Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pumpkin Head

I adore Tim Burton and his twisty imagination. His movies always have such delightful landscapes and oddities that any would make decent Halloween decorations. One of my favorites is the scarecrow from Sleepy Hollow. I really like the tree too, but I don't think I could make that. The scarecrow on the other hand, I think I can make.

I started searching for a carvable foam pumpkin. Amazingly this was a lot harder to do than I expected. I only found a few sites online that sell them and Funkins are surprisingly expensive. My mom solved the problem for me. It seems that Michaels has carvable pumpkins for 50% off. Off I went to Michaels and sure enough, I could get a 9” carvable pumpkin for just under $7. Online a comparable one would have cost close to $20, more with shipping.

Now, I know how I am drawing stuff out freehand. Like with the bats, it wouldn't have been symmetrical. Since I still have scraps from making bats I decided to use some construction paper to make a template. I made an eye, a nose, and a mouth. Then I traced the eye to make a second one. I taped the template pieces to the pumpkin and started carving it with a tool I had gotten.

After I "traced" (i.e. used the knife tip to gently etch the outline) my template on the pattern I got cutting.  Turns out that fake pumpkins take a lot more effort to carve than real ones do. The tool wouldn't even break the surface of the thing. I got one of my small paring knives and went to with that. Real knives work much better. I also discovered that cutting toward a point was much easier.  

 I got the pieces carved and had my grinning pumpkin head in hand.

It turned out a lot better than I was expecting. The inside of fake pumpkins are really light colored though, and that would never do for this particular decoration. I found some paint in my craft closet and used that to paint the carved edges and also to smear around a bit to make it look scorched.

It still needs a bit more work since the interior is still really pale. Trouble is, I can't fit my hand inside to paint it. I plan to get some matte black spray paint to color in the insides.  I'll put up more pics when I get that far.

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