DIY Pumpkin Stems That Look Realistic!

Posted in Crafts
DIY Pumpkin Stems That Look Realistic
DIY Pumpkin Stems That Look Realistic!

The Dollar Tree pumpkin… my inspiration for this project and to get rid of that horrid green thing on top of it. Somebody needed to say it, and it might as well be me. There’s just something majestic about the viny growths. Every year I search for the perfect stem. Mr. Honey Do usually has to pull out all the pumpkins in the bin for me to find the perfect one. It never happens. This year, I decided that I was going to do my best and make reusable DIY pumpkin stems. Here’s how I did it. BONUS… I also created a video tutorial if you want to watch it all unfold before your very eyes. πŸ™‚

This post contains a few affiliate links to help you find the products I use. You are not charged extra to use any of the links, but any income I make will be used for more fun projects! To see my full disclaimer, click here.

Easy DIY Pumpkin Stems That Look Realistic!

But before I can WOW you with the DIY pumpkin stem, let’s get rid of this GREEN thing. Seriously? Is that a pumpkin stem? I think not.

No more weird Dollar Tree fake stems. Learn how you can make your own easy DIY pumpkin stems.

Watch The Video Tutorial here!

Product List For DIY Pumpkin Stems

Here’s what you will need to make your own DIY pumpkin stems.

Step 1 DIY Pumpkin Stems

First, you will need some modeling clay. I like this one. The consistency is like Play-Doh. Try to revert to your inner child for this part. You’re going to break off a piece for the stem. The size depends on how big you want the stem. No worries, if you don’t break off enough for your DIY pumpkin stem, you can always add more, just like Play-Doh. The difference is that the modeling clay can be baked in the oven to create a permanent object after forming into the shape you want.

I used this sculpey clay to create my reusable pumpkin stems.

Now, you’ll need to form the shape of the stem first. The best way is to roll it between your hands and create a long snake-like thingy. You remember, right? It’ll come back to you once you get going. Use your imagination on this one. Think vines… long vines and how they would naturally look in the wild. Some could be broken off or maybe even rotted off after the growing season. The base of the stems is not perfectly round on a pumpkin. Do some research to find different looks and ideas for your DIY pumpkin stems.

Creating faux pumpkin stems are extremely easy.

Step 3 Adding Realistic Touches

Now that you have your DIY pumpkins stem looking like stems, add a realistic touch; use a craft stick or something you have around this house (butter knife) to create lines and grooves in the stems. This changes the looks dramatically. The stems can be glued onto your pumpkins, but I like using toothpicks or small wooden dowels. Insert these before baking in the oven. This will allow you to reuse them on different pumpkins every year if you want.

To create a natural looking DIY pumpkin stem I used a craft stick cut grooves in the clay before baking.

Time to bake! I used parchment paper to line a cookie sheet and set my oven to 275 degrees, and baked the DIY pumpkin stems for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool to room temperature before painting.

Step 4 Painting The Stems

I used three paint colors to create the look I wanted, but you’re the artist here. If you’re making the DIY pumpkin stems for a certain color pumpkin, choose complementary colors. Chose a dark color for the base coat. The color I used was dark gray. Use a small artist’s brush to paint down all the grooves you created. Allow to dry completely. This is important.

Next, start layering the colors with a makeup sponge or cotton ball to create a mottled effect. I suggest you water down the paint a bit so it’s more of a wash.  I used brown and then green paint on top of the brown. Be sure not to add the paint too heavily because you want that first layer of dark paint color to still be visible in the groves you created.

With a watered down paint, I used a makeup sponge to create the layered, mottled look on my pumpkin stems.

Add A Touch Of Dirt To Your Pumpkin Stems

Lastly, give them a dirty, just pulled out of the patch look… use mod podge and cinnamon. Brush a bit of Mod Podge (matte finish) onto your pumpkin and sprinkle with cinnamon. Now don’t get carried away… a little dap will do ya. You don’t want a rusty-looking pumpkin stem… or maybe you do.

 I made this DIY pumpkin stem and now my Dollar Tree pumpkins looks like a million bucks.
 I made this DIY pumpkin stem and now my Dollar Tree pumpkins looks like a million bucks.
Quick & easy DIY pumpkin stems that will fool everyone.

Those are some good-looking DIY pumpkin stems right there. Nailed it! And that fabric pumpkin in the pic above… The Dollar Tree Pumpkins are the perfect base for fabric pumpkins. Or paint! I’ve used them in many ways because… HEY, they’re a dollar. I’m a happy girl now. Pretty sure Mr. Honey Do will be too. 🤣

So, what do you think? I’d love to hear from you, especially if you have different ideas on improving the stems. Enlighten me in the comment section below. Oh, and don’t forget to pin this idea to your DIY Fall Decor board for later. Happy Fall! πŸ™‚

Until the next project… xo, Do




  1. I love this. I’ve tried sticks etc but this is perfect. Thanks for the idea and inspiration.

  2. You are my kind of gal, funny, creative and seem so personable. Your pumpkin stems look amazing. I have created so many pumpkins using Dollar Tree pumpkins. Covered them with bandanas, scarves, fabrics, Mod Podge tissue napkins etc. I have never worked with clay but I am anxious to try your method. Thank you. A transplanted Scot in Canada. β€οΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ΄σ §σ ’σ ³σ £σ ΄σ Ώ

  3. Love this idea to make more realistic pumpkin stems. I make loads of fabric pumpkins and will get started now to make the stems and will try your faux concrete pumpkin idea. πŸŽƒ

  4. LOVE this idea! I’ll need to start practicing now to get some done for fall decor. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s super fun, Joy. It’s like I’m a kid in art class all over again. Let me know how yours turns out. I’d love to see pics too. xo πŸ™‚

  5. Thank you for the tutorial of the pumpkin stems. I can’t wait to try it!
    I also want to thank you for your humor and being conscious we are not all wealthy. I love designing in a dime. You always explain everything so well. I appreciate all you do.

    1. Thank you, Laura! That means a lot. I try my best to share easy and affordable DIY projects. There’s an obvious reason why I DO these kind of projects. LOL. Have a great week. πŸ™‚ xo

  6. I sent my husband to Dollar Tree to pick up a couple of those pumpkins to cover like you did and he came back with a case. I’ve got 36 stems to make!!!!!! Thanks for the tutorial.

    1. LOL, OMG! A whole case, Nelda? That’s a lot of stems. You’ll be a master at them by the time you complete the 36th stem. That’s going to be FUN. πŸ™‚ xo

  7. Thanks for sharing. Some of the links for products are outdated. I tried to click on all of them but got an error message on one.

    1. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention, Stormi.
      The links have been updated so you can find the products you need to make awesome pumpkins stems. These are so fun to make. Enjoy and thanks for reading. πŸ™‚ xo

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