Thistlewood Decorative Pumpkin Challenge

Do you remember the show What Not To Wear?

It was amazing.

An unsuspecting woman would be walking down the street and Clinton and Stacy would jump out and be all like we are here to make you over.  And then they would take the contestant home and open her closet and start throwing all the clothes into this giant trash can while the woman looked on with a mixture of horror and intrigue…..

….like she had no idea what would happen next.

No worries…..we all knew.

Because we watched the show.

We knew they were going to offer them money to go shopping and send them off with tips and then the woman would be shopping at the store and start making bad choices again and not listening to the hosts’ sage advice and then all of a sudden Clinton and Stacy would pop out at the store and surprise them and save the day.  And of course they would find her perfect outfits and then have her show them off in front of this eight way mirror and the lady would be all like you all are the best and look how amazing I look……

…..and we would all agree and sigh and wish that Clinton and Stacy would stop us on the street.

I know….right?

I know what you are thinking.

Where were Clinton and Stacy when I was wearing my blazer?

Decorative Pumpkin Challenge Thistlewood

So imagine how fast my heart started beating when Clinton’s team contacted me to make-over a pumpkin in 30 minutes.

I said of course I would love to participate and I’ve been waiting for you to ask me and promptly found an unsuspecting poorly-dressed pumpkin at the Wal-Mart and tossed all its clothes in a giant trash can and gave it a little cash to go shopping and sent it on its merry way.


Except it was making really bad choices over in the polyester fabric and lace aisle and I had to save the day.

Here’s my 30 minute pumpkin challenge pumpkin….

….ready for the eight way mirror. 🙂

Decorative Pumpkin Thistlewood


Mod Podge Pumpkins

(and the best tips for how to Mod Podge)

Decorative pumpkin1.  Start with a pumpkin

The best pumpkin for this project is one without any deep ridges.

You want the surface to be relatively smooth.

decorative pumpkin ideas Mod Podge


2.  Cut scrapbook paper into strips

Each strip should be about 2 inches wide and about the length of the pumpkin.

All over patterns work best for this project.

Mod Podge

3.  Coat the back of the paper with Mod Podge

Do not be afraid of the Mod Podge.

Apply it in a thick coat.

It makes the paper adhere to the pumpkin so much better.

Mod Podge Pumpkin DIY4.  Apply Mod Podge to the pumpkin

Apply the Mod Podge in a thick coat on the pumpkin and press the paper down.

Then apply another coat of Mod Podge over the top.

How to Mod Podge

5.  Repeat step 4 until the pumpkin is covered with scrap-book paper

You can cut smaller pieces of paper to fill in the holes.

Try to replicate the pattern…..but don’t stress.


Then coat entire pumpkin with one more coat of Mod Podge and let dry.


And here’s my best Mod Podge tips:

1.  Be patient.  Put on the Real Housewives of New Jersey marathon (poor Theresa) and take your time.

2.  I went back and smoothed the entire pumpkin with my hands.  I wanted to make sure that the paper molded to the grooves of the pumpkin.

3.  I ended up cutting some of the pieces into a triangle pattern for better coverage.

4.  Make sure you don’t have glumps of Mod Podge because those can dry white on top of your paper.

5.  Let the pumpkin dry for 24 hours before you set it on a piece of furniture.

6.  Check your pumpkin thoroughly before you put down the Mod Podge coated foam brush.  You don’t want to miss a spot that you didn’t cover.  Just check it out in the eight-way mirror…..

….before you send it down the runway. 🙂

Happy pumpkin decorating and you can see the rest of the 30 minute challenge pumpkins over on Clinton Kelly’s blog!

And here’s a few more pumpkin projects for the road:


State Pumpkin Project


Mercury Glass Pumpkin



Silhouette Pumpkin

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I love your pumpkins!! Are you Clinton or Stacey? Your poor pumpkins were clueless until you rescued them from anonymity. They are now famous -- they will be pinned again and again!! Their future is now secured! Now -- back to the show. I would like to see those lucky people who got the make over one year later. Heh! heh! heh! Did they revert back to their old frumpy style? Or did they take the sage advice of Clinton and Stacey. I want the T V camera waiting for them as they make a mad dash for the grocery store for a quick stop. I really have good intentions to always look my best but (hanging head in shame) I sometimes really blow it. I put on my dark sunglasses -- you can't see that I don't have on eye make-up and put on my baseball cap. Totally un- Clinton and Stacey style. {sigh} I think I'll make up another inspirational list.

  2. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Always wondered how to do that...thanks! And...yes...secretly I wanted to be stopped by Clinton and Stacey too...I think that would have been fun....not the criticism part...the shopping part! ;)

  3. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Was thinking about you all weekend...after the new you shared of your youth pastor and his family. I'm glad you're ok, and have continued posting....even tho I can imagine after all you've live through over the weekend it's difficult to do so. Love the make-over, and the new improved look of your pumpkins. Now to call in the Fashion Police on them to be admired! Take care!

  4. Image for Jill @ Still Keeping On The Narrow Way Jill @ Still Keeping On The Narrow Way

    Oh KariAnne! Your pumpkins are so cute and you just make me laugh! As I was reading I was thinking "It sounds like Clinton and Stacey are her best friends." And then it turned out that Clinton IS your new best friend....well, at least his PEOPLE far as pumpkin makeovers go.

  5. Image for Candie Candie

    Hello! I of course, am loving your pumpkin! But I do have a deep love of globes and I infatuated with the one in your picture. Please of please tell me where you got it?? Thanks!

  6. Image for Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    Super cute pumpkins! As for the of my favorites! And one time when I was watching, they plucked their victim right out of the Target parking lot in Memphis, TN. The Target that I used to go to (almost daily) when I was in college. So the next time I went back to visit...I dressed in sweatpants with an old t-shirt and walked real slow to the store in hopes that they would be there again! They weren't. And then when I got in the store, I grabbed what I needed super fast for fear that I would see an old classmate and they would wonder what in the world had happened to me to make me dress like that?! Happy Fall! Melissa

  7. Image for Thrift My House Thrift My House

    I kept thinking and praying for you and your church family yesterday. Hugs! I'd be a perfect candidate for what not to wear. I'd be mortified though...until it was over. I love mod podge anything! Your pumpkins are beautiful!

  8. Image for Vanessa Vanessa

    Those pumpkins are totally ready for their big reveal and they look amazing!!! They must be so relieved to be out of that polyester fabric and lace. ;-) So fun to be part of this challenge together sweet friend!

  9. Image for Lisa Lisa

    KariAnne!!! How are you girlie!! OMG you still make me laugh every time I read your post and I don't remember that show but was still cracking up and LOVE your mod podge pumpkins and your great story telling!!! I've left comments and hope you read them in your see of many comments but YOU LOOK AMAZING, blazer and all. hope you're doing well...big hugs Lisa

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