Halloween DIY Pumpkin Basket

Halloween is the busiest time of year at Goodwill, and one of my favorite holidays! Creative types and proud DIY-ers like me have always flocked to their thrift stores to put together unique, affordable décor and clever, contest-winning costumes using everyday items that can be used again. It’s a huge win-win for everyone: save money on your holiday supplies, and keep quality items out of the landfill and in rotation, either as you found them or part of something completely new — supporting Goodwill’s mission by purchasing from their stores in the process.

All you need to make your own Halloween family heirloom pumpkin is a round basket from Goodwill (I got mine for $2.99 at the South Lamar Store), some pumpkin orange and black spray paint, and a free download-and-print stencil. This DIY only took me about 10 minutes to make (not including drying time) and is now something that we’ll use to give out or display candy every Halloween for many, many years to come!


  • Straw, wicker, or plastic woven basket with a round base
  • Pumpkin orange spray paint
  • Black spray paint
  • Jack O’Lantern stencil (printed or freehand drawn)
  • Scissors or craft  knife

First, you want to clean your basket of any dust, either with a vacuum attachment or canned air product, like Dust-Off. Then lay out some newspaper in the area where you want to spray paint (I recommend outside!). Give your basket a nice heavy-handed but even coat of pumpkin spray paint all over, paying special attention to the underside of handles and the inside well of the basket. While your paint dries, either free-hand draw or download-and-print your Jack O’Lantern stencil onto thick paper, like cardstock. Cut out the inside of the Jack O’Lantern face with your scissors or craft knife. Test your basket to see if the paint is still tacky to the touch, or if you need another coat of paint for coverage, repeat the step above. When your basket is completely covered in orange and dry, firmly press your stencil in place and spray a thick coat of black spray paint in the open stencil areas, being careful not to move the stencil while spraying. Let dry, and voilà! Halloween heirloom.