Give Thanks pumpkin tutorial from StudioJRU

I have many favorite verses and this is one of them. I strive to have this wonderful spirit of rejoicing and thanksgiving.

Rejoice always;  pray without ceasing;  in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I say strive because it is not always easy. Life offers us a lot of challenges. There are times when it feels nearly impossible to find the good and give thanks. Life can be hard and uncomfortable. It feels impossible in those moments because we are not in control and we do not understand.

His peace passes our understanding. Through faith, we can put our trust in Him and know in everything, there is something praiseworthy. Everything. We can trust Him and thank Him for the experience because we know He is in control and He knows what is best for us.

Only through Him, can we find that contentment.

Autumn can be the beginning of a busy season. And a busy season may bring with it stress and worry and the whole, ‘things aren’t going as planned’ feeling. I think that makes autumn a perfect time to get my thinking and focus on the right track. It is the perfect time to put a little reminder out into our home for the season.

I want and need this reminder. A reminder that I have a choice. I can choose to rejoice and pray and give thanks always. I can choose to rejoice and pray and give thanks without ceasing. I can choose to rejoice and pray and give thanks in everything.

I am making a choice to enjoy life, to live life, to be filled with joy. That is Him in us. That is how He wants us to live.

Give Thanks pumpkin tutorial from StudioJRU

This give thanks tutorial can be a simple way to bring this wonderful verse into your home.

I started with a collection of pumpkins from yard sales. They were a variety of colors, so I decided to paint them all the same. I used an off white spray paint and then aged them a bit. If you have pretty pumpkins already, you can skip this painting part and just use your already pretty pumpkins!

Outside, I sprayed all the pumpkins with a few light coats of primer. Light coats will dry much easier and won’t leave you with big paint drips. A primer helps you use less of the paint color you pick, but you don’t have to prime first.

Give Thanks pumpkin tutorial from StudioJRU

Next, I painted the pumpkins from top to bottom with an off white color. If you like how the stems already look, you can put painters tape over them so they won’t be sprayed with the paint.

Give Thanks pumpkin tutorial from StudioJRU

I painted the stems with green. Then I used brown craft paint to make the pumpkin look a little aged and more real. This is the fun part. At first, it will look like you are doing something wrong and that it is going to look terrible. Don’t worry, it won’t! Water your brown paint down with just a bit of water. Work in sections and paint in the cracks of the pumpkin.

Give Thanks pumpkin tutorial from StudioJRU

Then take a paper towel and rub it off. You will see that the deep cracks will keep more of the brown paint. It highlights all those little lines and bumps and spots that make the pumpkin look like it actually grew outside!

Give Thanks pumpkin tutorial from StudioJRU

Next I took some tan and brown craft paint and lightly painted over the stem. I wanted to still be able to see some of the green underneath, but covered enough so it doesn’t look bright green.

Now that the pumpkins are done, or you have your already pretty pumpkins ready, we will add the verse onto some tags. I found my tags in the office supplies, you can also find them with scrapbooking supplies. I have a simple tutorial here, if you want to see how I aged my tags.

I collected my typography stamps and placed the words on each tag to make sure they would fit.

Give Thanks pumpkin tutorial from StudioJRU

I used black acrylic paint to stamp the letters onto the tags. You can also use ink. You can also write the words yourself with a pen or marker.

Give Thanks pumpkin tutorial from StudioJRU

I used pieces of twine to hang my tags off the pumpkins. You could also use ribbon or raffia.

Give Thanks pumpkin tutorial from StudioJRU
Give Thanks pumpkin tutorial from StudioJRU

You can set the pumpkins up in an autumn display or line them up on a table, a shelf, or a mantle.

Give Thanks pumpkin tutorial from StudioJRU

A reminder of the choice He wants us to make. Choosing in everything to give thanks!

What is one thing you are choosing to give thanks for today?

By Jennifer, StudioJRU


  • Jen

    These are beautiful! I love how you aged the pumpkins.

    • Jennifer

      Thank you, Jen!

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  • Natasha d

    Great idea — thanks for sharing!!

    • Jennifer

      Thanks so much, Natasha!

  • Lindsay

    Awesome! I have been wanting to paint some pumpkins white since we didn’t grown any. I love this project!! The aged look is so perfect. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    • Jennifer

      White pumpkins are so pretty. Thank you, Lindsay! I hope you have fun with the project!

  • Amanda

    These are gorgeous…I see a weekend project with my daughter in the future….maybe to do our November Battlefield Verses with. I am thankful for the everlasting life that God so eagerly gives, for his precious Son, Jesus Christ. He chose to pay a debt for us all that He didn’t have to pay…and with that I will Rejoice Always!!

    • Jennifer

      Using this as a weekend project with your daughter sounds wonderful, Amanda! I hope you two have fun! He chose to pay a debt He didn’t have to… yes… and I am also so grateful for that!!

  • Linda Stoll

    this is just too wonderfully creative! the tags are priceless, the finished vignette … absolutely over the top!

    God gets the glory, once again!

    • Jennifer

      You are so sweet, thank you, Linda! He does get the glory!!

  • Kristin

    So beautiful! Already thinking about where I could put a display like this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jennifer

      You are more than welcome, Kristin! I hope you find a place for the display! :)

  • Hope

    Wow. What a great idea and a simple way to make autumn display. I like your pumpkin color much better than the orange. It gives it an overall Fall theme as opposed to an Halloween theme. Great post.

    • Jennifer

      That is exactly what I was wanting, something that I could have out the entire fall season. Thank you, Hope!

  • Jennifer Peterson

    So cute I love the idea!! I am thankful for my wonderful husband!!

    • Jennifer

      Oh yes!! A precious gift to be thankful for. Thank you for sharing, Jennifer!

  • Behind The Smile

    Thank you for the “give thanks pumpkin tutorial” :-), you are very creative. The message of giving thanks in everything is very apt for me especially at this moment/stage in my life. Yesterday I had a lovely day out with friends in the autumn sunshine, lunch, a wee drive in the country-a rare event for myself. However today as a result I am in my bed unwell too ill to stay up even though I tried-the effect on my body of yesterday. I recently was told to try and look to the left and the right in my current situation so I do not miss the small but important good things in any given situation instead of focusing alone on being well, the healing from God. By focusing on the goal alone I may miss the wonders in the journey to that goal. These wonders may be small almost unnoticeable but still there. So today I give thanks for yesterday and I give thanks that yes I am in bed unwell but I can rest, read, check things on the computer, have healing sleep and look to a better day again. I give thanks for the rare days or moments of joy in amongst the hard dark days of chronic illness. To give thanks in everything can be hard at times but important. Thank you for your message. Blessings.

    • Jennifer

      I understand how hard it can be to sometimes find the things to be thankful for in the midst of struggles. But it is always there. He always provides. Thank you for sharing today. Praying for your strength as you find the wonders in the journey!

    • Kim

      Hi Behind the Smile – Just wanted to send you a hug! I suffered from a chronic illness for many years of my life and know how hard it is to get out and have a good day, only to hurt even worse the next day because of it. But you are so right – there are so many little blessings that God is showering to the left and to the right even as we wait for deliverance. I am so blessed that God has healed me, but I’ve since learned that healing doesn’t mean perfect health (been on the merry-go-round many times) and that the blessing has been in learning to hold on to Him for dear life through every day and celebrate His goodness through all things. Praying for comfort and continued moments of joy for you! XO.

  • Carrie R

    Oh my gosh – I LOVE THESE!!!!! I am on my way to Michael’s right now to buy myself some pumpkins! Thank you – these are just beautiful!!!!!! And I LOVE the message!

    • Jennifer

      Yay! So happy you are going to give it a try… I know you will have fun putting this together, Carrie!

  • Christina Berry

    You are amazingly creative! I’ll try this at home, but I’m sure it won’t turn out anything like yours! :)

    • Jennifer

      I know it will look great, Christina! That is the fun in ‘aging’ things… it always looks good! ;)

  • Robyn @ a bird in the Father’s hand

    So pretty! … today I choose to give thanks for – the way He displays the constant and steady faithfulness of His character, even when my feelings threaten to give me whiplash.

    • Jennifer

      That is such a beautiful thing to be thankful for, Robyn. I am so glad you shared, thank you!

  • Kim

    This is a beautiful message and a beautiful arrangement!! Thank you so much for sharing! Just this weekend I was telling my husband that I want to celebrate God’s seasons in our home so we don’t let them fly by without really getting to rejoice in them. We picked up some small white pumpkins at Trader Joe’s on Sunday and built a fall display on top of our family room bookshelves. I LOVE having the celebration of the season in our apartment, and I’ve been wondering how I could plan for Thanksgiving – I’m definitely using this beautiful verse. Thanks so much for the wonderful inspiration! I’m so grateful for His seasons and the life that He gives.

    • Jennifer

      That is so great, Kim! And so true. We can often let them fly by with little notice, but bringing the seasons into our home, really helps us to celebrate! So glad to hear you will be able to bring this verse into your Thanksgiving celebration!!

  • Jennifer

    Jennifer, I love your beautiful ideas and your sweet, gentle, helpful tutorials. It makes someone like me feel like they can do it, too! {And from experience in doing your projects before, I trust each step you share!} Thank you, sweet sister. Can’t wait to do this soon. :) Bless you!

    • Jennifer

      You are so sweet, thank you, Jennifer! I love that you have tried these projects!! Can not wait to see this one from you! :)

  • Annie

    This is so beautiful! All of it!

    • Jennifer

      Thank you so much, Annie!

  • Cynthia

    Thank you for this! Of course, the pumpkin tableau is beautiful and the tips, terrific. But the words preceeding them are the true beauty for me today. Thank you for reminding me that I have a choice at all times in my attitude. Have a wonderful day!

    • Jennifer

      Thank you, Cynthia. I am glad these words were a gentle reminder of the choices we have. Thank you!

  • Jessie

    Thanks so much for the encouraging post. We have recently moved and this season has been so different than any other I’ve ever had. I am making a choice to live with joy and give thanks in everything!!

    I adore your pumpkins- they look amazing! And the reminder to give thanks is wonderful on them! Because every day is a gift and an opportunity to be thankful:)

    I’m putting this on my list of craft projects to do:)


    • Jennifer

      So happy to hear you are making that choice, in the midst of a different season for you, Jessie! Glad you are going to give this project a try! :)

  • Lisa

    All supplies on my shopping list! Excited to try it out! I just turned our office into a breakfast room and have been looking for a cute center piece! I think I have found it…thanks!!

    The scripture is already up on our chalk board for our family to memorize this month =)

    • Jennifer

      This would be perfect for a centerpiece in your new room! Love the idea of a breakfast room… sounds wonderful! Have fun with the project, Lisa!

  • Debra

    Thanks you Jennifer. I LOVE these and the message. What a great way to remember daily to “give thanks for everything and in everything give thanks.” There really is joy in every situation. We just need to praise Him, and the joy and peace will come. He’s got it.

    • Jennifer

      Exactly right, Debra… He’s got it!!

  • katie @ cardigan way

    SO beautiful, Jennifer! Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Jennifer

      Thank you, Katie! :)

  • Adrienne

    Love, love the tutorial…thank you for sharing. So creative and inspiring. Blessings,

    • Jennifer

      Thank you so much, Adrienne!

  • Kerry @ Made For Real

    Ah-ha!! The tags! It all comes together :)… I LOVE what you did here, Jennifer.

    • Jennifer

      Yes, this is what the tags were for! Thank you, Kerry!

  • Anita

    Absolutely beautiful. I’m partial to orange pumpkins, but if I needed some neutral decor, these would be amazing to have. =) The verse is a keeper!

    • Jennifer

      It is a such a great verse! Thank you, Anita!

  • Traci Michele

    SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jennifer

      Thank you, Traci!! :)

  • Diane Bailey

    Super Cool! Great idea that I plan on using! Thank you!

    • Jennifer

      Happy to hear that, Diane! Have fun!

  • Joanna

    Got my pumpkins today and already have everything else. Thanks so much for a lovely tutorial. Blessings!

    • Jennifer

      That is great, Joanna! So excited you are going to use the tutorial, have fun!

  • Kristen

    Is there a tutorial for the large acorn in the picture?

    • Jennifer

      Sorry, Kristen… I have not made a tutorial for that, but maybe one day I will! :)

  • Beth Williams

    It is truly hard to be thankful always! I have a “Thankful” journal. I begin the journal by listing a ton of things I’m thankful for. Then day by day I add to it the little things of the moment, day that I’m blessed to have seen or done. You’d be surprised how many “little” things you can come up with.

    Prayer, praise and thinking of items to be thankful for remind us how blessed we are in Christ!

    • Jennifer

      Exactly, Beth! Those little things, that we can easily overlook if we don’t pay attention, really add up to us having so many gifts!! I love that!

  • Glenda Childers

    Such a fun and beautiful way to surround yourself by truth.

    • Jennifer

      Thank you so much, Glenda!

  • Amy

    This is so beautiful & special, Jennifer! Now I see how you uses the coffee-dyed tags! Love the whole thing!

    • Jennifer

      Yes… this was the reason behind the tags! I needed something that said ‘fall’. Thank you, Amy!

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  • Joanna

    Hi again, Jennifer! I thought I would share my finished pumpkin display with you…just posted it today on my blog:
    Thank you, again!
    Blessings to you in our Lord, Joanna

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  • Maria S. Myers

    I did this project with my 8 grade girls Bible class. I am a teacher in San Bruno California. Where can I share with you the pictures? Love the project. However I had a difficulty trying to keep the paint from coming of the pumpkins. The tags are wonderful . Thank you so much for sharing. Can’t wait to see what else will come in the future. Good job Jennifer! May the Lord continue to shower you with ideas.

  • Mindy

    Beautiful words and beautiful pumpkins! Thank you for both : )

  • Beth Hildebrand

    beautiful art as always Jennifer!

  • Gwen

    Oh Jen these are so perfect for me. I do need to buy pumpkins for they are cheaper than fake ones. I really like your display so much though I would like to pick it up and set it in front of my fireplace. Yes, I’ve been thinking upon In everything give thanks. For my nose is too close and cannot see all that God sees. He doesn’t like to hear my deep cries, my struggles, all of that, but it seems when I think Oh Lord No more! Please Lord. He uses me again to share my faith with another health professional. And once when I’d had seizures and sudden cardiac arrest, and still struggle to recover, and deep sorrow overtakes me, my doctor took my hands, and with tears said, Do not Worry. It is for God to know. You just keep trusting The Lord. That’s all. Do not worry or focus on what others say. They do not show compassion. I need you to take care of you, Curt and stay first close to God. That’s all right now. It will be a long recovery. It will be a year.
    And as I learn to say thank you to The Lord, it is not for tangible things. For in death, nothing of earth was there. But as I read Psalms this summer for my SPA with Gwen Smith ( I do have a couple more days to make it!) I find verse upon verse where God is there. And Friday as I read Psalm 119, I felt the most innermost closeness like God and I were talking together in the room. And He was showing me exciting new things!!! And in this, for this, He spared my life so I could grow again and in this Lord, thank you. In tears, sorrow, loneliness, fear, memory loss I keep turning to You. So I as the Psalmist sing I will praise you with my last breath…I give thanks in all things, knowing You are working out a special plan for Your glory and my and Curt’s good. Thank you Jennifer!!!

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  • Heather

    “Give Thanks Pumpkin Tutorial” was in fact a splendid article, cannot wait to look over more of
    ur blog posts. Time to spend a lot of time on-line haha.
    I appreciate it ,Marjorie

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