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Make a Fall Canvas with Pumpkin Seeds

Learn how to make a fall canvas with an unusual material – pumpkin seeds! This wall art project is easy and makes great art for the autumn season. Leave it up through Thanksgiving!

Skills Required: Beginner. We’re going to teach you the technique for making the painted background, which is very simple.

DIY Fall Canvas with Pumpkin Seeds
Project courtesy of Holli Long

After carving pumpkins this year, I thought to myself . . . what can I do with the seeds? Have you ever had those sort of crazy thoughts?

You know, when you want to save something a little strange, because you don’t really know what you want to do with it. Note that I have a bag of pistachio shells currently in my craft closet. I think I’m using those at Christmas.

Anyhoo, I found a beautiful fall leaves garland at the craft store shortly after pumpkin carving, and let them be my inspiration for this project. I thought, “what if I could shape pumpkin seeds into leaves and make something a bit unique?”

This fall canvas is the result.

Keep reading to learn how to make this canvas idea. Even if you don’t have any painting skills, you’re going to be able to do this project (and you’ll enjoy it). Here’s how.

DIY Fall Canvas

Gather These Supplies

  • Folk Art Acrylic Colors: Coffee Bean, Orange Poppy, Pure Orange, Turners Yellow
  • Mod Podge – any finish
  • Unfinished wood letters (Scrabble tiles would be cute too!)
  • 12″ x 12″ canvas
  • Ashland Fall Garland (from Michaels)
  • Paintbrushes – flat brush, liner brush
  • Transfer paper
  • Pencil
  • Tracing paper
  • Craft glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • 1 1/2″ orange sheer ribbon

Before you begin, wash and dry your pumpkin seeds. Then place Pure Orange and Turners Yellow next to each other on your paint tray.

Double loaded brush with orange and yellow

The first step is to dip your paintbrush in BOTH colors at the same time . . . with orange on half the brush and yellow on the other (you can see on my brush above).

This is called double loading.

After you double load your brush, go ahead and brush back and forth across the canvas (re-loading as needed). This is a simple way to cover a canvas quickly, and you don’t need painting skills to do it.

Don’t “overwork” an area with your brush. This means don’t brush back and forth in the same area too many times . . . otherwise this muddies the colors and they’ll start to just blend together.

The best way is to load your brush, make a few strokes, load again, etc. Good news – if you don’t like the way it looks, let dry and just add color where you see fit. It’s that easy!

testing pumpkin seed placement

I used a leaf from the inspirational garland and made a pattern of one large leaf on some transfer paper. I used the pattern to “test” my pumpkin seed placement, to see if my idea would work.

After deciding it would work, I made several leaf patterns and arranged them on the canvas to find the right design.

Transfer a pattern to canvas

Then I used a piece of transfer paper and transferred the patterns of leaves to the canvas.

Side load and add interest around the leaves

Then I edged the leaves of my canvas with the Orange Poppy.

I wet my brush, then side loaded with paint by putting the paint just on the outside edge as you can see in the image above. I wanted to shade outside the lines of the pattern, just to add some color and interest to the project.

Repeat with all leaves and let dry.

Glue the pumpkin seeds to the canvas

I started making the leaves by gluing the pumpkin seeds to the outside line of the pattern. I didn’t do anything special to the seeds after removing them from the pumpkins, really . . . just washed them very well and left them to dry on paper towels (and then brown craft paper) for about 5 days.

Filling the leaf shape with pumpkin seeds

After the outlines were done, I started filling in the pattern with the seeds. I just put a dab of craft glue on the fat end of the seed and placed it in the pattern. It was very easy and didn’t take too long!

Add ribbon and faux leaves to canvas with a hot glue gun

To seal your fall canvas, use the Mod Podge. Paint a thin layer over the entire canvas (including the seeds) and let dry.

I decided as a finishing touch I would add a bit of sheer ribbon to the top left corner of the canvas. Then I added a couple of those inspirational leaves from the garland.

Make a fall canvas with pumpkin seeds

I also found some pretty wood letters to attach to the fall canvas, that I thought were a nice touch. They were painted Orange Poppy and glued to the bottom right corner of the canvas below the leaves.

What do you think about this DIY fall canvas? Is it cool, or not for you? Let me know in the comments!

If you like fall decor, you might also like these fall signs! I’d also love for you to check out these other posts: