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Promised Pumpkins

A new Halloween build year has started and once again we have many projects planned. But first, at long last and as I promised on my old blogger site, some pics of my 2017 paper Mache pumpkins.

When I first began to purchase fake pumpkins I picked them up at Michaels. At that time they had different shapes but now they are all pretty much the same. They are also pretty expensive. So, I did some research on YouTube and came across Unhinged Productions. After watching his series for creating paper mache pumpkins, I was sure I could use his techniques and make my own. It is a pretty cheap process and allows me to create different shapes and sizes. It was just what I was looking for.

So, first you build the base - a couple of plastic grocery bags stuffed with newspaper. You tape that into the shape of pumpkin you are looking for then cover the entire thing in a layer of tape. Again, the instructions can be found on the Unhinged Productions YouTube channel.

You then create your mixture of paper mache. I used the one by Unhinged Productions which added wood glue and dry wall to a basic old fashioned paper mache recipe. Using the paper mache paste and newspaper I covered the plastic bags with 3 to 4 layers of paper mache. After a day of drying, I drew an outline of the face and began to sculpt using homemade paper clay. This process took a couple days.

Once this was completely dry I cut out the bottom of the pumpkin and pull out its insides. The tape is supposed to allow the bag to be pulled out more easily but I didn't use enough with the larger pumpkin and the bag ended up sticking to the inside. So his insides tore a bit and I had to fill in with more paper mache after it was cleaned out. I had less of an issue with my smaller pumpkin.

Next I did the detail work. I cut out the face, added more substance to the stems and a bit of "guts" to my large pumpkin's mouth. Then I had to wait for both pumpkins to completely dry. We had a hot summer so it only took a couple days.

Next was the paint. I started with flat outdoor latex black. I covered both pumpkins entirely, inside and out. I let that dry for about a day then I did the white dry brushing.

Finally came the colour. I painted both with pumpkin orange and used a combination of brown and greens for the stems. The last thing I needed to do was attempt to give them more weather protection. Since I use Leak Seal on my tombstones, I decided to go with that but I ran out of time to coat them for 2017. Here they are all sealed and ready for their debut in October 2018.

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