Make the perfect fall decor with these beautiful 3D wood pumpkins and gourds.
Do you ever just get giddy about a project? Especially when it’s coming together and looks exactly like you want… or maybe even better? Well these 3D pumpkins had me smiling uncontrollably!
This project was made possible, and easy, with my X-carve CNC machine. I partnered with Inventables to share this fun fall project. And you have plenty of time to make an entire pumpkin patch of these wood pumpkins.
Decorating with Wood Pumpkins
These wooden pumpkins are nice and big. The short squashed pumpkin is approximately 13″ wide and 9″ tall. The round pumpkin is approximately 11″ wide and 10″ tall. And the gourd is approximately 8″ wide and 13″ tall.
They work perfectly for decor on a table, mantel, or porch. I put an LED wax candle inside to turn them into gorgeous pumpkin lanterns.
Also, you can paint your plywood pumpkins any color you want! I went with non-traditional fall blues and navy. Using the Varathane colored wood stains allows the wood grain, and the plywood edge, to still show through which I love.
If you do not want the visible wood grain, you could cut the pumpkins out of MDF and paint them. I keep thinking of doing a few more like this any spray painting them metallics… there are so many gorgeous possibilities.
Cost of Supplies
One of my favorite parts of this project, you can create 6-8 pumpkins from one sheet of plywood. I bought baltic birch plywood because it has less voids in it, meaning less holes. The cost of the plywood was around $20!
The other supplies needed are Gorilla super glue, sandpaper and stain or paint. I used such a tiny amount of stain for each pumpkin. You can use leftovers from other project.
An X-carve would be a great investment if you want to start your own business or Etsy shop selling wood decor items. You can carve so many cool signs and such. And these pumpkins would be a great product for fall since the cost of goods is so low.
How to Make Wooden Pumpkins
- If you do not have an x-carve, find a location near you where you can use one.
- Carving bits
- For the plywood I used a 1/8″ two flute downcut bit.
- Digital Calipers
- I used a circular saw to cut down the plywood.
- Chisel or knife
- 3D Pumpkins Easel File
- You will need a free Easel account to use this file, sign up for one here.
- 1/4″ plywood
- Sand paper
- Gorilla super glue
- Wood Stain
Carve the Wood Pieces
You can use the designs I created for the pumpkins and gourds by first, signing up for a free Easel account, then clicking on the link below to open the file.
When you open the link, it will not be editable unless you make a copy.
In the file, there are 3 different workpieces on the bottom: one for each shape of pumpkin or gourd. I learned that you need to have extra space between the pieces because the plywood can get loose and mess up the carving so don’t try to move them too close together to save wood. Luckily the wood is inexpensive.
Cut a 24″ x 18″ piece of plywood for each pumpkin. Clamp it down to the X-carve waste board and set the machine to cut.
The Easel program has great pre-set cut settings for you to use. I definitely recommend starting with the recommended feed & speed settings if you are a newbie to CNC.
Now sit back and let the machine cut out all the pieces for your pumpkins!
Once the pieces are all cut, use something sharp to cut the tabs. I use a chisel and hammer to quickly tap them free, but you can use a small handsaw or Dremel in you have one. Just be careful not to break the plywood since it can be delicate on the thinner pieces.
Sand the pieces to remove any leftover tab sections and clean up the edges. Then lightly sand the entire piece.
The next step is to glue them all together. I learned from hindsight, that I would recommend staining the pieces before assembly because some of the areas were hard to get into.
Glue Together the Pumpkins & Gourds
The top and bottom circles have notches carved into them to hold the pieces. This also allows you to keep the spacing perfect.
There are 3 different sizes of pieces to make up the pumpkins. This give them some texture. You will want to glue them together in the right order. Start with the 3 large sized pieces.
Use the super glue to place 1-2 dots of glue one of the largest grooves on one of the circles. Slide one of the large pieces into it it and hold for 10-20 seconds until it is sticks.
Be careful as this is only a temporary hold until the glue fully cures. Bumping it too hard will make it come apart. If that happens, just hold again to secure.
Repeat for the other 3 large pieces around the circle in the 3 large grooves.
Flip the pumpkin over and balance it on the top. Use the second circle with notices to secure the bottom of the 3 large pieces into the large grooves again. Use clamps if you want to help things stay in the right place while drying.
Once you get all the large pieces secure, let it sit a bit longer to really let the glue dry before moving on. These three pieces will need to hold well as you place the rest of the pieces.
Next flip the pumpkin back over and secure the top of the rest of the pieces around the circle. The medium sized piece go in the medium sized grooves and the small pieces go in the small grooves.
Let them dry a bit and then flip the pumpkin over and repeat to secure the bottom of all the pieces.
If you didn’t stain or paint the pieces before securing, let the glue cure overnight so you have a strong hold. Otherwise you can easily knock some of the pieces out as you try to get in and around all the parts to stain them.
Finish the Pumpkins
Stain or paint your pumpkins and gourds however you want. I used the 3 colors of stain and layered them on each other to get a worn or weathered look. The top coats were dry brushes )or done with a light rag) on top to add dimension to the colors.
After the paint is dry, cut a piece of a stick to fit into the top of the pumpkin. Make sure one side is flat and glue it down with some of the super glue.
Now your 3D wood pumpkins and gourds are ready to display! Slide a candle in to sit on the flat circle (but probably not a good idea to use a real candle, I recommend using flameless wax candles for a safe but real look).
I put our new wooden pumpkins on the table as a beautiful fall centerpiece. The colors and textures are perfect in our dining room.
I love that our home is really starting to look ready for fall!
Thank you to Inventables for sponsoring this post. I only recommend products that I use and love and all opinions are 100% my own. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.