Pumpkin Decorating Palooza! A Family Library Program

Posted by Steph on May - 24 - 2013

So I’m stealing this post from my old blog and posting it here now, in May, because if anyone else is like me, planning fall events has already started even before Summer Reading Program Kick-Off happens.  And this was such a fun program that was a huge hit, I just thought I would share : )

 This past October I really wanted to have a pumpkin decorating contest throughout the month to add some fun decorations around the library and get more people into the library who might not have stopped in before.  I was kinda stuck on how to get people to actually birng in their own pumpkins though.  Soo…I decided to have a Pumpkin Decorating Palooza!

I was worried it would be too spendy for my limited budget, but it really wasn’t considering most of the supplies were just random stuff I found in my craft cabinet. And I found these great little fake pumpkins at the dollar store!  The program ended up being a huge hit and it will most likely become an annual event.


Supplies Needed:

– Fake Pumpkins (Dollar Store)

– Paint and Paintbrushes

– Glue

– Mod Podge

– Misc. Decorating Supplies:

  • Tissue Paper
  • Google Eyes
  • Mesh fabric
  • Paper crowns
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Old book pages
  • and whatever random crafty things you have…

– Old newspapers (to cover tables)

Here’s What Went Down:

First I gathered all of my supplies and began to cover all of the tables in newspaper.  (I did enlist some help from teens to get all of the tables covered 😉

Then I stocked up a table and designated it the “Supply Table”.

Then I got all of the pumpkins out and waited for people to come!

Thankfully I had a couple volunteers to help with handing out the pumpkins and helping kids pick out supplies!  When people started coming in we gave them each a pumpkin and told them to be as creative as they could be. We also said that if they wanted paint to tell us which color and we would pour some on the paper next to them which turned out to be a great idea! They didn’t get the paint everywhere and everyone was able to see all of the colors.

This was a super easy program as almost every child had a parent come with them and the kids didn’t need much direction when it came to decorating.  And I had so much fun seeing what these kids came up with!

Once the deocrating had commenced (and all of my pumpkins were taken!)  I told everyone that they could take their pumpkin home or they could leave it at the library for people to vote on throughout the month and they could win a prize from the local bakery (that got their attention!).

The cleanup was a breeze too.  I got rid of a ton of old craft supplies and the tables cleaned up just by taking off the newspapers.

Plus I got a ton of pumpkins to put in the library (and I heard someone say “Who’d have thought we could do this at a library?”  Made my day :)!  Now people keep asking if they can bring in their own pumpkins, which is just what I wanted!

Overall, a big success and hopefully I can repeat it next year! I think I will try asking locals for donations of real pumpkins too for painting and decorating purposes to cut down on costs.

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