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DIY Scrap Wood Pumpkin Tutorial

Are you looking for a fun and inexpensive DIY idea? You can make this easy DIY scrap wood pumpkin for fall using just a few scrap pieces of wood, and a broken tree branch. Step-by-step instructions are below.

I have a confession to make. I’m not much of a crafts DIYer. I’m more of a “paint the furniture” kind of gal.

So I was very excited when I found a fall project I could make that was EASY AND budget-friendly. I actually found a similar wooden pumpkin at a local store and really wanted to try to make one myself.

DIY scrap wood pumpkin

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What You Need for this DIY Project Scrap Wood Pumpkin


  • Chop saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Hacksaw or wire cutters
  • Table saw
  • Nail gun
  • Hammer
  • Sander
  • Drill

Steps to Making a DIY Wooden Pumpkin

 wood strips for a DIY scrap wood pumpkin

Step 1: Gather Scrap Wood

Gather old 1″ x 2″ scraps of wood (I used wood that was stained from dirt and water in the garden). Lay down the wood strips for the approximate size of your pumpkin.

cutting support boards

Step 2: Cut Support Boards

For support boards, cut two 1-1/2″x 3/4″ strips of wood to just past the width of the pumpkin.

DIY scrap wood pumpkin

Step 3: Glue Support Boards

Glue the support boards to the back of the wood pumpkin strips.

using nail gun

Step 4: Nail Support Boards

Using a nail gun, nail the support boards to the pumpkin strips. This will keep the boards in place while the glue dries.

DIY scrap wood pumpkin
tracing a pumpkin pattern on the wood

Step 5: Draw Pumpkin Shape

Draw the shape of your pumpkin on the front side of the strips.

DIY scrap wood pumpkin

Step 6: Cut Out Pumpkin Shape

Using a hand-held jig saw, cut out the pumpkin pattern you traced.

sanding the pumpkin

Step 7: Sand Edges

You can either leave the sides rough and rustic or sand the edges lightly to remove any burrs.

DIY scrap wood pumpkin
making a stand for the wood pumpkin

Step 8: Make a Wooden Stand

Make a stand by cutting the end of a 2″x 4″ board at a 45-degree angle, approximately 1-3/4″ from the end.

gluing the stand

Step 9: Glue Stand

Apply wood glue to the stand and attach it to the back of the pumpkin.

DIY scrap wood pumpkin

Step 10: Nail Stand

Using a nail gun, nail the stand to the pumpkin in order to hold it until the glue is dry.

DIY scrap wood pumpkin
fallen branch on ground in yard

Step 11: Find Stem

Find a tree branch from your yard to use as a stem for the top of the pumpkin. Cut to any size you choose.

drilling a hole through the stem

Step 12: Drill a Hole in the Stem

Drill a 1/8″ hole into the center of the stem.

inserting wood screw

Step 13: Insert Wood Screw

Insert a wood screw into the stem without cracking it.

DIY scrap wood pumpkin

Step 14: Cut Off the Head of the Screw

Cut off the head of the screw with either a hack saw or wire cutters.

drilling holes into the pumpkin for the stem

Step 15: Drill a Hole in the Pumpkin for the Stem

Drill a hole into the top of the pumpkin at the angle you want the stem to sit.

As you can see, I picked the one piece of wood that already had a hole on the top, and strategically placed it in the worst place possible on the pumpkin. That’s why my stem is a little off-centered.

Thank you in advance for not judging me.

gluing the stem to the DIY scrap wood pumpkin

Step 16: Attach Stem to Pumpkin

Put a little wood glue on the screw going into the pumpkin and insert it into the drilled hole. You can even dress up the stem with some raffia for an extra touch.

DIY scrap wood pumpkin

Other DIY Wooden Pumpkin Ideas

Here are some other ideas for alternative DIY scrap wood pumpkin projects:

  • Spray paint the wooden pumpkin orange or white once it’s finished.
  • Staining the wood in different colors if you don’t have scrap wood.
  • Add a wire stem or paint the wood stem green.

DIY Wood Pumpkin FAQs

What Kind of Wood is Best for DIY Wooden Pumpkins?

When it comes to making rustic DIY reclaimed wood pumpkins, the choice of wood is an important factor that can affect the final look and durability of your project. Here are some types of wood commonly used for DIY wooden pumpkins, along with their characteristics:

  • Pine is affordable and available. It’s relatively easy to work with and can be stained or painted to achieve the desired finish. However, pine can be soft, so it may dent or scratch more easily than harder wood.
  • Cedar is naturally resistant to decay and insects. It has pretty grain patterns, perfect for rustic or decorative projects.
  • Poplar is a lightweight hardwood that is easy to work with and takes paint and stain well. It’s a good choice if you want a smooth surface for a polished finish.
  • Oak is a durable hardwood that can withstand outdoor conditions. It has a prominant grain pattern which gives the pumpkin a more traditional or rustic appearance.
  • Maple is a dense hardwood that is known for its durability. It’s a good choice if you want a hardwood with a lighter color that can be stained or finished to your liking.
  • Birch is a fine-grained hardwood that is often used in craft projects. It’s easy to work with and can be stained or painted for a variety of finishes.

How Do You Make a Pumpkin Cutout?

After tracing your pumpkin design, Use a jigsaw or coping saw and carefully cut along the traced outline of the pumpkin.

Always remember to wear safety goggles and a mask to protect your eyes and respiratory system.

What if I Don’t Have a Jigsaw?

If you don’t have a jigsaw, there are several alternative tools you can use to cut out a pumpkin shape from wood or other materials. Here are a few options:

  • Hand Saw: A regular hand saw can be used to make straight and curved cuts. While it’s not as versatile as a jigsaw, it can work for basic shapes like a pumpkin. Make sure to choose a saw with fine teeth for smoother cuts.
  • Coping Saw: A coping saw is a handheld tool with a thin blade that’s designed for making intricate curved cuts. It’s a good choice for detailed work and can handle the curves of a pumpkin shape.
  • Scroll Saw: If you have access to a scroll saw, it’s an excellent tool for cutting out intricate shapes like a pumpkin. It allows for precise and controlled cuts, making it ideal for decorative projects.
  • Reciprocating Saw: this can be used for cutting larger, straighter sections of your pumpkin shape and is designed for rough cuts. It may require more sanding and refining.

This really was an easy DIY scrap wood pumpkin to make for fall. It took just a few hours to make and at very little cost. It’s hard to believe that I got the majority of the materials from a wood scrap pile!

Be sure to read my blog post about fall vignettes to find some great ways to display your new pumpkin with your other fall decor.

If you have any questions or additional suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with anyone who may want to make their own DIY scrap wood pumpkin project this fall.

Until next time,

Happy Fall Crafting!

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    1. Thank you, Rachel! I don’t do many DIYs so this was a lot of fun. Now I want to make a fall garland like you shared this month on your blog.

  1. What a fun project! I’m not much of a DIYer either … but I do love this and I’ll bet my husband can handle it. Under my direction, of course! xo

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