This is my first thread, so here goes nothing! I thought I would write a tutorial on how I created my own version of the famous Spookyblue Bruno scarecrow. I made 2 scarecrows for my cornfield themed Halloween party of 2010. This project took alot of time and dedication... I wasn't expecting the time it takes to create Halloween props!
Construction size garbage bags
2 6' pieces of PVC
A ton of newspaper
Elmers 1 gallon all purpose glue
Clothes hangers (wire)
Plastic drinking cups
I currently do not have picture documentation of the first steps of the process. I thought of grabbing the camera a little too late in the production. The first step is to stuff your garbage bag full of leaves. You want the bag very full. The size of your pumpkin head really depends on the amount of leaves stuffed in at this point. Next, take the bag and make a hole big enough for the PVC pipe to go in directly adjacet to the opening of the bag (in the very bottom of the bag). We are making a lollipop looking structure with the PVC pipe going through the very middle axis of the bag of leaves. Push the PVC pipe through the leaves until it exits the opening of the bag to make this lollipop. Duct tape the opening of the bag around the PVC pipe. Now, to make the ridges of the pumpin, take duct tape from one PVC insertion, to the other trying to really make the bag form a ridge. Just keep wrapping the tape from pole to pole to form multiple ridges of a pumpkin. Again, I'm sorry I don't have pictures of these initial steps, but I think you can infer what I did from the first picture.
The next step is paper mache. Using your favorite recipe, mache the entire pumpkin. I ended up using a thinner mixture in the beginning, and not liking the stiffness I was getting, so I added more glue to the mixture for later layers.I ended up applying 7 layers to my pumpkin heads. I added the stem after I slid the pumpkin off the PVC, and evacuated the leaves and pulled the garbage bag out one of the holes in the hollow head. If your having trouble getting the leaves and the bag out the tiny hole, make a new one in the back of the head.... you will need a hole for a flood light anyway. The stem, which consists of a plastic drinking cup with a hole in the top and wire from a clothes hanger coming out, was wrapped in duct tape to secure and then paper mached for an additional 3 layers. To make the junction of the stem and the pumpkin look natural, I placed wads of Elmers soaked paper towels at the base of the stem as a real pumpkin has this "feet" coming of the stem attaching itself to the body. Corpsing the pumpkin to the stem will make everything flow and look more organic later in the tutorial. I made the stem fairly long, because I like how Spookyblue's stem looked.
Cut the expression out using a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel. This part is time consuming. I suggest drawing the face on first to make should the holes do not interfere where you placed a ridge or vein. To build up the teeth and veins before the corpsing layer, I used whole paper towels wadded up and applied after dipping in regular Elmer's glue. I tried to apply these with just the paper mache mixture and they kept falling off before I could corspe over them, so regular undiluted glue should be used to save alot of fustration and time. I corpsed over the teeth in the same sitting... I didn't allow the structure of the teeth to dry and everything turn out fine. The corpsing layer is jst torn sheets of paper towels asthetically placed on the pumpkin to convey expression and texture. Areas to focus on would be areas of bony prominence on the face, like the brow area and ridges for the teeth, and the vines you created with wadded paper towels before. I made wrinkles as I went to add texture. I built up the eye region to define the pumpkins features.
Let the whole thing dry in the sun. After all the paper mache is completely dry, paint the structure. I painted the whole thing black first, an then sprayed on layers of orange. I also sprayed yellow on last lightly to highlight the peaks of the teeth and eye brows. The stem is alternating blacks and neon green.
The body was a simple cross made of tomato stakes about 5 foot long each. The torn cloth is actually one of my graduation gowns... I figured I would never use the gown again, and I needed closet space anyway... that was my justification It's important to slip the gown on the cross piece of the scarecrow before screwing the piece on the vertical one. I screwed the middle together and had the cross for the arms at an angle so the structure looked more organic. I went into the woods and gathered thick vines and branches to zip tie onto the structure. I shredded and spray painted the graduation gown to suit me. The head was layed on the top of the cross and a red flood light was inserted via a door cut in the back of the head. One problem I did have was being able to read the newspaper inside the head through the facial features. I would fix this next time by applying a layer of black crete paper to the garbage bag first before newspaper layers. This would make the inside black instead of newspaper. I also downlit the scarecrow for the party with a blue light to simulate moon light in a corn field. I hope this was helpful, I know the pictures arn't that great, but I was proud of what I accomplished for the party!!!