daggumed little wretches took every single vine I had from hero to zero in literally a couple of days. I’ve a bunch of old pallets – you’ll find me out in the yard today making a couple of these – thanks for the inspiration!

  2. says

    Love these, Laura! We have a massive pile of scrap that really needs to be used. What a great no-cost project, and I love the warm and rustic touch they add. Thanks for a great project!!
    xo, Andrea

  3. Anne Boykin says

    Hi Laura, What a sweet idea! Your porch looks great and I love how welcoming it is. You’ve got great style – that gray trunk is perfect!

  4. says

    Laura, I always love what you do, and these pumpkins are no exception – they’re fabulous! I just love that you made them out of the wood from you grandfather’s house. Happy Fall!

  5. says

    I love these! I’m such a sucker for reclaimed wood art. I’m thinking of trying to talk my husband into making these, maybe even finish them off with a orange wash. P.S. I love you wreath too!

  6. says

    Love your wood pumpkins!! And what a wonderful way to use and preserve the wood form your grandfather’s house! Visiting today from the It’s Fall Y’all at the outdoor and door décor link party… and I’ll be sure to follow in some way.

  7. says

    These are so great!! I just made pumpkins out of 4x4s. My husband totally didn’t get it :) But I am really into pumpkins made out of wood and other unusual things. Love these!

  8. says

    Hi Laura,

    These are so adorable and I love that you used wood that had meaning to you. I featured these today on my blog on my October 4, 2013 post called Pumpkin Fluff. I don’t want to leave a link and be spammy, though.

    Love them. I’m a new follower and looking forward to more beautiful projects to follow.

  9. Peggy says

    I have been on vacation and I am reading your blog posts backwards. I completed your survey. I thought it was funny that I mentioned I liked posts about using salvaged items from your families home. I had to laugh to myself when I started reading this post! Cute project and the outdoor decorations with the trunk look great.

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  1. […] Making non-traditional pumpkins is a cool idea for fall and fall holidays. To make simple reclaimed pumpkins you’ll need 1/4 plywood, salvaged wood, wood glue, small brad nails and screws, sandpaper, hanger bolts, small tree branches, stain, wax and sealer. Sketch your pumpkin shape on plywood and cut out the shape with a jigsaw. Using your miter box or chop saw, cut down the salvaged wood in lengths that go about an inch beyond the length of your pumpkin on all sides.  Line them up on top of the pumpkin to form the pattern.  Our wood happened to be tongue and groove, but that is not necessary. Place another piece of plywood on top to make a “plywood sandwich”. To finish the project, look here. […]