To welcome Autumn, I decided to share my very first craft tutorial for The Desert Poppy; a whimsical, illuminated pumpkin! This was such a fun project, but it was pretty challenging to get the twine wrapped around the balloon evenly.
Mini twinkle lights (or a fake candle)
Pine cone, cork, or dead branch stump
Spray paint of your choice
A knife (or scissors)
First, you are going to blow up your balloon to the size desired, I did one larger size and one medium. Then you will take your sponge brush and paint on a decent amount of Mod Podge all over it, I found pouring the glue into a bowl much easier than trying to get the brush in the bottle.
Once it's pretty sticky, start to wrap your balloon with twine, tie the the beginning of my string to a piece that was tight enough before getting too far into the wrapping. This part was the most tedious and had me kind of frustrated because my twine just didn't seem to want to stay put, but the next few steps helped a lot with that. Be sure not to over-wrap your balloon, you want to leave parts exposed to let the twinkle lights shine through, but do leave big enough gaps on the top and the bottom so that you are able to put the lights in and fit the cork in the top just snug.
Now balance the bottom of the balloon on the second bowl so that it will stay in place for drying.
When your balloon is dry, or pretty close to, take it outside and color your twine with the spray paint you chose, this step is really about your preference. Go as bold or as light as you like.
Once your twine is colored to your liking, let it dry.
After your pumpkin is done drying, pop the balloon. Don't be alarmed if you notice your form start to deflate a little, you can easily reshape it once you remove the balloon.
Take your topper and gently wedge it into the top of your pumpkin, I recommend super gluing it so it doesn't collapse.
I was originally going to use a cork for the top, but this being my first time doing this project, I left too big a hole in the top of my pumpkin for it to fit. I decided to go with a pine cone instead and I'm actually really glad I did!
And now, delicately put your string lights inside the pumpkin from the bottom, and plug in your fairy-tale lantern!