How to Make Primitive Pumpkin Place Cards

Follow these easy step to turn plastic pumpkins into rustic and primitive ones with paint and cinnamon, and make a cute fabric name tag! These primitive pumpkins make the perfect Thanksgiving or Fall place cards for your dining table!

This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. My full disclosure policy can be found here.

Welcome friend! Are you looking for some easy ways to personalize your Thanksgiving table for friends and family?

These primitive pumpkin place cards are so fun and simple to make, with just a few basic supplies.

Why primitive?

Lately I have found myself really drawn to the folk art style of crafting. Primitive items look homespun and evoke that feeling of an earlier time when life was simpler. These handcrafted items also speak from the heart.

This Fall I made primitive farmhouse sunflowers, small DIY fabric and wood bead sunflowers as well as chunky, drippy candles (with a primitive version). I have some primitive Christmas ideas rolling around in my head too, so be on the lookout for those!

Of course, you make it yours! If you prefer to make your pumpkin placecards look more modern, do that! It's easy to personalize this project to suit your personal decorating style!

Are there other ways to decorate with primitive pumpkins?

Of course! You're really only limited by your imagination! You can leave off the place card fabric tags and pile these prim pumpkins in a dough bowl or basket. Instead of names on the tags, you can stamp other words that have meaning to you, or why not "grateful" "thankful" "blessed" to stay with the Thanksgiving theme.

How to make primitive pumpkin place cards

What supplies will I need?

Step 1: spray paint pumpkins

Take your pumpkins outside and spray them with the caramel spray paint. Two light coats should ensure they're fully covered. Let them dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: add cinnamon to pumpkins

Before we get into this step, I'm sure you're wondering WHY CINNAMON? Ground cinnamon is commonly used in primitive crafts for these main reasons:
  1. it smells amazing
  2. it adds a primitive color to crafts
  3. it has a rustic, gritty texture that primitive crafts are known for
I purchase cinnamon from the dollar store and keep it in my craft room. That way, I can carefully add the excess cinnamon back to the jar for another use.

Use a fairly heavy coat of mod podge to make sure the cinnamon sticks to the entire pumpkin. The foam brush is easiest to get the glue in every nook and cranny of the pumpkins. Once the pumpkin is thoroughly covered in glue, sprinkle cinnamon generously over the pumpkin. I keep a paper towel in a tray below to catch the excess cinnamon (which I then pour back into the container).

The pumpkin should be completely coated in cinnamon. Isn't that a lovely primitive color? Now we need to ensure the cinnamon stays put!

Step 3: seal the pumpkins

Carefully spray the coated pumpkins with a coat of a matte sealer to set the cinnamon in place so that it doesn't come off when the pumpkins are handled.

The color will darken significantly as you can see below. If you find that your pumpkin isn't as thoroughly coated in cinnamon as you thought, you can reapply. Just make sure to finish up with the spray sealer to set the cinnamon in place.

Step 4: make the name tags

Stain some fabric (either muslin or canvas drop cloth) in coffee following the directions linked in the supplies list. Rip fabric into 1" strips.

Using alphabet stamps and ink, stamp each name onto the fabric strips.

Step 5: finish pumpkin

Tie a piece of raffia around the pumpkin stem and knot. Add a strip of torn green homespun fabric (this is a simple way to mimic the leaves of the pumpkin) and then use a rusty safety pin to attach the name tag to the fabric.

How do I make rusty safety pins?

  1. spray paint safety pins with a dark brown color like THIS ONE
  2. while paint is wet, sprinkle cinnamon onto the pins and let dry

I really love how these primitive pumpkins turned out! They're so perfectly primitive, they smell good, and they are a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving table!  

I placed each pumpkin onto a paper bag leaf ( see the how to here) for each place setting. That just keeps them away from the feast that will soon be overflowing on the plates!

I paired them with vintage blue Currier and Ives dishes that I inherited. You can see more of my dining table centerpiece here, although I did move things around a little bit, added the faux black berry stems and my dollar store blue and white porcelain pumpkins and a brand new pleated paper table runner that I'll be sharing with you very shortly!

I hope you're inspired to give these primitive DIY pumpkins a try! Please do let me know in the comments and I would love to see a picture if you make them!

Pin to save

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


share this post


  1. Oh goodness... these pumpkins are decadent! They just have such a natural moody vibe that certainly chimes in with a cozy fall! Beautifully done!


Post a Comment

Your comments are like sunshine and chocolate! Thanks for taking the time to leave a nice one ;) I read all comments and love to respond if you leave your name and email! Otherwise, please look for my response under the post where you left it!