Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Your Guide to Everything Halloween, Part III: More Homemade Halloween Decorations

Jack O'Lantern, Take 2!

You might remember that I wasn't too happy with my last pumpkin creation. Above, and below in the video, is my second attempt. Rather than using a pre-made template, I based this design on the logo for a band the Owl loves, called Mushroomhead.

I had to do some emergency repair on this Jack O'Lantern, by the way: the Funkin pumpkins, I'm discovering, t
hough they are designed to last a long time, are also much more rigid than a real pumpkin. IMHO, they definitely need more "give" to them! One of the narrower solid pieces on my pumpkin actually broke off because it was too close to the cut out sections on the pumpkin, which would never happen on a real one.

I handled it by replacing the broken section with toothp
icks covered in paint to approximate the pumpkin's light color, and I'm really happy with the result! Though you can see the repair in the pic above, it's not noticeable in the dark with the Jack O'Lantern carving lit up by a battery-powered color-changing light (Funkins recommend not using candles inside).

Take a look at the video!

This mummy pumpkin glows in the dark!

Mummy Pumpkin

I found this idea in the Better Homes and Gardens Halloween issue, and I customized it to look the way I wanted. The basic premise is a pumpkin that is wrapped up like a mummy. Theirs was cute; mine, made with a black pumpkin and 3D squishy eyes instead of craft googly ones, is more appropriate for older kids.

What you will need:
Cheesecloth (option: fabric stiffener)
Glow in the Dark Paint (I used DecoArt)
Pumpkin, real or craft one
Your favorite craft glue (I used Fabri-Tac)
Googly/squishy eyes (I used party favor eyes from Target--the rest will go in my loot bags)
Popsicle stick or similar to use as paint spreader

Treat cheesecloth with fabric stiffener, if desired, and let dry. Cut some of cheesecloth into 4-6 strips--for my small pumpkin, I used strips about 3" by 8", folded in half by width to make them 1 1/2" wide, so that they were opaque on the pumpkin. You may choose to make your strips 4" by 12" if you are using a real pumpkin.

Cut four small strips of cheesecloth, approx 2" long, to use around the eyes.

Glue eyes on pumpkin.

Apply craft glue to back of cheesecloth strips. Folding the cheesecloth in half, in the first step, helps to keep the craft glue from going right through the cheesecloth. Apply long strips above and below eyes, wrapping around pumpkin and leaving top and bottom uncovered. You may want to run one diagonally through the eyes, like I did. You want some overlap over your pumpkin, and it's perfectly okay if the strips aren't straight. Use the shorter strips to fill in the spaces above and below each eye.

Once the glue has dried, coat the strips with glow-in-the-dark paint. I suggest using a popsicle stick or a plastic knife (like you get with carryout food) to spread the paint over the cheesecloth.

Once the paint has dried, turn out the lights and Ta-da! Glow in the dark Mummy Pumpkin!

Note: One of the hardest parts of making this simple decoration, for me at least, was cutting up the cheesecloth. It kept tearing and fraying. BHG suggests using fabric stiffener on the cheesecloth after cutting it into strips. I did not use fabric stiffener because I wanted to use materials I had on hand for my homemade decorations this year. However, if you choose to use the fabric stiffener, I would recommend using it before, not after, cutting the cheesecloth, so it will be easier to cut without fraying.

1 comment:

Sariah said...

Wow..! Mummy pumpkin is really a great idea for Halloween decoration.

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