Wow! It’s hard to believe it’s already Fall! The leaves are already changing colours here in Manitoba. I feel like I just came back from summer vacation and plunged right into Fall. It seems too early, but I have to remind myself that it is September and cooler weather is inevitable.
Thankfully, I love Fall! It’s my favourite time of year. I love the bright reds and yellows on the trees; the scent of burning fallow on the fields (even if it triggers my allergies); shrugging on a sweater or my jean jacket to stay warm during walks in the crisp, cool evenings; and don’t forget the pumpkin pie spice in everything—pies, cookies, cakes, cereals, lattes, and teas!
In addition to pumpkin pie spice making an appearance in everything, it’s also that time of year when the pumpkins start emerging from the pumpkin patch and magically appear in great piles in grocery stores and Farmer’s Markets. Last year, I bought a couple of real pumpkins to carve and decorate my doorstep for Halloween (click here to read last year’s “Puketacular” Pumpkin Carving tutorial).
This year, however, I wanted to do something a little different, something a little more environmentally-friendly, by making my own pumpkin decor that I can reuse year-after-year from found items that were headed for the trash.
I spent three weeks this past summer helping my husband’s elderly aunt downsize from a large house in Ontario to a smaller one (I’ll share this incredible experience in a future blog post). As I was cleaning out the laundry room, I found a stash of vintage metal bundt pans and tart tins collecting dust on a shelf above the dryer.
I took them down in excitement and inspected them. The bundt pans looked a little rough and scratched up on the inside, but the tart tins were still in pristine condition. When I asked my husband’s aunt what she wanted to do with them, she told me to add them to the metal waste pile that was being picked up by a scrap metal company.
I shook my head and told her I would gladly take them home with me. I had been looking for metal bundt pans and tart tins like these to use in future craft projects and it would be a shame to let them go to waste. Of course, I had to get creative when packing my check-in bag for our flight home. I’m sure airport security raised their eyebrows at the unusual contents of my bag, but we managed to get the pans home safe and sound without any trouble.
Since we had travelled home from a province with high cases of COVID-19, the Provincial Health Authority of Manitoba had mandated a fourteen-day isolation period to ensure that we wouldn’t spread the virus to people in our community in case we had contracted it during our travels.
As a crafter, the idea of staying at home for fourteen days didn’t bother me at all! It was the perfect time for me to gather the craft supplies I had on hand and transform these worn bundt pans into a beautiful new ‘pumpkin’ centrepiece for my home that I can use again and again every Fall for years to come!
Upcycled Bundt Pan ‘Pumpkin’
This upcycled ‘pumpkin’ craft project is simple to make and can be completed within a couple hours.
Hot glue gun
Needle-nosed pliers (2)
Painting sheet or newspaper
Metal Bundt Pans (2)
Plastic or cardboard tube, 4” – 5” in length
Dried leaf with stem from outside
Orange acrylic paint
Light Brown acrylic paint
Green acrylic paint
Hot glue stick
Crazy glue or other strong glue (such as gorilla glue)
Small metal springs (2)
1. Prepare your painting station. Lay out newspaper or a paint sheet, paint brushes, and the acrylic paint you will be using. Set the bundt pans upside down on the newspaper (you will be painting the outside of the bundt pans).
2. Brush orange acrylic paint on the outside of both bundt pans, covering entirely. Don’t worry about brush strokes or if the metal is still visible beneath the paint as this will give your ‘pumpkin’ a rustic look.
*Note: I didn’t have orange acrylic paint on hand, so I made my own by mixing together yellow, red, and raw sienna (butterscotch brown) until I achieved a satisfactory orange shade.
3. Leave pans to dry until paint is dry to the touch. This may take an hour or more. To speed up the drying process, set up a fan to blow air on the pans.
4. In the meantime, to make the “stem,” paint the plastic or cardboard tube with light brown acrylic paint. Before the paint dries, gently scrape jagged lines along the length of the tube to create the illusion of texture. Set aside to dry.
*Note: I used a plastic tube that I had leftover from a broken office chair that I had previously dismantled to upcycle the hardware in future projects. Unless you happen to have a tube like this lying around, I would recommend using a cardboard toilet paper roll for a short “stem” or a cardboard paper towel roll cut to a length of 5 inches for a longer “stem.”
5. Use green acrylic paint to paint the dried leaf you collected from outside, painting both sides. Set aside to dry.
6. Using two pairs of pliers, grip each end of a spring and stretch until it forms an elongated spiral. Repeat for the second spiral.
7. When the paint has dried on the bundt pans, flip them over. On one pan, apply strong glue all along the flat edge bordering the pan. Carefully align the two pans together with the unpainted side facing each other and press firmly.
*Note: I tried to do this step using a hot glue gun, but the hot glue hardens on the cool metal nearly immediately and would not adhere. A stronger adhesive, such as Gorilla Glue or Crazy Glue, is necessary for this step.
8. Clamp the edges of the pans together until the glue dries. Immediately wipe off any glue that seeps out and runs down the painted sides.
9. As the bundt pans are drying, apply hot glue to one end of the cardboard tube and carefully press down into the hollow of the ‘top’ of the ‘pumpkin,’ holding for a few seconds or until the glue hardens.
10. Apply hot glue to the tip of one of the springs and insert between the hollow of the ‘pumpkin’ and the ‘stem,’ holding for a few seconds or until the glue hardens. Repeat for the second spring, spacing them apart on opposite sides of the ‘pumpkin.’
11. Next, apply hot glue to the tip of the leaf stem and insert between the hollow of the ‘pumpkin’ and the ‘stem’ spaced somewhere between the two springs, holding until the glue hardens. Then bend the springs into a curved shape.
12. Once the glue is completely dry, carefully remove the clamps. Set up your pumpkin as a centerpiece on your coffee table and curl up on the couch with your pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin muffin.
Did you try this tutorial? If yes, tell me how it went in the comments below!
I hope that you will find peace and inspiration through my blog and handmade creations!
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