Need some DIY fall decorating ideas for your ugly faux pumpkins? Transform them into pretty fall decor with this tutorial for copper leaf fake pumpkins.
I can’t believe it’s almost the end of August and summer is almost over (where did the time go??!!)
When I was growing up in Canada, I used to hate this time of year. Not only did it mean the end of summer holidays, but it also meant it was going to be cold soon!!
It seemed to me like we always had our first night of frost on the first day of school. Which I’m sure isn’t really true since I grew up in Toronto where the average first frost date is in October. But that’s how I remember it.
And since I have never been a fan of cold weather, I grew up with that negative association with fall.
That is why in the past I have never done much fall decorating. Between my aversion for fall weather and my general dislike of the color orange (just a personal thing…not knocking anyone who does like it!), I have always gone straight from summer to Halloween and Christmas decorating and skipped right past fall…until now!
This year, not only am I )decorating for fall, I have agreed to participate in a blogger’s fall home tour, where you’ll also get to see a whole bunch of fall decorating ideas from some other talented bloggers.
In the meantime, I am frantically trying to figure out what I’m going to do (I don’t own any non-Halloween fall decorations!)…and why I agreed to do this in the first place 🙂 You can see how that turned out (and my fall room decor ideas) HERE.
I decided the easiest place to start was pumpkins. The main problem? Most pumpkins are orange! (you know, the color I don’t like) And the real ones haven’t started appearing in stores around here yet.
So faux pumpkins it is! Which is fine with me. (They were on sale and I can re-use them next year). But even though these ones weren’t orange, I still needed to do something with the color. Dark green and yellow isn’t really my color palette either (again, no offense to anyone who does like that color combination…it’s not bad, just not for me).
Although I’m not a big fan of orange, I do like the warmth that it creates, so I wanted to do something that would re-create the feeling without using the actual color. And that’s how I came up with copper.
Everyone knows I love metallics. And with all of the cool copper accessories that are available these days, I have also been dying to do something in copper. Something that wasn’t too expensive since I’m not sure I would want it around for the long haul. This is the perfect project! Adding copper leaf to some faux pumpkins.
Now if you’ve been around here for a while, you know that this won’t be my first project using metal leaf. I did the whole front of my bar in gold leaf last summer and created some glam silver leaf skulls last Halloween. So I already had all the supplies and was good to go.
What You Need
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How To Make Copper Leaf Faux Pumpkins
1. First pour a little of the adhesive into a small container.
2. Use the foam brush to apply the adhesive* to the pumpkins in a thin layer. I didn’t put any on the stem since I wanted to leave it brown. And it also makes a great handle to hold up the pumpkin while you are working with it.
3. Put the pumpkin down on a scrap piece of cardboard. Thinner paper like newspaper doesn’t work very well because it sticks to the pumpkin.
4. Wait about 10 minutes for the adhesive to become sticky.
5. Take one of the copper leaf sheets* from the stack using the tissue paper to hold it. I like to wear gloves for this so that I don’t get finger prints on the foil. And it keeps the leaf from sticking to my fingers.
5. Hold the tissue paper and copper leaf flat in your hand (copper leaf on top).
6. Then place the pumpkin onto the copper leaf.
7. Close your hand around the pumpkin so that the copper leaf sticks to it. Try not to have your fingers touch the pumpkin directly. Otherwise you will get glue on the gloves and the leaf will start sticking to you!
8. Use the tissue paper to pat the leaf onto the pumpkin.
9. If there are some areas of the pumpkin that were not covered by the original sheet of copper, press another one on using the tissue paper to cover up the remaining areas.
My pumpkins were small so 2 sheets generally covered them. But if yours are bigger you can keep going until you have covered the whole thing.
10. Then rub it lightly with a Kleenex or tissue paper to smooth out any of copper leaf loose edges. Don’t worry if some of the leaf comes off in the process. You can fix it later.
11. If you have some bald spots on your pumpkin where the copper leaf did not stick, apply another thin layer of adhesive, wait 10 minutes and repeat the leafing process for those areas.
12. (Optional) If you want to make sure the leaf does not come off, apply a thin coat of sealer* and let it dry.
Add Some Other Colors
Of course, you can use whatever colors you are decorating with.
Just tape the stems first and spray away!
One note on spray painting:
My pumpkins were plastic, so I could spray paint them without priming them first. If you have foam pumpkins, you will need to prime them first. Otherwise, the spray paint will eat into the foam.
The Finished Project
Then you are ready to use your copper leaf faux pumpkins in your fall decor!
You can write on the chalkboard painted ones with chalk if you want to. Which would also work well as place cards on your table.
Or use them for a fall table centerpiece like I did for my copper and gold fall tablescape.
In any case, I at least have a start on my first fall decorations. Now I just have to get the rest of the house done.
Hopefully, you have a spot for some copper leaf faux pumpkins also!
Do you have comments or questions on how to make copper leaf fake pumpkins? Tell us in the section below.
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This post was originally published on August 29, 2017 but was updated with new content on February 12, 2024.