Pumpkin Decorations Made from Recycled Books

Have a bunch of old books laying around? Give them a new life by creating unique pumpkins, perfect for autumn and Halloween decorations!

This is a great way to give new life to books that are falling apart, torn, missing covers or pages, or would have otherwise been thrown away. The books I used  were given to me by others who did not want them anymore and were planning on throwing them away – it was a little tough to cut up a book, but I feel pretty good about making something beautiful and useful out of them, and saving them from a landfill! 🙂

There a a few different techniques that you can use to color the pumpkins, depending on how color-saturated you want them (and how much time you want to spend creating them ).


Old paperback books


Orange ink pad

Orange acrylic paint

Large mixing bowl

Exacto knife

Hot glue & glue gun

Sheet of paper


Green felt

Brown Cloth Stem Wire (can be found in the floral section of any craft store)


On a blank sheet of paper, draw and cut out a pumpkin shape (keeping in mind the size of the book you will be using and that the book will need to be able to stand up, so don’t make the bottom completely rounded).  Pull the front & back cover off the book. Open the book  to about halfway through, and then trace the shape onto the book pages. Use an Exacto knife to cut out the pumpkin (you may have work your way through the book doing this, cutting several pages at a time).



Once your pumpkin shape is cut out, it’s time to give it some color! Decide which method you want to use (if you’re making more than one, you may want to try a different method of adding color for each one):

Rub the edges with an orange stamp pad. This is by far the quickest, easiest and least messy method, but it just gives the edges color, so a lot of white will still show through.

Dip the edges in orange paint. Water down orange acrylic paint to dilute it and put it in a large mixing bowl or other container. Test the orange color by dipping a sheet of paper in – add more water or orange paint to make it the color you like. Then, just close the book and dip the cut edges in. You can dip as little or as much as you’d like – the deeper and/or longer the book gets dipped in the paint, the further the color will soak up into the pages. If you want the book pages to be entirely orange-tinted, dip the whole book in the paint (this produces a really cute look, but it took almost 2 days to dry completely!).


Once the book pumpkins are are completely dry, it’s time to make the stems and leaves that will attach to the top. Cut out a few leaf shapes from green felt and hot glue a small length of the stem wire to the back of each.  Use some more of the wire to create little curly spirals that will also stick out of the top of the pumpkin by wrapping it around a pen or pencil, then just sliding it off.

Open the book so that the first and last pages and the core of the spine  are facing up.  Use the hot glue gun to glue a stick (the stem), along with the base of the wire “curlies” and the leaf  into the top of the spine of the book. Zig-zag hot glue all the way down the spine, then just open the book completely so the pages are all spread out.



Once the hot glue dries, the pumpkins are done!





I’m linking this tutorial up to: Tip Me Tuesday,  Patches of Pink,  Happy Hour,  Sundae Shake Up & Everything Under the Moon.


  1. […] (it can be found in the floral section – or maybe you have some left over after making your book pumpkin )  and a package of  natural looking decorative filler (the kind used for filling vases & […]

  2. Turn Old Books Into Pumpkins | Purehome says:

    […] little paper pumpkins from Crafting Mom are really cute, and have sort of a shabby chic vibe to them (even if they are […]

  3. Powerblog » Blog Archive » How To: Transform Old Books Into Holiday Pumpkins says:

    […] some orange paint, a sheet of paper and couple more simple supplies. You can click over to Pumpkin Decorations Made From Recycled Books to get the detailed tutorial if you want to try this yourself. I think the most fun part would be […]

  4. » How To: Transform Old Books Into Holiday Pumpkins Excuse Me……Willber Willberforce says:

    […] How cool is this and good for the planet. Want to make this? […]

  5. Eco-Friendly Halloween Decorations | Eco-Snipits says:

    […] lives as books during their new lives as pumpkins.  For full project details check out the blog Crafting Mom that has lots of great craft ideas to do with (and without) kids.  Basically, cut a pumpkin shape […]

  6. Pumpkin book | Firstloveconsu says:

    […] Fall Pumpkin Decorations Made from Recycled Books2. Pumpkins come in many shapes and sizes. A ripe pumpkin is orange. It has a stem on the top. I can make food from pumpkins. __. __. My Pumpkin. Book by … […]

  7. Using Old Books for Seasonal Props | Frugal Frights and Delights says:

    […] found the directions at Creations by Kara and one even more in-depth at Crafting Mom. The photo which compelled me to begin the search can be found on the post Awesome DIY Projects I […]

  8. Things to Do with Old Books « J.N. Cahill : says:

    […] Make Pumpkin Decorations […]

  9. Larissa Jean Designs says:

    […] Fall Pumpkin Decorations Made from Recycled Books : Crafting Mom […]

  10. Transforming Books Into Pumpkins « CTLS, Inc. says:

    […] instructions for the basic techniques: https://craftingmom.com/pumpkin-decorations-made-from-recycled-books/ […]

  11. DIY Thanksgiving Decor Made from Trash | Home decor and Interior design says:

    […] a pumpkin shape from your old books may look a bit tedious, but Hill’s step-by-step tutorial makes it look surprisingly easy. A few simple steps with crafting knife is all you’ll need to […]

  12. 45 Clever And Interesting DIY Halloween Ideas | says:

    […] Source […]

  13. Since Aggie’s been doing crafty things with thrift store books… | Autumn People says:

    […] Here’s another for you. […]

  14. 5 DIY Centerpieces that Ease Your Wedding Budget | Bride Buzz says:

    […] again, or scoop up a bunch of books for practically nothing at a yard sale. Follow the instructions here to make the book pumpkins. At the wedding, you can dress them up with vines or colored leaves for a […]

  15. Fabulous Fall Decorations - My Life and Kids says:

    […] 17. Recycled Book Pumpkin from Crafting Mom […]

  16. Fall Pumpkin Decorations Made from Recycled Books | Craft TeenCraft Teen says:

    […] old books to turn into AWESOME decor? You’re gonna want to check this out for SURE! … Fall Pumpkin Decorations Made from Recycled Books ( image credit : https://craftingmom.com/ ) PreviousNext medianet_width='600'; medianet_height= […]

  17. Complementos libreros para Halloween says:

    […] de poner una ramita por aquĂ­ y una hojita por allá y tendrás estas monadas. Puedes ver el tutorial en ingles aquĂ­, es bastante gráfico asĂ­ que espero que más de uno se […]

  18. Pumpkin Decor Made From Old Books | Deal Wise Mommy | Coupons | Giveaways | Deals | Freebies says:

    […] but you can always find some that are missing pages.. have water damage, etc.   Head on over to Crafting Mom to learn step by step on how to make these Pumpkin Book Decorations! google_ad_client = […]

  19. A Neat Way to Use Recycled Books as Fall Decoration | Lakes of Bellevue says:

    […] You can use recycled books this fall as a different kind of Halloween pumpkin. You can use recycled books for crafts like making a fall pumpkin this year. Here is how to make a decorative pumpkin from recycled books. […]

  20. Lovely Fall Crafts to Make This Year - Little Girl Designs says:

    […] a pumpkin out of an old book – This pumpkin by Crafting Mom caught my eye because it is so incredibly cute. A whole series of little book pumpkins would be […]

  21. We Love Pumpkin Everything - The OfficeZilla® Blog says:

    […] a few old books laying around? You can use them to create amazing recycled book pumpkins. With a craft knife you can carve the pages, and glue it into a round shape with a hot glue gun. […]

  22. Oude boeken worden pompoenen | Huisje Tuintje Boompje says:

    […] Bron : https://craftingmom.com/pumpkin-decorations-made-from-recycled-books/ […]

  23. Fotos para inspirar a decoração da sua festa de Halloween | A toca says:

    […] tambĂ©m pode usar livros para decorar sua festa. Saiba como fazer aqui. (O site está em […]

  24. 5 Upcycled Thanksgiving Decorations | CubeSmart Self-Storage says:

    […] Recycled Book Pumpkins Photo: Crafting Mom While it's always a good idea to donate books to schools or other organizations that can use them, […]

  25. Creative Thanksgiving DIY Ideas - Creatively Crafting says:

    […] Crafting Mom: Recycled Book Pumpkin […]

  26. Save Your Resources This Halloween - The Current says:

    […] Use recyclables to decorate: Large pieces of cardboard can be made into tombstones. Clear milk jugs can turn into ghostly lights. Old books can become new pumpkins. […]

  27. DIY Thanksgiving Centerpieces - Thanksgiving Decorations for Your Table says:

    […] Book Pumpkins – Bring some fall into your Thanksgiving decor with this cute, upcycled pumpkin centerpiece […]