Our family loves Halloween. We love it so much, that Greg and I tend to overlook the traditional fall decor, so we can spend more time on spooky blood-and-guts decor! With fall approaching (and using the blog’s upcoming first anniversary as an excuse), I asked Greg if I should buy some fall decoration instead of DiYing it for once. He said “yeammmuuhhh,” and went back to his video game. I’d call that a green light! Before he could think about it, I went online to find something interesting. After some hours of online search, I finally found a beautiful pumpkin at Pottery Barn! It had all the qualities I wanted: it was interesting, it was big and it was galvanized metal, so I could use it both outdoors and indoors if I wanted to. But there was one tiny weeny problem with it: the price tag! It was $99… yes $99! For this galvanized outdoor pumpkin!
You know me well enough to guess what happened next: after a bit of contemplating whether I should buy 2 or 3 of these pumpkins, I added 2 of them to my cart. Then, thinking what a great find it was, I took a sip from my wine and decided to get the third one. You know…just for fun! After all, we had a big money tree in our back yard, and all I needed was to pick some dead presidents from the tree to pay for this shopping…LOL. I WISH! What a wonderful dream though, right?
Ok, here is what happened in the real world: after trying to get over the price tag shock, I urged Greg to take me to Home Depot. As I already had some galvanized metal strap on hand, I only needed some 1/4 inch nuts and a 1/4 inch threaded metal rod to come up with something similar, and that is how my Pottery Barn inspired Outdoor Metal Pumkpins project started.
Before jumping into the tutorial, I’ll list the supplies for you:
- Galvanized metal strap
- 1/4 inch galvanized hex nuts – I used 3 for each pumpkin.
- 1/4 inch threaded rod – I bought a 24 inch long threaded rod, because I wanted to make 2 pumpkins. But you can also find 12 inch long threaded rods, if you are planning to make only one.
- 1/4 inch T-nuts – I used 1 for each pumpkin.
- Aluminum lawn edging – I used this to make the pumpkin leaves. As I bought mine at a tag sale, I am not sure where you can find this. My best guess would be your local hardware store. But if you can’t find it, then even burlap would be a good substitute, since you will be making leaves out of it.
- Vine-wrapped craft wire.
- Power drill and a step drill bit.
- A pair of scissors – something strong enough to cut metal.
- A pair of pliers.
Now that the supply list is out of the way, let’s get on with the tutorial, shall we?
First, I prepared the metal straps. I cut 6 metal straps, each 42 inches long for the big pumpkin ,and 4 metal straps, each 22 inches long for the small pumpkin.
As the straps want to curl, you would need someone’s help with this step. After cutting 10 of them, I asked Greg to help me mark the mid point of the metal straps. He huffed and he puffed, but he gave a break to his video games and helped me mark the mid points of all 10 metal straps 🙂 Look at him though – isn’t he the cutest when kneeling before his queen?? LOL. Back to the tutorial…
Once the mid-points were marked, I started drilling holes in both ends and in the mid-points of the straps. I drilled the holes slightly bigger than 1/4 inch, so they wouldn’t have problem fitting the 1/4 inch rod.
Next, I marked the threaded rod at the 12 inches (and at the 6 inches for the small pumpkin), and cut it with a hacksaw. [Excuse me – who cut it with a hacksaw? -Greg]
As all of the pieces for the pumpkin’s body were ready, I started putting it together. First, I screwed the bottom end-nut. I chose a T-nut for the bottom end, so the pumpkin would stay nice and balanced when I put it on the floor.
Next, I threaded the straps on the rod…
…and screwed on a hex nut to secure the straps in their places.
Once I was finished with the bottom part, I started working on the top. I screwed on another hex nut about 2-3 inches below the top of the rod.
Then I started threading the straps to the top and then screwing another hex nut to secure them in their places.
Once the straps were all in, I started working on the shape of the pumpkin. I slightly bent the top and the bottom parts of the straps to make the whole thing resemble a pumpkin.
After I was done with the shape, I cut the excess top part of the rod with a hacksaw [*ahem!* -Greg] as I had a great plan for the pumpkin’s stem. But before working on the stem, I wanted to lessen the shine of the galvanized straps. To do so, I lightly spray painted the metal pumpkin from a good distance…at least 18-20 inches away.
I also very lightly spray painted (sparsely), so only very little paint would find the metal straps. After all, I wasn’t trying to paint it entirely, but I was just trying to take the shine off by giving some black splotches here and there. Do you see the picture below? That is the effect I was going for.
Once I finished spray painting, I focused on the stem and the pumpkin leaves. I found a pumpkin leaf clipart online and printed it out to use as a pattern. Then, I started cutting the leaf shapes from the aluminum lawn edging I had.
As I didn’t want the sharp metal to hurt anyone, I filed the edges a bit. Once I was done filing, I drilled 1/4 inch holes to the stems of the leaves.
Click on ‘Page 2 of 2’ below to continue.