Terra Cotta Mosaic Pumpkin

Tired of those painstakingly-carved pumpkins eliciting a big 'eeewww' by Halloween night? Let the kids have their fun; you can preserve the harvest spirit in a more permanent fashion.

Completion time – 2-4 hours

Designer – Kathleen George


  • Ball, 8"
Other Materials
  • Chipped & cracked terra cotta pots and saucers
  • Latex adhesive for ceramic floor tile
  • Sanded grout for floor tile
  • Wooden dowel, 1" x 3"
  • Burnt umber or black acrylic paint (optional)


  • Serrated knife
  • Candle stub or paraffin
  • Fine-line black permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Large rubber bands, three
  • Metal tablespoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Disposable bowl
  • Rubber spatula
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Palette knife
  • Linens: old towel; clean, soft rag
  • Hammer
  • Tile nipper (optional)


  • 1. Wax serrated knife with candle stub or paraffin. Cut thinslice from bottom of foam ball. Mark center bottom and centertop of ball. Use marker to divide ball into six equal verticalsegments. To make this easier, wrap three large rubber bandsaround ball before marking.
  • 2. Use knife to cut 1/2"- to 1"-deep V-shaped groove alongeach segment line. Smooth cut edges with backside of metalspoon. Carve small hole in center top for stem; insert dowelto check fit and set aside.
  • 3. To prepare mosaic pieces, place terra cotta items, one at atime, inside old towel. Use hammer to break items into 1" to1-1/2" pieces; do not pulverize. Remove smaller piecesperiodically to check size. Continue until you haveapproximately 6 c. of mosaic pieces.
  • 4. Use palette knife to spread 1/8"-thick layer of tileadhesive onto small section of foam pumpkin. Press terra cottapieces firmly into adhesive, leaving roughly equal amount ofspace between pieces. Use curved terra cotta pieces on morerounded parts of pumpkin where possible; do not cover stemhole. Repeat to cover pumpkin; let dry. Glue stem into hole.
  • 5. Follow manufacturer's instructions to mix grout, unlessusing pre-mixed grout. If desired, tint grout with smallamount of acrylic paint in disposable bowl; mix well.
  • 6. Wearing gloves, spread grout onto pumpkin, working it intospaces between terra cotta pieces. Use spatula to scrape offexcess and to reapply where needed.
  • 7. Use soft, damp sponge to clean mosaic surface aftergrouting. Rinse tools and sponge in bucket of water ratherthan household sink; discard water outdoors.
  • 8. Use soft rag to clean face of terra cotta one last time;set aside to dry completely.