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Thanksgiving Art – Apple Pie Spice Paper Bag Pumpkins!

With this holiday season this year looking much different than usual, we’re all looking for ways to keep the holiday spirit alive! We want to share with you some of our favorite seasonal crafts, activities, and games to keep our little ones active and entertained during this chaotic time! Check back on our blog weekly through the holiday season for new activities!

This pumpkin craft is one of my very favorites for a variety of reasons: it has lots of fun sensory stimulations with scrunching paper sounds and warm spice smells, it works on physical focus and hand-eye coordination in a 3D way, and it can become a really sweet part of any seasonal mantel or centerpiece display!


  • Paper Lunch Bag
  • Scrap Paper
  • String/Twine/Garden Wire
  • Orange Paint (We use washable tempera paint – it’s basically kid proof)
  • Craft Glue
  • Craft Glitter
  • Apple Pie Spice/Pumpkin Pie Spice/Cinnamon

The first thing we do to get started is fluff open the lunch bag and grab our scrap paper. To create that pumpkin shape, you’ll scrunch up your scrap paper and stuff them in that bag until it’s about ½ to ¾ full. For a classic lunch bag it’ll be about 2-3 full size pieces of paper to get the right shape. For a lower waste project, I’d recommend using old mail, notes, or other throw-away pages since they won’t be seen in the final project. To finish off the base, tie off the bag with string, twine, or garden wire where the round shape ends to create a stem!

Now we’ll get ready to paint! Before you even bring the paint out, show your little one how to hold the pumpkin from its stem to keep their pumpkin in place while painting and show them how to turn it to paint all sides. This is a fun exercise in crossing the midline  and building up skills and muscle memory we’ll need for writing when we get bigger. For the paint, you’re gonna mix together the orange paint and craft glue in about a 2:1 ratio (more paint than glue) then get painting! Try to cover as much of the open space as possible, there’s lots of little nooks and crannies that can be fun for bigger kids to try to find and fill.

Next comes my favorite part: yummy smelly glitter! Remember with these spices that a little goes a LONG way so just a pinch or a dash (for bakers it would be about ⅛ for a tsp for 1-2 tbsp of glitter) of pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, or cinnamon should be more than enough to activate those smells! I recommend having the glitter mixed before painting, so that your glue-paint doesn’t dry while getting this part ready! There’s a few different ways to go about glitter-fying your pumpkin. If you have a small glitter shaker, those can always be fun for the kids shaking out the glitter! Only fill it a little bit though or you’ll end up with a glitter mountain. Another way to cover it in glitter is to fill a plate, paint tray, or other flat surface with a layer of glitter and either roll your pumpkin through it or dip it on each side!

For a glitter free version, you can always mix the spices directly into the tempera paint! If doing it this way, please make sure your paint is non-toxic in case your little one mistakes our yummy smells for food (it’s generally harder to attempt to eat the glitter)

I hope you love this project as much as we do here at Bubbles! Have a happy, heathy, and joyful season!

Art Project Breakdown

  • Fill paper lunch bag part way with scrunched up scrap paper
  • Tie off the top of the bag to close it up and make a “stem”
  • Mix paint and glue together; also mix glitter and spices together before painting begins
  • Hold on the the stem while covering the pumpkin in glue paint
  • Once covered, sprinkle, roll, or dip the pumpkin with our pumpkin spice glitter
  • Let it dry and enjoy!

Amelia Bell

Amelia’s been moving and grooving from day one. Her parents once told her that as a child she “wasn’t content until she could walk on her own.” Walking quickly turned into dancing, and she’s never stopped. Originally from Houston, Texas, Amelia spent her childhood trying to do anything she considered “artistic” until finally finding her passion in theatre and dance. She graduated from Northwestern University where she was a Theatre major, Dance minor, and graduated with a certificate in Music Theatre.

Working at Bubbles is a dream come true! The mixture of imagination, adventure, art, and music is perfect for Miss Amelia’s energetic and creative spirit. She has been working with young children since she was a teenager, and loves the opportunity Bubbles gives to combine her love of children with her love of the arts. When not working, she can be found on stage performing, teaching herself how to play musical instruments, and baking treats for friends!