Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Pumpkin face window decoration

Published by Manning on November 10th, 2021

I made this big ol’ light-up jack o’ lantern face decoration to go in the oval-shaped window above my door for Halloween 2021. It was easy! Here’s how I did it….

DIY pumpkin face window decoration - in position and lit up!


When I moved into my current place in New Orleans I noticed this oval window right away and knew I wanted to make a cool decoration for it for Halloween. I initially thought about a skull, but then I thought, you know what, I do plenty of skulls as it is, so how about a nice traditional jack o’ lantern? Perfect. I started thinking about how best to use the space of the oval shape above the door.

I knew I wanted this pumpkin face decoration to be visible from the street, and to take up basically the whole window area, and to be lit from underneath with an orange glow. I made a plan to build a sort of shelf to hold the pumpkin, with a space to hold the lights under the face, out of view of the window.

I measured and cut the shelf shape out of foam board, with two layers for extra rigidity, and I hot-glued them together. I built two sort of primitive shelf brackets out of foam board as well, and hot-glued them in place.

I used twist ties to make two loops for the front corners of the shelf so I could hang it on two nails just below the window.

Making the pumpkin face

DIY pumpkin face window decoration - painting finished

I made base for the spooky jack o’ lantern face out of curved strips of foam board and lots of tape; I didn’t take any pics of this, sorry! When the base was done, I covered it in packing tape, to act as a release agent for the…

… Paper maché!

I covered the pumpkin shape with six layers of paper maché. You can read about my paper maché process and materials here. When that was 100% dry, I pulled out the base materials, leaving me with a super lightweight pumpkin face. I then drew and cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth.


I kept the paint job of this decoration very simple since it’ll only be viewed from a distance, and since the orange lights will basically just make the whole thing glow orange.

I spray painted the back of the face black, and the front orange (duh!). I used a brown paint marker to draw the vertical lines on the face, and a few little details.

Installing the face

I did some trial and error with the positioning of the face on the shelf — since the face is viewed from below, I wanted it to be relatively high up on the shelf, a little above the window. Once I had the positioning figured out, I hot-glued the pumpkin face in place on the back of the shelf, allowing the top part of the face to lean against the wall above the window.

DIY pumpkin face window decoration - back view


I bought a string of orange lights to light up the face. I poked some holes in the bottom of the box, in front of the face, and ran some twist-ties through there so I’d have an easy way to attach lights firmly in place.

I placed the lights in the bottom of the box area, so they’ll be hidden underneath the window; I wanted to create a sort of uplighting effect on the face. (What’s uplighing? Nothing much lighting, what’s up with you?)

I also hung two tiny lights on wires inside of the eyes. These little individual battery-powered lights are really neat, but they only stay really bright for a few hours. They then remain lit but very dim for a few days. I replaced the lights with new ones every couple days leading up to Halloween.

DIY pumpkin face window decoration - tiny lights

This project was nice and easy, and it’s very simple to hang the thing on the nails and plug in.

DIY pumpkin face window decoration - in position and lit up!

I’ve got a new idea for this window for next Halloween! Can’t wait!

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