Fall is a magical time—the leaves change color, the smell of pumpkin spice wafts through the air, and Halloween decorations pop up around every corner. I love seeing pumpkins, decorated or not, everywhere I go. They make any space immediately festive for Autumn. So this year, I decided to decorate a pumpkin that could be displayed all season long. Think less Halloweeny and more…Star Warsy.

My daughter’s favorite Star Wars character is Princess Leia, so with her in mind, I made this DIY Princess Leia Organa pumpkin. No carving is necessary, only acrylic paint and some yarn. Because tediously carving a pumpkin? I’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • White craft pumpkin
  • Brown craft felt
  • Brown yarn
  • Aleene’s Clear Tacky Glue
  • Hot glue
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Beige acrylic paint
  • Light pink acrylic paint
  • Black marker

STEP 1: Tape off half of the pumpkin for Leia’s face.

STEP 2: Fill in the entire taped off area with the beige acrylic paint. Let it dry completely, then paint a second coat.

STEP 3: Once the facial area is dry, paint the backside of the pumpkin brown. Towards the bottom of the pumpkin, curve the sides and leave a few inches unpainted. This will make it look more like Leia’s hairstyle. After the brown paint is dry, paint the bottom portion using the beige paint. Be sure to paint 2 coats to get a nice even coverage.

STEP 4: For Leia’s bangs, I found it helpful to first tape where I wanted her eyes and mouth to be. Then I used pencil to sketch how I wanted her hair to look. Finally, I painted the bangs using brown acrylic paint.

STEP 5: When all the paint is dry, it’s time to give the pumpkin a face! I drew a simple facial design using a black Sharpie marker. Give Leia rosy cheeks by painting light pink circles near the corners of her mouth.

STEP 6: To make Leia’s signature hair buns, cut out two circles from the brown craft felt. For reference, I used a 9″ pumpkin so my circles each had a diameter of 4 1/2”.

STEP 7: Put a dab of glue in the center of one felt circle. Place the end of a piece of yarn onto the glue, then wrap it around in a circle. Put dabs of glue underneath the yarn to secure it in place. Wrap the yarn around until it covers the entire felt circle. Secure the end of the yarn to the felt with a dollop of glue.

STEP 8: Give the bun more volume by loosely wrapping a new piece of yarn on top of the base layer. Make sure to glue it as you go along. Once that circle is complete, begin a new circle of yarn starting at the center again. Continue loosely wrapping (and gluing) circles on top of each other until you achieve the desired fullness. It took me 5 complete circles to get the volume I wanted. Repeat steps 6 &7 for the second felt circle.

STEP 9: Now it’s time to secure the buns! Use hot glue to attach the yarn hair buns to the sides of the pumpkin.

STEP 10: Cover Leia’s painted bangs with yarn by taking one strand and gluing it from the top of her head to one side of her head. Continue wrapping and gluing the yarn from the top to the side until you’ve filled in the front portion of her hair. Repeat this step on the other side of her bangs.

And you’re done! I love how this Leia pumpkin has a crafty look thanks to the yarn detail. She would look great next to a painted R2-D2 pumpkin or you could place her amongst some eucalyptus leaves and next to a mouse droid, as pictured here. No matter how you choose to display her, as Governor Tarkin said, I’m sure you’ll find this piece charming to the last. Happy crafting! ✂️

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