Folk art style: DIY Top Hat Jack with paper clay

Today’s Halloween pumpkin craft is made in a folk art style, and thanks to paper clay and a few simple, painted details, this is DIY folk art anyone can make. Designer Rebekah Meier’s Top Hat Jack is a treasure, and a DIY Halloween decoration you’ll cherish for years to come. (Last year, Rebekah shared her Folk Art Candy Corn Girl, and her Folk Art Halloween Totem.) Rebekah’s folk art tutorial keeps it simple, so don’t be intimidated.

This folk art craft by Rebekah Meier is well worth the effort. It's a keepsake craft! Made with paper clay and Styrofoam brand foam, so it's really easier than it looks.

Folk art-style, Top Hat Jack by Rebekah Meier.

To make Top Hat Jack, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 1-½” Ball, 4” Egg, and 3” Disc
  • Air-dry clay, 1 package (Rebekah uses Creative Paperclay®)
  • Acrylic craft paint: Moon Yellow, Canyon Orange, Lamp Black, Foliage Green, Tapioca, Calico Red
  • Brush on acrylic varnish in gloss finish
  • Cardstock, black and orange, one sheet each
  • Crepe paper streamer, 1 yd of black
  • Paper glue
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Scissors; deco edge scissors; fine sandpaper; paper towels; clay tools; white button thread & needle; paper glue; ruler; round toothpicks; paintbrushes: #1 liner, ½” flat; optional: star paper punch

To make Top Hat Jack:

1. Completely cover the ball and egg with a thin, even layer of clay. Smooth out with wet fingers. Let dry completely. Lightly sand clay and wipe clean with a paper towel.

2. Using a flat brush and referring to the photo, paint the following:

  • Head and bottom half of egg: Canyon Orange
  • Top half of egg: Foliage Green
Folk art Top Hat Jack: body details.

Painted details on the egg-shape body.

3. Using a liner brush and referring to the photo, paint on facial features and details:

  • Eyes and mouth lines: Tapioca
  • Nose and mouth outline: Calico Red
  • Nose outline and eye dots: Foliage Green
  • Mouth and facial expressions: Black
  • Vertical lines on top half of egg, and horizontal line around the middle: Moon Yellow
  • Let paint dry.
If you love folk art style, you can DIY this folk art pumpkin figure over on

This is folk art, so you don’t need fine painting skills! Primitive is o.k.

4. Brush on a coat of varnish.

5. Make the top hat:

  • Roll a 1-¼” x 12” strip of black cardstock into a cylinder and secure with glue.
  • Trace a quarter size circle onto black cardstock and cut out with decorative edge scissors.
  • Adhere circle to the cylinder with glue.
  • Trace around the cylinder on black cardstock and cut with scissors.
  • Glue the circle to the top of the hat.
  • Glue hat onto the head.

6. Trace the collar pattern onto black cardstock. Cut out the collar with decorative edge scissors. Glue collar around the neck of Top Hat Jack.

7. Punch 3 stars from orange cardstock (or cut out stars by hand). Glue stars down the front of Top Hat Jack.

8. Using button thread, gather one long edge of crepe paper. Pull gathers tight and knot thread.

9. Trace twice around the disc of STYROFOAM Brand Foam on black cardstock. Cut out both circles with deco edge scissors. Adhere paper circles to the top and bottom of the foam disc. Cut a 1” strip of black cardstock to fit around edge of disc. Glue strip around disc.

Base for the Folk Art Top Hat Jack on Crafts 'n Coffee.

Cover the sides with a strip of black paper first, and then a strip of orange.

10. Cut a second strip to fit around the disc from orange cardstock. Punch stars in the paper strip, and then glue onto the disc, over the black paper strip.

11. Glue ruffled, crepe paper circle to the center of the disc.

12. Place glue on ends of two toothpicks and insert into the top of the disc. Place glue on other ends and carefully pick and glue pumpkin body onto the disc.

Rebekah has also shared these folk art Halloween figures with Crafts ‘n Coffee readers:

Folk Art Halloween Totem

You really can make this Folk Art Halloween Totem. It's made with paperclay and shapes of Styrofoam brand foam. If you worked with Play-Doh as a kid, you can do it!

Folk Art Halloween Totem by Rebekah Meier

Folk Art Candy Corn Girl

Rebekah Meier made this beautiful folk art Candy Corn Girl. Her tutorial on Crafts 'n Coffee makes it look pretty easy.

Frightfully Cute, Folk Art Candy Corn Girl by Rebekah Meier.

I’ve “picked” another pumpkin craft for tomorrow. See you then!

Lots of great pumpkin crafts on Crafts 'n Coffee!

Happy pumpkin crafting.


This entry was posted in Craft Tutorial, Fall Crafts, Halloween Crafts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Folk art style: DIY Top Hat Jack with paper clay

  1. Cookie17 says:

    These pumpkins’ are so cute,I’m trying downsize on holiday thing’s & it’s so hard when setingt here & see such gorgeousj things’,What to do What to do…ha,ha, Thank’s for showing Sharon ,you one my favorite bloggers’,keep up great job..!!

    • Sharon says:

      Awww, thank you so much for your sweet comment! I so appreciate your visits, too, and I’m glad you stopped in. Just keep on crafting, and gift your handmade treasures to others. Sharon

  2. How adorable!! These are all sure to be the talk of the neighborhood! In a good way! Love them!

  3. LisaM6 says:

    Those are too funny. The one with the cat on top is my favorite.

  4. Carla says:

    Too cute!

  5. Nancy D says:

    What can I say? It’s another winner in my crafty world 🙂 he’s added to my list! I think I have found a use for all those empty ribbon spools I save too! Perfect for him to stand and pose on.

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