Halloween Crafts: Paper Bag Pumpkins

We had a bunch of paper bags leftover from A and B's 3rd birthday party in July.  We printed on some of them and used them as goody bags.  So I have been trying to think up some Halloween Crafts to use up our extra paper bags.  I have been on a pumpkin kick as of late, so I thought why not paper bag pumpkins? I did this activity with 3 year olds and an 18 month old and they were all bale to put their own unique spin on things. 

Halloween Crafts - Paper Bag Pumpkins: Simple for kids of all ages to make and decorate.

You will need:
  • Lunch bag sized brown paper bags (though now that I think about it, larger bags would make bigger pumpkins)
  • Orange paint and paint brush
  • Something to make the face with.  We used sticky foam shapes.  You could use paint, makers or any number of supplies for your faces.
  • Tissue paper or bunched up magazines
  • Green ribbon
Start out by having  your kids paint the entire bag (except the bottom) orange.  Sounds easy right? Wrong.  I didn't really have a great plan for painting the paper bag.  I mean the beginning seemed to go smoothly.  See for yourself.  Look at "A" painting her bag.

painting a paper bag

Here's B with her bag.

Halloween painting

I love how intent B is on her work.

painting a paper bag pumpkin

And C didn't get a smock this time but that isn't stopping her.

kids making Halloween crafts

So everything was going just peachy and then the girls finished painting the first side of the paper bag.  No problem!  I will just open up the bag and they can paint the other side.  This worked well until A and B no longer wanted to hold the bags since their fingers were getting dirty.  So guess who had to hold the bags for 2 girls while they SLOWLY painted?  Me.  I was lucky that C lost interest in the activity after painting just one side or I would have had to hold her bag too.

child painting bag

I finally got tired of holding the bag for the slowest, most meticulous artists ever.  I was unable to take any pictures of my great holding technique since my hands were covered in paint. Trust me, it was spectacular.  I gave up on that idea and decided we would just lay the bag, paint side down, on the tray.  The part that was down on the tray didn't look bad at all when we done so I should have just done this to start with.  

messy painting

Great, the bags are done being painted and now they just need to dry.  Ummm... how do I dry these things?  If I were still teaching, I would have hung them on the nifty clothesline that ran the length of my classroom.  Hubby vetoed having a clothesline in the kitchen, and we don't have one outside, so I just put the bags on a plate to dry.

Really?  This craft was not my friend.  I got some tissue paper and old magazines, bunched them up and put them in the bags to hold them open when they dried.  Take that bags!  You won't defeat me! Vicky 1, Bags 0.

The tissue paper in the bag really did the trick and was a good solution since the bag needed to be stuffed anyway to make the pumpkins.  When the bags were dried and stuffed I cut some green grosgrain ribbon and wrapped it around the top of the bag to make a stem.  

decorating paper bag pumpkin

I also cut some yellow and green foam stickers to make face shapes.

Next the girls decorated their pumpkins. A is not quite finished.  

halloween pumpkin

Little C.  Don't you just love her half painted pumpkin?

child making pumpkin

B of course does her own thing.  And her own thing was putting stickers all over the pumpkin.  I asked her if she wanted to make a face and she said, "NO!"  She says that a lot.

So here is our pumpkin family.  I made one too.  Bet you can't guess which one? This is one Halloween craft that the whole family can enjoy!

Halloween crafts for kids

For more Halloween crafts check out:

               Glitter Pumpkin                                                       Painting Pumpkins

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  1. Cute! I love that it is so simple -it would be great for my kiddos who are still too young for lots of crafts.

  2. These are adorable! I'd love for you to share and link up::

  3. Hello Vicky,
    Ah, these pumpkin’s are super cute and look like fun to make even with the mess. I love getting my hands covered in paint.
    Smiles, Paula

  4. oh my daughter would love this. I am not good in the crafty department! why can't you have a clothesline in the kitchen? seems like a good idea to me. :)

  5. very nice! i did a paper bag craft of my own last night, cutting up a brown paper bag and making a book cover for my sons math textbook.

    i was quite proud of myself :)

  6. hahaha <3 LOVE it! Your girls are so cute! Thank you for your sweet comments on my baby blog! I am following you back lady! :)


  7. @ Megan, yes even the 20 month old enjoyed it.
    @ Tutus and Tea Parties, Thanks, I have linked up!
    @ Paula, you should have been over here the day we did this. There was orange paint everywhere!
    @ Katy, something about people walking by and getting choked. ;-)
    @ Slyde, loving the old school bookcovers!
    @ Evelin, So happy you could stop by. Thanks for the nice words.

  8. I love them! When I was little I made big versions out of grocery store bags with my mom and we put them on the porch. :)

    I'd love for you to link up to my pumpkin party:

    "Pumpkinspiration Party!

  9. What a fantastic idea! My kids will l-o-v-e this for sure! We might even give it a go for breakfast tomorrow morning, since my oldest has the day off from school and we try to make those days extra special. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, I'm following you back!

  10. Hey! Thanks for stopping by my Chic Pumpkin post! I love your blog and am your new follower! I'm going to be pinning some stuff too. Thanks! :)

  11. I'm glad we have some days left before Halloween so that we have time to do this crafty project : ) Thanks!

  12. What a fun project! They look so cute lined up on the counter. So glad you linked up to the AfterSchool party!

  13. I am visiting from Afterschool, and your post made me laugh more than once. At least the results were worth it. And, no, I can't possibly guess which pumpkin is yours :)

  14. ok I am hooked now! I love all your cute ideas. So fun! Your are now one of my favs for fun activities with kids.

    I am a new follower:>

  15. I'm featuring this craft at the AfterSchool Party tomorrow. I hope it's alright that I use your last photo with a link back to you. They really turned out cute!