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
Flathead screwdriver and power drill
Nine 2-inch-long flathead screws
Six 2-inch-long nails
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.