How to Make a Smashing Pumpkin Paper Bomb Pop-Up Papercraft | Free Pattern and Files | Cricut

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Want a fun papercraft to make this autumn? I have JUST the thing — a smashing pumpkin paper bomb! It’s similar to the extremely popular Penguin Paper Bomb, but this one is EASIER and FASTER to make! And, better yet, you can personalize the face and the pumpkin stalk to your liking, as I’ve included 16 different eyes/nose/mouth combinations and four different stalk shapes. So much fun!!

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Watch the pumpkin paper bombs in ACTION with this video:

What is a paper bomb? It’s a papercraft that you can fold flat, then drop it on a surface to watch it POP UP into shape. It’s very fun and will make you the talk of your next party or family gathering. And you don’t know what sort of face the pumpkin will have until it pops up, so it’s rather fun. One of my pumpkin paper bombs is quite happy to be bouncing about, but the other one is definitely surprised!

This paper craft was inspired by the Penguin Paper Bomb I made, which was in turn inspired by kamikara expert Hakuri Nakamura’s papercrafts. Kamikara is the Japanese word for trick papercraft!

I will walk you through the whole smashing pumpkin paper bomb papercraft, so let’s get started! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)!  Read my full disclosure policy.

Smashing Pumpkin Paper Bomb Materials

How to Assemble the Smashing Pumpkin Paper Bomb

First, cut out all of your pumpkin paper pieces using my cut files or pattern.

  • If you cut with a Cricut, upload the SVG file to Cricut Design Space, place it on your Canvas, click Ungroup on all layers, change the one red layer with score lines to “Score,” then hold down the Shift key and select the red score layer and all of the orange layers and click Attach. You need to attach these layers together so that the score lines stay with the sections that need them.
  • If you cut with scissors, print out the Paper Bomb PDF selecting the appropriate file either the pattern for solid color cardstock or the patterned design that you can print on white cardstock.

Preparing the SVG in Cricut Design Space
Tip: You can click the image above to see it at a larger size.

Here is each piece of cardstock you’ll cut out:

Paper pieces needed to make the pumpkin paper bomb

Next, watch my full-length assembly video — I show you the entire process to put this together:

This video will show you things that are hard to explain in this post. But this post has information not available in the video, so be sure to read it, too!

Your first step is to fold the top of the pumpkin piece (the roundish piece without a hole in the middle). Fold in the triangle pieces on each side.

Fold the triangles in on the top piece of the pumpkin paper bomb

Glue down the triangle sides.

Glue down the triangle sides on the pumpkin paper bomb

Then glue a reinforcement rectangle over each set of triangles:

Glue reinforcements over the triangles on the sides of the pumpkin paper bomb

Fold the rubber band holders down and up, as shown below:

Folding the rubber band holders on the pumpkin paper bomb

Now glue the rubber band holders:

Gluing the rubber band holders on the pumpkin paper bomb

Now fold the remaining sides as tabs at the score lines.

Fold in the remaining sides of the pumpkin paper bomb

Turn the pumpkin top over and glue the stem base onto the top of it.

Glue the stem base onto the top of the pumpkin paper bomb

Pick a stem, fold it at the base, and glue it onto the stem base:

Fold a stem and glue it onto the stem base on your pumpkin paper bomb

Do the same folding and gluing to the bottom of the pumpkin piece.

Fold and glue the bottom of the pumpkin paper bomb

It’s time now to fold the paper spring mechanism, which comes in two parts. The first part, which looks like a rectangle with wings, gets its tabs folded up at the base. The section that is longer gets down again. Here are photos of how it is folded and glued. (Note: The pieces shown in the photos are black because they are from the penguin paper bomb tutorial and are higher quality images than the pumpkin images I took. They get folded and glued the same way!)

Mechanism of the penguin paper bomb

Mechanism of the penguin paper bomb

Mechanism of the penguin paper bomb

Mechanism of the penguin paper bomb

Mechanism of the penguin paper bomb

Mechanism of the penguin paper bomb

Tip: I included a second catch with this pumpkin paper bomb that you can use if you wish. It glues on top of the first catch to stick out a little more if you feel your pumpkin needs it. You can see how it is glued in my assembly video.

Now glue the mechanism and catch assembly into the top of the top pumpkin piece, in the same orientation as shown below. The orientation is important so the catch can work properly.

Glue the mechanism into the TOP piece of the pumpkin paper bomb

It’s time to glue these two pieces together, rubber band holder to rubber band holder.

Glue the rubber band holders together

Once the two of the rubber band holders are attached, you can fold it closed and glue the other rubber band holder and all the other tabs together, like this:

Glue the top to the bottom

Now pick out eyes, a nose, and a mouth, and glue them on your pumpkin where you want them to appear. I think it looks best if the eyes and nose are on the top half, and the mouth on the bottom half.

Glue on a face for your pumpkin paper bomb

Glue on a face for your pumpkin paper bomb

Now let’s make it able to pop up! To do this, take your smaller rubber band (size 18 — about 3″ long when folded) and drop it into the pumpkin so one end of the rubber band loops around one end of a rubber band loop. (Again, I’m going to use my black penguin pieces to illustrate this because they are good quality — the technique is the same!)

Place the rubber band in the head of the penguin paper bomb

Now reach into the head, grasp the rubber band, and hook it around the other end of the same rubber band holder.

Place the rubber band in the head of the penguin paper bomb

If you have difficulties grasping the rubber band, use a crochet hook as I did, or make yourself a hook out of a piece of wire.

Make a hook for your penguin paper bomb

Using that hook, reach into the pumpkin from the opposite side of where your rubber band is currently hooked on, grasp the end of the rubber band, and carefully hook it around the rubber band holder directly across from the first one. This is tricky! It took me many tries to get the hang of this.

Place the rubber band in the head of the penguin paper bomb

Lastly, reach inside with your hook from the other side, get the rubber band, and wrap it around the last end of the rubber band holders.

Place the rubber band in the head of the penguin paper bomb

At this point, you should be able to let go and the pumpkin will pop into place!

Pumpkin Paper Bomb with a rubber band inside

Flatten the pumpkin again, turn it over, and make sure the tab mechanism is sticking out. (You may need to reach in with your hook and pull it out.) Allow the protruding side of the mechanism to catch on the bottom, which will keep it flat.

Now drop the smashing pumpkin on your work surface. mechanism side down. If you did it right, it will pop up! If it doesn’t work, check to make sure nothing is impeding the mechanism from being pushed in when it lands on the work surface.

Free Cut Files & Pattern for the Smashing Pumpkin Paper Bomb

Get the password for the library with the free smashing pumpkin paper bomb pattern and SVG/DXF/PDF files here by filling out this form:


If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to check out my Penguin Paper Bomb, too!

Save the Smashing Pumpkin Paper Bomb to Your Favorite Pinterest Board!

Make a Smashing Pumpkin Paper Bomb | Paper Toy | Trick Papercraft | Free Pattern and Tutorial | Cricut Papercraft

Learn how to make smashing pumpkins paper bombs with this step by step tutorial and free SVG cut file from Jennifer Maker. #cricut #cricutmade #cricutmaker #cricutexplore #svg #svgfile

Check Out The Amazing Penguin Paper Bomb:

More Fun Pop-Up Papercraft Tutorials

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