DIY: Vintage Fall Decorations

I stepped out of my house yesterday and felt my first goosebumps of the season.  I love the cooler weather and to celebrate I am going to share with you this awesome tutorial on how to make your own vintage fall decorations. Instead of buying all your decorations, for the fraction of the price and 5 times the amount of fun, you can make your own vintage fall decorations with Amy Howard products.

How to make your own vintage fall decorations with Amy Howard at Home Products

Supplies Needed:

Paper Decorations (Pumpkin)
2 Colors of One-Step Paint (Graphite and Massey Hill)
Cracked Patina
Light Antique Wax
Dark Antique Wax
Dust of Ages


Step One: Set out materials

There is no prep work or cleaning involved with this project. We purchased new paper mache pumpkins and no cleaning was required since it was paper.brown-01

Step Two: Apply first coat of One-Step Paint

For my pumpkins, I used Graphite as my base coat color.  I like to start with a darker color and apply a lighter color or brighter color, in this case, on top.  Cover the paper decoration with the first coat of One Step paint. The purpose of the base coat, is to create an accent color that will be seen through the cracks.  Since most of this coat will not be visible you can paint quickly and there is no need for a second coat.  Allow the base coat to dry completely before the next step.


Step Three: Apply Cracked Patina

Shake the Cracked Patina well to make sure that all of the ingredients are mixed.  This will also ensure the paint will crack evenly.  Once the One Step chalk-based paint is dry, you will apply and even thin layer of Cracked Patina.   This goes on just like paint.  If you would like to accent the stem and leave it the base color do not apply Cracked Patina to that area.

You will need to make sure that the Cracked Patina has dried before you apply your next coat of paint.  It will take at least 30-45 minutes.  You can allow it to dry overnight and apply the second coat of One Step the next day.


Step Four: Apply the second layer of One-Step Paint

Once the Cracked Patina is dry then add your second color of One Step paint. For this project, I used Massey Hill as my second paint color.  Depending on the size of your pumpkin it is best to do this in sections.  As you begin to apply the second coat make sure that your brush is well loaded with paint.  The cracking will start fairly quickly, so you do not want to overwork the area.  Try to get coverage in one thin coat in a single stroke.


Step Five: Pull the Paint

This is where you’re vintage fall decorations start to come to life. Once you have applied paint to the first section of the pumpkin wait for the paint to crack and start to lose its sheen.  You will then pull the paint with the flat side of the bristles of the brush, not the tips.  This allows you to increase the size of the cracks in the paint.  Do this gently as you do not want large gaps.

As the brush becomes dirty grab another.  Once there is a build up of paint on your brush you will begin adding paint to the project, instead of removing paint.  If you want more of the base coat to show through use your fingers and your hands to remove more paint.  Repeat this process with the remaining sections being careful not to overlap the areas you have already painted with a second coat.

Before going on to the next step, check out this video that explains the techniques used to apply light and dark antique wax.

Step Six: Add Light Antique Wax

Once your one-step paint has dried, you can brush on the wax.  Coat your brush in the light wax and then offload the brush on a piece of cardboard.  Offload will get rid of clumps of wax and ensure the wax comes of your brush evenly.  Brush you Light Antique Wax onto your piece with quick, light brush strokes in all different directions.  This technique of changing directions prevents brush marks and ensures that you get total coverage without getting to much in one area.

Step 7: Add Dark Antique Wax

Wait until the Light Antique Wax comes to tack.  Tack is when you rub the piece with your fingers and the wax does not feel like it is moving.  It will not feel oily but it is also not totally cured.
It is now time to add the dark wax. (Always use Light Antique Wax and Dark Antique Wax together.  Dark Antique Wax is not made to be used by itself.)  The layer of light wax will keep the dark wax from overwhelming the project.

Lightly load a clean brush with dark wax and offload it on a piece of cardboard until the Dark Antique Wax comes off evenly and slowly.  Now you are ready to apply the Dark Wax to your piece.  Start at the edges and lightly, with the tips of the brush, begin to add accents by barely brushing the tips against your project.  It is usually best to have only about 10 percent coverage with Dark Wax.  Think about where the piece will have the most dirt and grime or shadow.  Make it look natural.

Dustofages -01

Step 8: Sprinkle Dust of Ages

While the Light and Dark waxes are still tacky apply the Dust of Ages.  It is important that the tack remain to allow the Dust to bond with the wax.
Dab your brush into the Dust of Ages and let it drop onto the project.  Be very generous with the dust and get it into the ever nook and crevice.  Dust of Ages will mimic the years that a piece has set untouched and the dust that has settled into all the cracks.  Any extra Dust of Ages that’s brushed off can go back into the container to be used for future projects.

Dust of Ages has another great property in that it will help polish the surface of the wax giving you a nice slight sheen.  Once you have brushed off your pumpkin take a clean lint free cloth and ball it up and buff the pumpkin lightly much as you would a shoe.

There it is you’re done and you have vintage fall decorations that you can use throughout the fall and for years to come.

For other great ideas to celebrate fall check out these other great posts!

Cheap Fall Activities for Kids
7 Ways to Repurpose Leaves and Celebrate Fall

How to make your own vintage fall decorations with Amy Howard at Home Products








9 thoughts on “DIY: Vintage Fall Decorations

  1. These are so lovely. They look so high end, i can’t believe they are paper. I love the look you gave them, they would be perfect for any fall decor arrangement. Thanks for sharing the steps, i can’t wait to order my supplies off the website to make some.

    1. haha, thank you! I love taking pictures in the garden because it’s such a beautiful backdrop. I’m glad someone else likes it too!

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