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.

Fall is everywhere in my home, but one of my favorite places is the way we greet 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 an amazing deck on the front of our home.

Front flower bed with hay and orange wooden pumpkins for fall

How do you make a wooden pumpkin?

Wooden 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 wood pile and see what goodies you can find!

How to decorate wooden pumpkins?

I chose to use vinyl letters but permanent markers or acrylic paint. (Make sure to waterproof to prevent runs.) You can decorate with fabric, a bow, metal, jute or rafia. 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 if you’re concerned about longevity.

If you’re not the crafty type I’ve got several suggestions for rustic wooden pumpkins to purchase at the end of this post!

Wooden Pumpkins from Fence Boards

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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.

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 with the orange gloss spray paint.  Two coats here, just to enhance the color. The stake will remain a neutral wood color.

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 post or see how I made 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 and 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!

The pumpkins have followed me to my new home (read all about it here) and I couldn’t be happier! 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

Wooden Pumpkins Printable Instructions

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.

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

DIY rustic wood pumpkin

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  1. 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! 🙂

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