Let’s make a DIY Fall pumpkin topiary! Learn to transform a resin urn into a pretty, chippy, cracked urn full of french cottage charm. Shop This Post

DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary from Live Oak Nest www.liveoaknest.com

I’ve been on a bit of a french urn kick lately. I decided I wanted to make a fall pumpkin topiary so I started looking on facebook marketplace and at local thrift stores for some urns that I could use.

DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary Video Tutorial

DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary, DIY Cracked Paint Finish, French Cottage Decor

My thrifting paid off and I found several that I could work with! Most of the ones I found out thrifting had really old, dusty faux florals in them, but the urns were so pretty! They just needed a little makeover.

I’m going to take some of my thrifted urns and show you how I transformed them and made them look like antique metal urns full of chippy paint and cracked patina. After I make over the urns, I’ll turn them into pretty DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiaries.

Here is a quick look at the urns before they got a little TLC.

DIY Cracked Paint Finish

The first thing I wanted to do for my DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary was to transform the look of the urns. I wanted them to look like vintage metal urns, with several layers of chippy paint.

I used Amy Howard at Home products to create this look. You will need two of her One Step Paint colors and one bottle of her Cracked Patina. You want to pick two colors that are in the same color palette and that compliment one another. Bauhaus Buff and Selznick Grey were the two colors I used on my urns.


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Step One:

The first thing you want to do is clean off your urn. You can use warm soapy water and then let it dry really well. You can also use Amy Howard’s Clean Slate product which I use often and love!

Step Two:

Next you want to apply a good coat of your lighter color in the One Step Paint. So for my urns, I painted my first coat with the Bauhaus Buff. I did a few coats because I wanted a really solid coverage.

Step Three:

Once your One Step Paint has dried, you can then apply an even coat of the Cracked Patina. It is very thick, so you do want to make sure you thin it with a little warm water. The thicker you apply the Cracked Patina, the larger your cracks will be. I applied a pretty thick even coat.

Make sure you clean up any puddles or drips on the urn as best as you can. It can be a little challenging to avoid puddles on the urns because of all the nooks and crannies, so just do the best you can.

Once applied, let it dry really well. It should no longer be tacky to the touch when it is completely dry. I typically let my project dry over night before moving on to the next step, but it should dry in about an hour depending on your indoor temperature and humidity.

Step Four:

Once the Cracked Patina has dried, you want to apply your second color of the One Step Paint. For my urns, I used the Selznick Grey. This is the messy party of the process, but it’s also a lot of fun.

You will want to work through this step in sections. On the urns, I liked to work bottom to top. Apply the paint on one section and then wait about 30 seconds to a minute. You do want to work quickly when you apply the paint. Also make sure that you don’t overlap your paint after a few seconds. The paint starts to dry quickly and if you overlap when it’s already started to dry, you’ll pull up the paint and it won’t be the look you’re going for. 😉

Once your fresh paint is applied, you will start to see the paint cracking in 30 seconds to a minute. Once the paint starts cracking you can gently start to “pull” the paint by using your hands or a clean, dry chip brush. When you lift the fresh paint, the base color will show through. You can remove as much or as little paint as you like.

From here you can either be done, or you can do another round of the Cracked Patina and another round of the One Step paint. I chose to do another round so once the top coat (Selznick Grey) of paint was really dry, I went back with another thin layer of the Cracked Patina. Once that layer of Cracked Patina was dry, I went back with another coat of One Step Paint in the color Bauhaus Buff.

DIY Cracked Paint Finish on French Urn, DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary from Live Oak Nest www.liveoaknest.com

Step Five:

Once your piece has completely dried you can go back and seal it. You don’t have to seal it, but if you want that little extra protection you can. You will want to seal it with either wax or a clear Polycrylic. I chose to use Amy Howard Clear Wax mainly because my top coat was white. Often times Polycrylic tends to yellow slightly over time, and it’s much more noticeable on a piece that has been painted white.

I have a quick video tutorial saved over on Instagram. Just click the image below to watch!

Here are the before and afters!

DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary

Once your urn is finished, you can add on your fall stems, florals, and pumpkins! This can be as simple as you want it to be. If you are crunched for time, simply add a candle ring wreath and then plop a little pumpkin on top of it.

If you want to spend a little more time creating, you can use a grapevine wreath, moss, white berries, and fall leaves to make a nest for your pumpkin. You can secure everything by placing it into floral foam but I chose to just lay mine on top of the urn. That way when fall is over, I can reuse the urn for a small Christmas tree or a large mercury ball ornament.

DIY Cracked Paint Finish, DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary French Urn from Live Oak Nest www.liveoaknest.com

There are so many ways to make these your own and have them work for your own fall color scheme and decor. Here is the same urn, styled three different ways. I love the little blue pumpkin best but that grapevine pumpkin is SO cute too!

DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary with Grapevine Pumpkin from Live Oak Nest www.liveoaknest.com
DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary Green Faux Pumpkin with a real stem from Live Oak Nest www.liveoaknest.com
DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary, French Country Fall Decor, Cottage Fall Decor from Live Oak Nest www.liveoaknest.com

DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary Realistic Painted Pumpkins

I love to find pumpkins that look real and I found some GOOD ones this year at Michaels! The shapes of the pumpkins look much more life-like than your typical faux pumpkin.

REalistic faux Pumpkins

Shop Pumpkins from Michaels

I picked up several and then painted them with Jolie paint. I used the colors Eucalyptus, Sage, Legacy, and Swedish Grey this year. And of course I always pull the plastic stem and hot glue a real dried pumpkin stem in its place.

Realistic Painted Faux Pumpkins, DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary from Live Oak Nest www.liveoaknest.com

The blue pumpkin in the picture above is this orange pumpkin from Michaels, painted with Jolie paint and then a real pumpkin stem added on. Doesn’t it look pretty close to a real pumpkin?!

DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary

What do you think about my DIY Fall Pumpkin Topiary? I absolutely love how these turned out! I believe I paid between $3.99 and $5.99 for each of the urns and used pumpkins I already had so it was pretty inexpensive to do!

The paint and the Cracked Patina from Amy Howard at Home will really last a long time. I’ve done several projects already with this bottle of Cracked Patina and I still have over half left.

I’d love for you to say hello down below and let me know what you think! And if we’re not friends over on Facebook or Instagram, what are you waiting for?! ☺️

Are you on Pinterest? Come follow along for more French cottage inspiration!

Kayla C.

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