Stunning Shimmering Boho Pumpkin Luminaries

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Try some faux pumpkin carving and create some one of a kind fall decor! My Shimmering Boho Pumpkin Luminaries are so shiny and turned out just gorgeous. The great part is they are faux pumpkins so they will last from year to year! Read on for how I made these glowing beauties. For more fall ideas see my Fall+ Thanksgiving page.

Faux Pumpkin Luminary, White Pumpkin Lantern how to carve a faux pumpkin

I picked up a couple of pumpkins in Targets fall section to try my hand at some faux pumpkin carving. I’ve been really loving the stamped ceramic pumpkin lanterns that are so popular this season. I thought I would recreate a larger filigree design on a faux pumpkin and add some shimmering gold leaf inside.

Just add a candle to these guys they sparkle like a lantern. The pattern with gold leafing on the inside gives these pumpkins the look of a bohemian Moroccan style lantern to me. This look is perfect for a home modern bohemian design.

You could change the colors up to suit your home decor. I used a white chalk paint to give that ceramic clay look to the pumpkins. A pretty light green or bright pink would be fun too! Let’s get started!

Shimmering Boho Pumpkin Luminaries

Supplies:

white faux pumpkin

Instructions:

For the pattern, I chose to use a large diamond-shaped stencil. It can be quite tricky to get a stencil to lay flat on a round object.

measure a pumpkin to find the center

First, measure your pumpkin and figure out where the center of the pumpkin will be. I went by eye level and not particularly the exact center. The center can be different when you set the pumpkin on a flat surface. (I hope that makes sense).

add washi tape tp center of pumpkin

Mark dots with a pencil where the center is all around the pumpkin. Place washi tape or painters tape all the way around the center of the pumpkin.

how to stencil on a pumpkin, pumpkin stencil

Place the stencil on the pumpkin and tape it down lightly. Draw the shape with a pencil. Repeat all the way around the pumpkin. If you get the shapes uneven that is ok just redo the shape and keep going. you will be painting over the pencil marks.

Set up the Versa Tool:

Tape the base holder of the versa tool to your work table. Add the X-Acto knife attachment to the versa tool and heat it up on the highest heat setting. Follow all directions on the Walnut Hollow packaging to be safe and not get burned from using this wood burning hot tool. It is hot!

versa tool to cut a pumpkin, how to carve a faux pumpkin with heat, hot tool for foam

Insert the versa tool into the pumpkin following the stencil line you drew. The foam will melt like butter. Go slow and take your time. You may need to go over the area twice to make sure it cuts all the way through the pumpkin.

poke hole in faux pumpkin, Faux pumpkin carving

I made an X cut in the center of my diamonds and then pushed the pieces through with a pencil. Repeat cutting out the pattern all around the pumpkin.

clean out a faux pumpkin, how to carve a foam pumpkin

Cut a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin. make sure it is large enough to fit a candle. Sand the holes smooth with a coarse fingernail file. Pour out any remaining foam from the inside of the pumpkin and wipe out any remaining dust or foam particles.

LET’S TALK PAINT:

I was hoping this would be a simple project and I could just spray paint the inside of the pumpkin gold. From experience, I know spray paint and foam do not play nice together. The paint melts the foam because of the acetone it has in it. I did spray my pumpkins inside and they did not melt. But they were not the shiny gold I was looking for.

That is why my pumpkins are a dark gold color inside in the steps below. You can skip this spray paint step and go straight to the gold gilding or use gold spray paint and skip the gilding. It’s your choice how shiny you want your lanterns or if you want to paint them inside at all. 

gold gilding inside of a pumpkin, how to gold leaf a pumpkin

Using a paintbrush paint the gilding adhesive inside the pumpkin. Let the adhesive dry until tacky, around 15 minutes. With clean hands gently break the gilding sheets into quarters and place them inside the pumpkin.

gold gilding lantern

Use a stiff dry paintbrush to push the gilding down and smooth it out. The gilding does not need to be perfect. I left small sections undone. Your pumpkin will still have a bright shimmering effect. It is tough to apply it perfectly inside the pumpkin. Just take your time and work it around the inside.

On the outside, paint the inside of the diamond cut sections with the peach acrylic paint. Let it dry. Paint the outside of the pumpkin with white chalk paint. Next, paint the stem with brown paint to create a more realistic pumpkin stem. Add paint stem accents with black paint for more drama. Let it dry and use a spray enamel to seal. Add a faux candle inside the pumpkin and display!

HINT: I left my pumpkins plain with no enamel. If you use these outside I would seal them. DO NOT USE A REAL CANDLE WITH FAUX PUMPKINS. They will melt and possibly cause a fire. 

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boho fall Pumpkin Luminaries, White Fall Pumpkin Lanterns,

Modern Fall Pumpkin Luminaries, Faux Ceramic Pumpkin Lanterns #pumpkin

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Welcome to Made in a Day, I'm Kim, the home & lifestyle blogger, former wig stylist, and floral designer behind the blog. Living seaside in Southern California, my blog is where I share my love of DIY coastal decor, digital art prints, fun fashion DIYs, and great recipes. I also write about my experience as a former wig stylist who now wears a hair topper!

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4 Comments

  1. 11.11.18
    Erlene said:

    Gorgeous! I have a versa tool that I need to make more use of and this is a perfect project!

  2. 10.18.18
    Crissy said:

    So pretty, Kim! I love the gilding idea. I remember seeing these either on IG or Pinterest. Pinning them again!

    • 10.19.18
      Kim said:

      Thank you Crissy! I am thrilled with how they turned out. I think I need more in more colors, lol. Thank you for sharing!
      Kim

  3. 10.15.18
    Alexandra said:

    These are gorgeous! And a great modern fall project. Honestly, I think they could stay up all year! Loving them. Going to be on the look out for the sale on the carveable pumpkins after Halloween. Pinned, and scheduled.