Evoke the spirit of the season with gold-tone leaf designs and sparkling lit branches
- 4 large pumpkins to be stacked in pairs
- Serrated knife
- Large spoon or scoop
- Damp cloth
- 2 very thin plastic bags (like those from a convenience store)
- Gold-tone spray paint
- Leaf templates (download from allyou.com/gold-leaves)
- Printer and plain white paper
- Brush, about 1" wide
- Mod Podge matte
- Gold-tone paint marker
- Pre-lit branches, about 4 bunches (save-on-crafts.com)
- Hot-glue gun
1. Separate pumpkins into two pairs of large (bottom) and small (top). Set aside bottom pumpkins. Spread newspaper over work area. Working on top pumpkins, carve 4" openings in top and bottom. Remove pulp. Wipe outside of pumpkins with damp cloth.
2. Cut handles off plastic bags, then cut off bottom and sides to make four squares; place on newspaper in a well-ventilated area. Spray-paint one side of each square gold. Let dry.
3. Print and cut out templates. Place templates one at a time on top of painted plastic; hold in place and cut around them (leaves need not be perfect). Cut a total of two large leaves and 20 or more small leaves.
4. Working on a hollowed-out top pumpkin, brush Mod Podge on its best side. Place a large leaf (gold side facing out) on pumpkin at an angle, then arrange a small leaf on both sides of it. Smooth in place by gently rolling your finger from side to side (picking up your finger would lift leaf). Press leaves into ridges of pumpkin, flattening edges. Leaves will crease and fold over themselves, which is desirable. Repeat on other top pumpkin. As you work, go back and re-flatten leaves on previous pumpkin.
5. For uncut bottom pumpkins, cut off stems. Use gold-tone paint marker to draw a vine around middle of pumpkins. Let dry for five minutes. Working on a quarter of a pumpkin at a time, brush Mod Podge on and around vine. Place small leaves on both sides of vine; smooth in place. Work around entire pumpkin. Repeat for second bottom pumpkin.
6. When dry, use paint marker to draw stems, dots and curlicues. Let dry overnight.
7. Seal pumpkins with another coat of Mod Podge. Let dry.
8. Stack each pair of pumpkins. Arrange pre-lit branches in each top pumpkin and thread the wires and plug out the bottom. Secure top pumpkins to bottom pumpkins with a few dots of glue.