Painted Posts for Halloween Pumpkins
Take your Halloween pumpkin display to new heights with wooden posts -- a home improvement store mainstay -- and a few coats of paint.
For 3 Stands:
- Two 42-inch-tall decorative pine newels
- Fine sandpaper
- Tack cloth
- Outdoor acrylic paint in fall tones: greens, orange, bright red, wine, bright yellow; and brown
- 1-inch-wide flat paintbrush
- Three 7-inch-diameter round wooden plaques
- Three 4-inch-diameter round wooden plaques
- Wood glue
- Flathead screwdriver and power drill
- Nine 2-inch-long flathead screws
- Six 2-inch-long nails
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- Saw off the rounded tops of the newels to create a flat-topped surfaces. To create two shorter stands, saw one newel into two pieces, cutting along a design line about 12 inches from the most shapely end. Sand all the cut surfaces and wipe down the newels with a tack cloth.
- Paint each section of the stands a different fall-inspired color, using the carved design lines to define different-color sections. Let the paint dry, lightly sand the painted surfaces, then apply another coat of paint.
- Paint the round plaques. Let dry, then apply another coat of paint.
- Dip the tip of the paintbrush into brown paint, then brush over paper until the paintbrush is almost dry. Swipe the brush in diagonal X patterns all over the posts and plaques (see photo for paint detail) for rustic detail.
- Center a 7-inch-diameter circular plaque on the bottom of each newel and glue in place to form a base. Screw two 2-inch-long flathead screws through the bottom of the plaque and into the bottom of the newel.
- Using a power drill, drill a hole into the center of each smaller-diameter plaque for the top of the stands. Drill two more holes, spacing each new hole 1/2-inch on either side of the center hole. (The three holes should be in a straight line.) Working from the underside of the circular plaque (unpainted in photo), drive a 2-inch-long nail through each outer hole so the nails protrude through the top side of the plaque. (These will form the prongs to hold the pumpkin in place.)
- Apply wood glue to the top of the newel (see photo). Center a 4-inch-diameter plaque on top of the glue and screw into place through the center drill hole with a 2-inch-long flathead screw. Be sure to watch for the protruding nails.
- Each finished stand will have two nail prongs sticking up to hold a gourd or pumpkin in place (see finished project photo). Select medium-size pumpkins or gourds; large ones will make the posts too top heavy and it may tip over. For safety, cover the nails when storing the stands.