Wooden Pumpkins from Fence Boards

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Want a cute rustic pumpkin that’s easy to make and very affordable? Try these fun and easy wooden pumpkins made from leftover fence boards.

Orange wood pumpkin with happy fall y'all on it

Decorating the entry of your home is such a fun way to bring each season alive. I’ve used these primitive wooden pumpkins for several years and in two different homes. With just a few materials I’ll show you how to personalize them for your home!

Fall is everywhere in my home, but one of my favorite places is greeting friends and family with good ol’ southern fall decor! I believe the front porch of a home sets the mood for enjoyment within the home.

This was before we gutted our front stoop and built a deck on the front of our ranch style house.

Front flower bed with hay and orange wooden pumpkins for fall

How do you make a wooden pumpkin?

Scrap wood pumpkins can be made out of many materials but I love the idea of using scrap wood such as pallets, barn wood or fence boards like I used. Go to your scrap pile and see what goodies you can find!

How to decorate wooden pumpkins?

I chose to use vinyl letters but permanent markers, acrylic paint or craft paint are also options. (Make sure to waterproof to prevent runs.) You can decorate with fabric, a bow, metal, jute or raffia, materials found at craft stores. Use non-traditional colors if that’s your thing or paint stripes on the autumn wood pumpkins! Just let your creativity dictate the direction your autumn decor will go!

Will a wooden pumpkin withstand weather outside?

These wooden pumpkins have been used for years and are still going strong. You can always use a spray sealant as a way of sealing if you’re concerned about longevity. I like to use this easy DIY pumpkin during Halloween and Thanksgiving because it makes such a fun beginner project.

Wooden Pumpkins from Fence Boards

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Wooden Pumpkin Ideas to buy if you’re not crafty!


5-inch Disc Sander
Frog Tape Painter’s Tape
Orange Spray Paint and Primer
Cricut Explore Air
Adhesive Vinyl
Transfer Paper

Permanent labels

Step 1: Locate and prepare wood.

It’s important to let the wood weather so this is a project that might require some forethought and planning. If you’re using fence board just lean the wood against a fence or your house a few weeks before beginning the DIY wooden pumpkins.

Remove any nails from the boards and lightly sand if necessary.

The wood is pretty green looking in the picture below.  The wood has just weathered that way.  It’s possible to pressure wash or even sand the raw slats, depending on how the wood will be finished.  

Wooden pumpkin made out of fence boards

The real appeal of this material is its raw, naked beauty.  To take advantage of that, I like an intentionally distressed, imperfect feel.  

Step 2: Cut out design.

It’s perfectly okay to use pumpkin patterns or draw on the wood to achieve the design you want.

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For these pumpkins, I first determined the length for the widest middle piece, then backed off each direction roughly two inches with each slat.  The ends were cut with a chop saw and then rounded with a jig saw.  

The vertical center stake was the anchor point and also the stem of the pumpkin, with a point on the other end to penetrate soil.

Step 3: Distress wood.

For extra distressing, I used a disc sander with a 60-grit wheel (which is like gravel glued to sandpaper) and roughed-up all the edges.  This also helped grab the orange paint a bit better.  

Wooden Pumpkin sign with raw wood

Step 4: Paint pumpkin.

This was a super-fast, super-simple project.  To finish it off I taped off each end of the center stake and over-sprayed the top of the pumpkin with the orange gloss spray paint.  Two coats here, just to enhance the color. The stake will remain a neutral wood color. Make sure to cover your work surface if you’re a messy painter like me!

Wooden pumpkin spray painted orange

Same for the larger pumpkin.  I love how the wood takes the color but also retains the imperfections in the grain.

Large outdoor wooden pumpkin spray painted orange

Step 5: Add adhesive letters.

I liked the plain pumpkins a lot but thought I could add my own style to it.

I hauled out my trusty Cricut diecutting machine and went to work. I chose the Lyrical Letters font for this project.

The word happy made out of vinyl

You can see the details of the exact process on how I use my vinyl letters on fence board on this scrap wood Christmas tree or learn how to make a family gallery wall with vinyl lettering here. 

Happy fall stenciled letters on wood pumpkin

 A good vinyl and transfer paper are necessary (this is my favorite vinyl and transfer paper).

Using transfer paper with vinyl adhesive

Here’s the wood pumpkin without the greeting.

Orange scrap wood pumpkin in flower bed for fall

And here is my pumpkin decor, so much more welcoming and happy!

Orange wooden pumpkins for fall

It’s perfectly fine to use permanent stickers or labels on your rustic pumpkins. As you can see below my stickers kinda lost their stickiness about year four or so. Permanent markers to the rescue!

These two pumpkins have followed me to my new home (read all about my new home after divorce here) and form their own little pumpkin patch! I’m thinking I might need to add a buffalo check ribbon to the display!

Large pumpkin with happy fall y'all and small pumpkin without letters
Fence Board Pumpkins #fall
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4 from 1 vote

Wooden Pumpkins from Fence Boards

Want a cute rustic pumpkin that’s easy to make and very affordable? Try these fun and easy wooden pumpkins made from leftover fence boards.


  • 1 5-inch disc sander
  • 1 Painters tape
  • 1 Orange spray paint and primer
  • 1 Circuit Explore Air
  • 1 Adhesive vinyl
  • 1 Transfer paper
  • 1 Permanent labels


  • Locate and prepare wood.
  • Cut out design.
  • Distress wood.
  • Paint pumpkin.
  • Add adhesive letters.
DIY rustic wood pumpkin

Decorating Tips and Hacks
Get my FREE guide: How to decorate your home for practically nothing!
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  1. 4 stars
    Great idea. When does the fun part come? So far its been a lot of work and I am not having that fun part…….

  2. This is such an adorable pumpkin project! 🙂 Thank you for linking up at “A Little Bird Told Me” Wednesday link party. You have been featured on Mama’s Happy Hive blog! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Turn It Up Tuesday {#107} • Bliss & Faith