Jester Jack-o'-Lantern

Any pumpkin, carved or fresh from the pumpkin patch, will look grand sitting upon this whimsical garden post.

What You Need:

The painted post is 4 feet tall.
  • Pumpkin
  • Spoon
  • Wood garden post
  • Saw; sandpaper
  • 11x11-inch piece of 3/4-inch-thick pine
  • Flower-shape wood clock face or 9-inch-square piece of 3/4-inch-thick pine
  • Tack cloth
  • Acrylic paints in orange, black, yellow, purple, green, and white
  • Paintbrush; pencil
  • Tracing paper
  • Four 3-inch wood stars; five 1-3/4-inch wood stars
  • Twenty 3/4-inch wood stars
  • Wood finial
  • Wood glue
  • Drill and drill bit
  • Six 2-inch-long wood screws with flat heads
  • Screwdriver
  • Assorted beads
  • Colored wire
  • Ice pick; toothpick
  • Candle; match


1. Download the free pattern for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Jester Jack-O-Lantern pattern

Download Adobe Acrobat

2. Cut the top off the pumpkin in a zigzag pattern. Clean out the insides with a spoon. Carve a face on the pumpkin. Set it aside.

3. If desired, cut off the bottom of the garden post so it measures approximately 4 feet high. Sand any rough spots on the garden post, clock face, or remaining pine pieces. Remove any dust using a tack cloth.

4. Using the photograph for ideas, paint the garden post. You can paint solid areas, checks, stripes, dots, or whatever you wish. To make the triangular shapes at the top of the large stars, paint them green with a little yellow mixed in. Let the paint dry. Outline the lower edges of the triangles with yellow. For all other green painted areas, highlight with yellow while the green paint is wet. For the yellow areas, you can add touches of orange while the yellow paint is wet. When painting a black-and-white checked pattern, paint the entire area white first. When it's dry, add the black checks.

5. For the base, divide the top into four equal sections, drawing in the lines with a pencil. Paint two opposite corners orange and the remaining two black. Let the paint dry. Paint the edges with black and orange, creating a checked pattern. Let the paint dry.

6. For the wood piece that sits on the top of the post, use the wood clock face. If you prefer to cut a top piece from pine, trace the pattern. Cut out the pattern and trace around it on pine. Use a band saw to cut out the shape. Sand the edges if necessary. Paint the top solid purple and the edge with a black-and-white checked design. Let the paint dry. Add orange and green dots to the top edge, if desired. Let dry.

7. Paint the large and medium stars yellow. Dry-brush the edges using orange. Let the paint dry. Paint twelve of the small stars orange and the remaining stars yellow. Add yellow to the edges of the orange stars and orange to the edges of the yellow stars. Let dry.

8. Paint the finial as desired, using the photograph for ideas. Let the paint dry.

9. Glue the large stars on the garden post as shown. Add a small star below each large one. Glue a medium star in each corner of the base piece. Glue small stars around the edge of the top piece, alternating orange and yellow stars. Let dry.

10. Drill a hole through the center of the round top piece. Drill a hole in the center of the top and bottom of the post. Drill a hole through the center of the base piece. Use screws to secure the base and top pieces to the post. Tighten to secure.

11. Thread desired beads onto wires. Put enough beads on to wrap around post where you want to add the beaded wires. Tie the wires in place. To curl the wire ends, wrap tightly around an ice pick.

12. Remove top from the pumpkin. Use an ice pick to poke a hole 1 inch deep in the stem of the pumpkin. Glue a toothpick in the hole. Place painted finial on toothpick. Add beaded wires and a wooden star to the topper.

13. Carefully place the pumpkin on the stand, making sure it is balanced. Place a candle in the pumpkin and light it. Put on the lid. Be sure never to leave a burning candle unattended.


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