A long time ago in a land far away…

…I had my sweet sixteen party in this very room.

My very best friend in the entire world turned sixteen one day before me and we had a party together and invited all the friends.

In the interest of making this universe a cuter place, we coordinated our outfits together.

We wore prairie skirts and concho belts with red lipstick and Merle Norman base and hiked our hair and our bangs up to the ceiling. I think we may have even added bows with our names on them, too.  The crowning glory to an incredible ensemble.

At the risk of stating the obvious….

…we looked amazing.

Good times.

It was a party for the ages.

And now?

This room is sweet sixteening partying it once again.

I wanted to add a little fall to the room.

Not too much.

I didn’t want to get in the way of the party streamers.

So I created this simple five-minute pumpkin project.

So easy you can finish a bushel full in an afternoon.

I’m going to start ranking the difficulty of my projects by Hallmark movies.

You know.

A one Hallmark movie project.

A two Hallmark movie project.

This project?

It’s a 1/8 of a Hallmark movie project.

1. The pumpkin

Start with a simple white pumpkin from the dollar store.

Do NOT go all high-dollar on your pumpkin for this project.

The more inexpensive the better.

2. the Scrapbook papers

Next, you’ll want to select your papers.

I found this entire blue and white collection at Hobby Lobby in a scrapbook book.

Please use your 40% off coupon responsibly.

3.  Remove stem

Reach in and pull out the stem.

On the inexpensive pumpkins, the stem is usually detachable.

Pull it out and set it aside.

4. Paint your pumpkin

Next, paint your pumpkin blue with craft paint.

If you don’t want to paint, just skip this step and leave the pumpkin white or orange.

5. Cut out your leaves

Print out an oak leaf pattern on your computer.

I printed mine out smaller because my pumpkins were smaller.

Then cut out leaves from your scrapbook paper.

6.  Punch a hole and reinsert stem

Punch a hole in your leaf.

Push the stem through the hole and reattach.

That’s IT.

You’re done.

Simple, five-minute blue and white pumpkin.

I stacked books on the mantel and put the pumpkins on the books and told my room to get ready.

Sweet Sixteen was heading its way.

PS  We were having a movie night outside with 50 attendees and watching HighSchool Musical on the giant screen in the backyard.  There were going to be lights and streamers and banners and a pinata and a candy bar station and Instagrammable backdrops.

And now?


80% chance of rain.

Time for a sweet sixteen change of plans. 🙂

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


  1. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Just when I thought I was done with my Fall/Thanksgiving decorations! LOL Well, I have to do this -- I just have to. Its too cute to pass up! On another note: Sorry about the weather spoiling such an awesome outdoor sweet sixteen movie plan :-(

  2. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    C-u-t-e! Ah, sweet sixteen parties! It's where I fell in love with my husband. :) I love your history with your house and how it is continuing with your family. It's so sweet! I said good-bye on my blog yesterday. Time to move onto new adventures! Thanks again for your help with making my living room look amazing! hugs, Cecilia

  3. Image for Teresa G Teresa G

    I love this idea, Karianne! So many possibiities when you go the scrapbook paper route. And how wonderful is it that your home gets to witness 2 generations of a family's milestones! Happy birthday to your lovely daughters!

  4. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Love the pops of blue. The weather forecast? Not so much...but I am sure High School Musical will be viewed somewhere just as perfect as an outdoor screen!!! ~ Now, onto search the blog for the color of the walls in your living room~~I'm loving it.

  5. Image for Sharon Smith Sharon Smith

    I just love your ideas and sorry it rained for the party. But inside works so perfectly also. I want to decorate for fall and you well know that you are my most favorite....sadly my husband passed away suddenly and I am trying to find my way....your blogs bring me some joy and happiness as I look to the future without this wonderful man. Happy sweet 16 to your girls!

  6. Image for Mary from Life at Bella Terra Mary from Life at Bella Terra

    What a milestone-a 16th birthday! Best wishes for a wonderful, rain-free party! Great idea on the pumpkins and paper! I went to Trader Joe's yesterday anticipating a plethora of pumpkins and guess what? They had NONE. Pumpkins haven't arrived in Phoenix, Arizona. So I went to another grocery store and they did have a limited selection, but all with their stems cut off.... Hard to get pumpkin creative here :(. It's time for faux pumpkin shopping....

  7. Image for Marty Oravetz Marty Oravetz

    Love it, I love those small dollar store pumpkins, they are so fun to decorate with. Have fun at the party, I am sure it will be amazing.

  8. Image for Leila Jane Leila Jane

    I just want to send LOVE to Sharon Smith who commented above about losing her husband, Your sad news makes me cry. Please accept my sincere condolences, Sharon. I hope that Karianne's beautiful blogs and wonderful stories continue to bring you joy in the days ahead. Just sending you love and a hug from a stranger out here who cares.

  9. Image for Belinda Medlin Belinda Medlin

    Thank you for being YOU and sharing your family and creativity with us! You are amazing and so encouraging to me, so inspiring! Your daily emails are a joy and a bright spot in my inbox! Love yall bunches! from SC, Yall take care!

  10. Image for RW RW

    Love the stairstep arrangement and the books with covers. :) Painting pumpkins blue is just not something I would have thought of... and you may have solved a problem I have with Christmas decor. Don't tell anyone but I am not actually fond of green and red mixed -- at least in my house. It just does not fit well with my palette, in any quantity. I will have to keep my eyes and mind open a bit more; perhaps I can think outside that Christmas box of colors a bit more.

  11. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    Super cutie pumpkin! Sorry about the rain issue. What about renting a tent? It will be fun, and memorable, and with lots of verbal exclamation points, and loads of laughter and smiles, no matter what. It's the people that make a happy celebration! Have fun rain or shine. With heartfeltness... I echo the same as others to Sharon. Smith. I'm so, so sorry about the loss of your dearest. No words from a total stranger will ease your pain. I just wanted to send my deepest sympathy to you and your family. I will pray for God's comfort and strength to carry you.

  12. Image for Colleen Colleen

    I laughed right out loud when I read your little story about you wearing your prairie skirt and concho belt...and then when you said 'at the risk of sounding obvious, we looked amazing'! Haha! So funny. I had one of those skirts and a concho belt as well. I suppose we should’ve kept them. I assume they will make a return one of these days! I have twins as well (boy and girl) They'll be turning 30 next year, and I honestly do not remember them turning 16. Kinda pathetic, huh? (Honestly I don’t remember my 16th birthday anymore either..😕 (but I do remember my 18th! )

  13. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Ooo...I love those blue pumpkins. Which paint did you use? They look great! And I love the leaves. Too fun! Praying all goes well for the party. Sounds like a lot of fun. Please let us know how it went. ❤

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Renee, I ordered the canvas off etsy. Here's the link to the shop:; https://www.etsy.com/listing/474728189/abstract-art-print-blue-print-abstract? Happy day friend! karianne

  14. Image for Cindy M Cindy M

    Your photos are always so crisp and clear and make me feel as though I’m right there in the space. Do you mind to share what camera and lens you use? I remember a post quite a while back about about a new lense...but faster to ask you here. Thank you and have a super weekend!! Cindy

  15. Image for Farmhouse 40 Farmhouse 40

    What a pretty pumpkin project. I would like to invite you to share at our party at https://www.farmhouse40.com/inspire-me-monday-196 I know my readers would love this project. Hope to see you there.

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