How to Make a Hamburger Pumpkin Swap your scary jack-o-lantern for this clever Halloween DIY

How to make a DIY Halloween pumpkin
Photo by Lindsay Ponta

It can feel a little sad knowing that Halloween will look different this year with social distancing recommendations still in place. That’s why it’s a great time to go over the top on Halloween decorations! You’ll lift your family’s spirits—and your neighborhood’s, too—by decking out the front yard. Go with spooky, silly or cute, but whichever theme you choose, I hope you’ll find a place for this DIY hamburger pumpkin.

You can find all the supplies to make this project, including the pumpkin, at your local craft store. Many shops are still offering curbside pickup, so you can practice safe social distancing while shopping. Alternatively, you should be able to find everything you need on Amazon.

My biggest piece of advice with this project is to relax and not yield to any perfectionist tendencies you may have. The charm of this hamburger pumpkin is in its playful look, and nobody will be checking to make sure all your shapes are perfect circles.

ICYMI: Make a colorful yarn wreath in seasonal hues for fall

And have fun! Work together as a family to make a platter of burgers or assorted fast food items. Challenge each other to use as many upcycled or recycled elements as possible. Add your favorite burger toppings. Go wild!

Paint tomatoes for your DIY hamburger pumpkin
Photo by Lindsay Ponta


  • Craft pumpkin
  • Serrated bread knife or saw
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Scissors and/or X-ACTO knife
  • Hot glue gun
  • White foam board
  • Acrylic paint in red, white and orange
  • Paintbrush
  • Craft foam sheets in yellow, light green and dark green
  • Light green cardstock
Making pickles for a pumpkin that looks like a hamburger
Photo by Lindsay Ponta


  1. Cut the craft pumpkin in half with a serrated knife or a saw, if you have one.
  2.  Find something round that’s the same size or slightly larger in diameter than the pumpkin (a salad bowl works well), and use it to trace 5-6 circles onto corrugated cardboard. Cut the circles out, and hot glue them into a stack. This will be your hamburger patty.
  3.  Trace a couple of smaller circles onto white foam board, and cut them out. Use red acrylic paint to turn them into tomato slices. If you don’t have paint on hand, grab a few markers from your back-to-school stash and draw the details instead of painting.
  4.  Cut three or four imperfect circles out of dark green craft foam sheets. These will be the pickles, so size them accordingly. Cut the same number of slightly smaller light green foam circles. Use a hole punch or your scissors to snip a few small holes into them to represent the seeds. Hot glue the light green circles on top of the dark green ones.
  5.  Cut a square of yellow foam for the cheese. It should be large enough to slightly hang over the edge of the hamburger patty for a melty look.
  6.  Cut a couple large pieces from your green cardstock shaped roughly like blunt hearts. Crinkle each piece a bit to give them a texture like lettuce. Fold the narrower ends into a pleat just like you see in skirts or dresses to give the lettuce leaves a bit of height and stability.
  7. Assemble the hamburger by hot gluing the various pieces together.

About Lindsay Ponta

Lindsay Ponta created the DIY and lifestyle website Shrimp Salad Circus in 2009 to inspire busy women to live perfectly-imperfect creative lives. She lives in Silver Spring, MD. Find easy DIYs and recipes at

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