/ / How-to Découpage Fall Leaves on a Pumpkin

How-to Découpage Fall Leaves on a Pumpkin

Looking for a fun no carve and kid friendly way to decorate pumpkins? Using Mod Podge to découpage paper cutouts or fall leaves is a great option!

Have you ever heard of découpage? It’s an OLD art form dating back thousand of years! It is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto an object in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf and other decorative elements (source Wikipedia).

Why not glue leaves onto a pumpkin?

Last year I bought all of these preserved fall colored leaves and they’ve been sitting in wait (in my hoarder’s closet) for a project. Then this year I scored BIG on faux white pumpkins at Hobby Lobby 40% off and wanted to marry the two.

Plaid Fall Leaf Pumpkins

I searched online and found this great tutorial on the Plaid website!  Never had I used Mod Podge on anything and thought alright I must give this a try! It looks easy enough 😉

I realize I am very late to the party on this product, but hey better late than never!

My pumpkins don’t look as perfect as the ones above, but I get a smile on my face knowing that they were homemade!

Pin It for Later!

Mod Podge Fall Leaves on a Pumpkin

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How-To Apply Fall Leaves to a Pumpkin

Now you could do this with a real pumpkin, but I would suggest finding a plastic pumpkin for this project. Then you can reuse it year after year! If kids are involved, buy some colored construction paper and create leaf cutouts with them!

The preserved leaves I used were a bit more challenging because they had actual stems. I had to really work to get them to stick! However, the look was amazing with the variety of color.


Mod Podge is glue, so you definitely want to put down some plastic to protect the surrounding surfaces. I used my regular kitchen trash bag and folded it in half. 

In preparation, I also cut the leaves into individual pieces so they were ready for application. It was important to avoid leaves with thick branches because they won’t stick!

Supplies for applying leaves to a white pumpkin

Step 1

Map out where you want to place your first leaf. You can lay them out however you wish! I decided I wanted a design that fanned out from the stem of the pumpkin.

place first leaf on white pumpkin to know where to put mod podge

Step 2

Pick up the leaf and set it aside. Brush on Mod Podge in the same area the leaf will be placed.  Add a little extra at the stem area for extra hold.

I found letting the glue dry for about 30 seconds made it a bit stickier and held down the leaf faster.

brush on mod podge in area where leaf will be placed

Step 3

Apply leaf. Press down with your fingers or using the Mod Podge applicator.  Count to 10 and specifically hold down areas that don’t automatically adhere. 

hold down applied leaf with mod podge applicator

Then brush on more Mod Podge to smooth down the leaf to the pumpkin.

using mod podge brush down on leaf to help it adhere

Step 4

Keep adding leaves in the same manner. Watch to see where they are lifting. Brush on Mod Podge underneath the leaf and over the top of the leaf.

Remember it gets stickier as it dries making it easier to adhere the leaves.

Keep adding leaves to the pumpkin and apply in the same way

press down leaves with brush or mod podge tool

Step 5

Once all leaves are applied, cover over with a generous coat of Mod Podge.

apply top layer of mod podge over leaves with brush

If you have over applied on the pumpkin itself, just wipe away with a damp paper towel.

I also had some color bleed from the leaves onto the white pumpkin and I removed it in the same manner.wipe off excess mod podge with paper towel or areas where the leaves bled color

Step 6

Let the Mod Podge dry about 1 hour. Then apply 2 more coats to protect the leaves. Dry 1 hour in between coats. Here is what it looks like before it dries clear.

mod podge applied over leaves on white pumpkin still wet

You can apply as many coats of Mod Podge as you wish, but I felt 3 was plenty.

Clean Up

Clean up was a snap! I liked having the package with multiple brushes so I could wash one and use a different brush while it was drying. Just use a little dish soap or hand soap with warm water.

Rinse out the Mod Podge thoroughly from the brush fibers.  I used a sponge to clean off the applicator with a little soap.

Découpage Fall Leaves on a Pumpkin

The final result! Stay tuned for how I use these pumpkins in my fall home decor. I have several fun ideas and will share them in September. 

white pumpkin decoupage with fall leaves sitting on white sofa two orange pumpkins fall leaves

Fall Decorating Ideas

Want more fall decorating ideas? Check out these posts:

Simple and Elegant Fall Home Tour

15 Minute Fall French Country Table

Halloween Fun: Pick Your Poison Bar Cart

Make an Upside Down Witch Leg Candy Bucket

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Until next time…

Porch Daydreamer


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  1. I can’t wait to try this! Have to wait for leaves to turn and fall. I really like them on the white pumpkin, the contrast is really nice, I also haven’t tried Modpodge, hopefully I’ll have the same success. I just wish I didn’t have to wait! It’s only early September and no colors yet in Pa,

    1. Sorry you are having trouble. If they have any plastic stems, it may not work. My only tip is to let the Mod Modge dry 30 seconds so it’s tackier, put some under the leaf, and then layer on a LOT to the top of the leaf.

      Good luck!

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