The best primitive fall decorating ideas usually include some fun DIY projects, and I’ve got the perfect DIY project for you! These plaster-cloth pumpkins are made from recycled plastic ones that I picked up at a garage sale, along with a cute pumpkin made from grapevines.
The finished pumpkins will look great on a coffee table in your living room, or in your front porch décor. And this DIY is easy enough for the whole family to help with! (though it is not suggested for infants or very young children).
Yesterday I stopped at a fabulous fall garage sale and spotted an adorable grapevine pumpkin that fits perfectly with my living room décor. And when the seller added the two plastic pumpkins in metallic fall colors, who was I to say no? And the best part???
What better way to celebrate the autumn season than a bargain purchase that’s carbon neutral and makes a great fall craft project that doubles as fall décor?
Each pumpkin is roughly 6″ tall, including the stems, and they all vary in width. If I used acrylic paint to turn them all into white pumpkins, they would be perfect for a myriad of primitive fall decorating ideas I had.
But my inner rebel artist muse decided it wanted more texture and a pop of fall color to go with my vintage treasures and primitive décor, so I pulled out a roll of one of my favorite art supplies: plaster cloth.
If you haven’t used plaster cloth before, you’re in for a treat. Plaster cloth is an amazing, fun, and messy delight to work with! It dries quickly and can be used is so many ways.
Plaster cloth is essentially the same product used for making casts when you break a bone. It is a gauze material dipped in Plaster of Paris, dried, and cut into strips. It is also known as plaster wrap, plaster sheets, plaster bandages, or plaster of Paris strips.
In the art world, plaster cloth is used for making 3D sculptures, making journal covers, and adding texture to a multitude of surfaces including canvas and cradled wood canvases. It adheres nicely to just about any surface, and dries fairly quickly into a strong, hard finish.
Plaster cloth is usually sold in rolls of varying widths and lengths, and can be purchased through medical suppliers and at art supply stores.
I purchased my small case of twelve rolls on Amazon.com for less than $1.75 per roll. This project uses only one roll for two 6″ tall plastic pumpkins, so you can buy a single roll here (but it will cost you more than if you buy in bulk).
Plaster cloth is very messy to work with! And it will dry quickly into a hard chunk, so do not dispose or use it by a sink because you might end up with a very expensive plumbing bill. Use a separate tub or pan of water to dip the cloth into, and work on a table or surface covered with paper or plastic that can be thrown away. I used a damp and old dish towel (see photo above), and washed the towel afterwards outside with a hose.
Also note that the instructions and supply list below are for the pumpkins shown in the photo at the beginning of this blog post. You can use whatever size or type of fake pumpkin you want to use for the plaster cloth (just don’t use real pumpkins because they will turn into a rotten mess!)
I created a quick fall foliage flower arrangement with some dried eucalyptus stems and some various items in fall hues, then set the pumpkins next to it. The grouping is on my bedroom dresser, and looks quite festive.
For the finishing touch, I’m going to accessorize the room with a couple of plaid blankets and some cute throw pillows.
This one-dollar purchase and easy DIY project gave me a ton of primitive fall decorating ideas, and I can’t wait to share them with you. In fact, if you look closely, you can see one of those fall projects in the photo above!
For another easy DIY project that’s family friendly and fun for any season, check out my word stones made from beach rocks.
Design by Gillian Sarah
Customized by Coffee & Flow Creative
@2022 by JJ JACOBS, Powered by Showit
I love the texture and rustic, natural vibe that you achieved with this project (such a clever use of materials!). The pumpkins turned out great for fall decor.
Thank you, Carol – I appreciate your comment!! By the way, I am a huge fan of your blog and am thrilled to meet a fellow boomer blogger 🙂
How pretty, nice job on them!!
Many thanks, Dee! I’m pretty happy with how they turned out and can’t wait to make some more things with the plaster cloth.
I never heard of plaster cloth. Thanks for introducing me to it. You do such lovely work.
Visiting today from #AnythingGoesLinky#16,17&18
Plaster cloth is so much fun to work with, Paula — it’s messy but worth it 🙂 Thanks for visiting and your sweet comments!!
These turned out amazing! So unique. Thanks for sharing on the Sundays on Silverado link party.
Thank you, Niky! And thank you for letting me share on your wonderful Silverado link party 🙂
Your pumpkins are really creative. I had never heard o plaster cloth but it is very interesting for that worn look.
Very creative crafting. Thank you for sharing at #omhgww. See you next week.
Thank you, Clearissa! Plaster cloth is very versatile and can be used for just about anything you’d use paper mache for. I’m looking forward to sharing more projects with this product!
These plaster cloth pumpkins turned out so fantastic! I love this! Great Job
Thank you, Meagan!! It really was a fun project 🙂
Thank you so much! It really was a fun project make and I’m looking forward to sharing more DIY’s with plaster cloth soon.
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Great project, and I really LOVE the quality of Golden Paints and use them for my doll faces. The plaster cloth is an excellent idea, I do have some extra spooky fabric, I may modge-podge on some oldpumpkins!
Great ideas, Sandi!
Ooh – your project with the spooky pumpkins sounds like fun! Thanks for your kind comments too — aren’t Golden paints the best??!!
I’ve never heard of plaster cloth, but when you described how it’s used to build casts, that was enlightening! I’m not a huge on crafts, but I can see where there are quite a few ways to have fun with this! Thank you for the very clear tutorial! I am visiting from Vintage Home Designs Fabulous Friday. Oh – another Boomer here too!
I think I’m just getting started with what all plaster cloth can be used for, Kristine!! I bought a case with 12 rolls so you can be sure I’m going to be exploring my options with this wonderful medium. Thanks for visiting and it’s great to meet a fellow boomer blogger 🙂
I have never used plaster cloth before, but it looks fun to work with! Your pumpkins turned out great! Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Donna
Thank you, Donna! I have used plaster cloth for years in my painting but only recently began exploring other artsy options. Using it on the pumpkins has given me so many more ideas – I can’t wait to do more plaster projects soon!