Guys, this is not a drill… Halloween is in less than a month! I feel like I’ve been waiting for it for months, then, bam – it’s upon us. I’ve already started seeing pumpkins appear in the supermarkets, which makes me happier than a spoilt kid on Christmas. At long last, I can blab on about my love of Halloween without weirding people out! (Because yes, I do like to talk about Halloween from as early as July…).
I know a lot of you guys feel just as much love for Halloween as me, which is awesome. Halloween obsessors unite! Have you started Halloween crafting yet? I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been planning my Halloween projects for months (see earlier point about July). That’s why I’m so excited to be finally sharing some crafty, creepy goodness with you today!
I’ve had a hankering to make a DIY wooden pumpkin for a while now. So when I discovered these neon wire kits, I knew the time had come. One afternoon of power tools later, I was left with probably my coolest DIY halloween decoration to date: a light-up DIY wooden pumpkin with neon tube lights. I mean, come on – that’s cool. Want to make your own? Read on, my friend…
DIY wooden pumpkin with neon tube lights
Supplies and tools
- Large piece of plywood
- Scrap paper (optional)
- Paper scissors (optional)
- Power drill
- Sandpaper or electric sander
- Wood paint or stain (optional)
- Staple gun and rounded-end staples (or hammer and small picture hook nails)
- EL neon wire kit
- Before starting, you’ll need to decide how big you want your DIY wooden pumpkin to be. I knew that I wanted mine to eventually live on my picture shelf, so I worked backwards from that. I worked out that my pumpkin should be about 40 cm wide, but yours can be as big or as little as you want. That’s the beauty of DIY – you can make things completely custom to your own space!
- With your sizing decided, it’s time to make a template. Sketch a pumpkin shape onto a large piece of scrap paper or card. Cut it out and use it to trace the pumpkin onto your wood. Of course, you could totally skip the template if you’re confident enough to draw directly onto the wood.
- Time for the power tools! Use a jigsaw to cut out your pumpkin shape. Go slowly and try and keep it as smooth as possible. The neater it is now, the less sanding down you will need to do later!
- With the basic wooden shape cut out, you now need to smooth the edges. Use an electric sander or some sandpaper to soften all of the edges and even out any wonky areas. Start with a course paper, then work down to a fine grit.
- Now you’re ready to add some details. Using a paper template like earlier (or drawing directly onto the wood), sketch some eyes and a mouth onto your DIY wooden pumpkin. Keep the shapes simple and limited to straight lines, if you can. Triangle eyes and a zig-zag mouth are a guaranteed winner.
- Next, you need to drill a hole into each corner of the eyes and mouth. If you’ve drawn a zig-zag mouth like my pumpkin, this will mean a lot of holes to drill! But it’ll be worth it, promise. Make sure that the holes are at least double the width of your neon wire, so that it can be threaded through twice. If in doubt, drill a smaller hole, test it, then make it a little bigger if needed. Once you’ve finished drilling, give the holes a quick rub with sandpaper to smooth them out and remove splinters.
- Flip your DIY wooden pumpkin over so it’s face down. Now you need to use a staple gun to add a rounded-end staple next to each drill hole. The result you want is a rounded-end staple that’s sticking out from the wood slightly, so you can thread the neon wire through it. If you don’t have a staple gun or the correct staples, you can just as easily use a hammer and a small picture hook.
- Now comes the exciting bit… adding the neon wire and bringing your wooden pumpkin to life! Start off at one far side of the design, and thread the wire from the back to the front. Loop it over to the next hole along, then thread it through to the back of the design. Now it gets a little fiddly. You need to thread the neon wire through the rounded-end staple, then back through the same hole in the wood again, so it comes back to the front of the design. Have a look at my photo to see what it should look like.
- Keep going through the all of the holes like this, until you reach the very end. Then you just need to use a bit of tape to stick the excess neon wire out of sight on the back of the DIY wooden pumpkin. And you’re finished! Simply add batteries and step back to admire your work.
I’m still not over the daily joy of turning on the light of my DIY wooden pumpkin, stepping back and admiring the eerie glow. It’s just so flippin’ cool! Who knew you could DIY your own neon light decorations so easily?!
The only downside is that it’s gonna make that post-Halloween trauma even more painful. It’ll be a sad day when I have to say goodbye to my wooden pumpkin for the year… but until then, glow on! – Mike.
P.S. Check out my Halloween craft archives for even more creepy crafts, demonic DIYs and fiendish foods! Too much? Sorry (not sorry).
Don’t forget to Pin this image, so you can try it later!