Last-Minute Thanksgiving Decor

Create unique Thanksgiving Decor using recycled old books for a simple craft that the whole family will love.

If you’re like me, you are thankful for easy do-it-yourself Thanksgiving decor ideas. DIY Thanksgiving paper pumpkins fall into this category. Paper pumpkins are inexpensive (maybe even free), and make an elegant display for Thanksgiving tables, buffets or general decor. These take about about an hour to make.


You’ll need an old book, a pair of good scissors, and a razor knife. I suggest using a book with matte not glossy pages (the paper that feels more like construction paper than magazine pages). The pages are more conducive to this craft with matte paper. I used a book with glossy paper and it turned out well, but matte paper is easier. If you have an old book on hand, this project costs nothing.


Begin by removing the cover of the book completely.

Cut a half pumpkin shape in the first couple of pages of the book. I alternated between the scissors and the razor knife for cutting the sheets of paper. Scissors work better to cut the paper overall, but you’ll need a razor knife when cutting near the binding of the pages.

Continue cutting the pumpkin shape down through all of the pages in the book. Leave a little notch at the top of the pumpkin for the stem. It gets messy with all the little slivers of paper so keep a trash bin nearby to contain the mess.

Once the pumpkin shape is cut, open the book into the pumpkin shape with the two ends touching back to back. It looks a little rough at this point but it isn’t finished yet. You’ll need to scrunch the pages to make it stand upright on its own and also to “fluff” the pumpkin into shape. This is the most time-consuming part of the project, but very worth it. I spent about 30 minutes scrunching each page. By scrunching/fluffing the pages well enough, the pumpkin can stand on its own without needing to glue the binding edges together. The pressure from all of the fluffed pages presses pages against each other to create a sealed circle.

 The final product is great and makes a beautiful centerpiece component for any Thanksgiving table or as part of your home decor.

Happy Thanksgiving!