Halloween Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
596 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I always mean to write tutorials, since I have learned from so many here. But I get busy, distracted, or convince myself the project doesn't justify a tutorial. So instead ... build log.

Goal: create many medium to large pumpkins for Demonic Pumpkin Patch this year.
Budget: as little as possible ... within reason.
Strategy: leverage a Stiltbeast video on making a skeleton mask from Loctite Foam

Starting with a jumbo sized clear snack container (Utz brand, cheeseballs and pork rinds come in these things), strip off the paper label as best you can. Don't go nuts, just make it not a big square.

Use sandpaper (80, 60, something coarse) to scuff the outside of the plastic jar. To mark out the face, use some plastic wrap on the jar and a sharpie. Get a can of Loctite foam (I used Gaps and Cracks version) and a spritzer bottle of water. A bucket to hold the jar on its side and a spare scrap of plastic wrap to cover the foam tube is a good idea, too. Spritz the jar with water.

I used 3 stripes of foam for each rib of pumpkin. Pipe 2 stripes right next to each other then another stripe on top. Do this on as much of the jar as you can, spritz the 'raw' foam with water and set a timer for 3 minutes. Wrap the tip of the foam tube with plastic wrap square.

Spritz your hands with water (generously) and see if the foam has a skin on it. If yes, start patting, shaping, squeezing it into the shape you want. I used the side of my little finger to reinforce where the valleys are in the ribbing. The foam keeps firming up as you go.

More to come, but this is the progress so far. I tried painting one with spray paint made for artificial flowers (it is translucent).

Shaping the cured foam and crafting a stem is next. 1 can of Loctite is enough to do 1 jumbo snack container.
PXL_20210701_222114190.jpg PXL_20210701_222631077.jpg 20210701_205430-COLLAGE.jpg PXL_20210702_010602132.jpg PXL_20210705_200044383.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
Looking good so far. The texture looks spot on and the plastic on the inside should help defuse lighting if you’re planning on it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
There is another similar post here:
We've been discussing how to create detailed foam pumpkins using various techniques.
 

·
Somewhat Eccentric
Joined
·
2,323 Posts
Thank you! Your pumpkin looks great!

Sometimes Alan Hopps makes it look so simple, yet he's a pro and I'm not. Based on your experience I'll be more apt to give it a try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
I always mean to write tutorials, since I have learned from so many here. But I get busy, distracted, or convince myself the project doesn't justify a tutorial. So instead ... build log.

Goal: create many medium to large pumpkins for Demonic Pumpkin Patch this year.
Budget: as little as possible ... within reason.
Strategy: leverage a Stiltbeast video on making a skeleton mask from Loctite Foam

Starting with a jumbo sized clear snack container (Utz brand, cheeseballs and pork rinds come in these things), strip off the paper label as best you can. Don't go nuts, just make it not a big square.

Use sandpaper (80, 60, something coarse) to scuff the outside of the plastic jar. To mark out the face, use some plastic wrap on the jar and a sharpie. Get a can of Loctite foam (I used Gaps and Cracks version) and a spritzer bottle of water. A bucket to hold the jar on its side and a spare scrap of plastic wrap to cover the foam tube is a good idea, too. Spritz the jar with water.

I used 3 stripes of foam for each rib of pumpkin. Pipe 2 stripes right next to each other then another stripe on top. Do this on as much of the jar as you can, spritz the 'raw' foam with water and set a timer for 3 minutes. Wrap the tip of the foam tube with plastic wrap square.

Spritz your hands with water (generously) and see if the foam has a skin on it. If yes, start patting, shaping, squeezing it into the shape you want. I used the side of my little finger to reinforce where the valleys are in the ribbing. The foam keeps firming up as you go.

More to come, but this is the progress so far. I tried painting one with spray paint made for artificial flowers (it is translucent).

Shaping the cured foam and crafting a stem is next. 1 can of Loctite is enough to do 1 jumbo snack container.
View attachment 746233 View attachment 746234 View attachment 746236 View attachment 746237 View attachment 746238
Oh my gosh! I have been saving these cheese ball tubs and the smaller pretzel ones thinking there must be something I can use them for.... now I know! Thank you!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
596 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Making a little more progress here ... i decided to try sanding the foam to soften some of the harder, pokier bumps. I am hoping the softened, sueded kind of surface will help me get a more saturated color in the pumpkin skins. And I tried carving some stems.

For stem carving I used green foam sheet (the 2" thick, 4' by 8' size) and some white styrofoam from packing material. The finer structure of the green foam works better, to me. After carving the rough shape using a combination of a drywall hole saw and segmented razor knife I softened the edges with a discarded grater from the kitchen (off brand that broke, replaced it with a real microplane). The drywall hole saw and grater are currently tied for MVP. I love them so much I included a photo of them as well.

So, quick pics of where we are right now. Weather has been wet or humid so painting is out of the question. I am very impatient to get back to painting. The grand plan is to cover stems in wood putty (done), lightly sand them, then paint them. Somewhere along the way I will attach them and paint the pumpkins, too. Maybe not in that order.

Weatherproofing is still TBD but currently leaning towards Drylok Clear Masonry Waterproofing, but Flexseal Liquid Clear is also in the running.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
Making a little more progress here ... i decided to try sanding the foam to soften some of the harder, pokier bumps. I am hoping the softened, sueded kind of surface will help me get a more saturated color in the pumpkin skins. And I tried carving some stems.

For stem carving I used green foam sheet (the 2" thick, 4' by 8' size) and some white styrofoam from packing material. The finer structure of the green foam works better, to me. After carving the rough shape using a combination of a drywall hole saw and segmented razor knife I softened the edges with a discarded grater from the kitchen (off brand that broke, replaced it with a real microplane). The drywall hole saw and grater are currently tied for MVP. I love them so much I included a photo of them as well.

So, quick pics of where we are right now. Weather has been wet or humid so painting is out of the question. I am very impatient to get back to painting. The grand plan is to cover stems in wood putty (done), lightly sand them, then paint them. Somewhere along the way I will attach them and paint the pumpkins, too. Maybe not in that order.

Weatherproofing is still TBD but currently leaning towards Drylok Clear Masonry Waterproofing, but Flexseal Liquid Clear is also in the running.
Skip the Drylok and Flexseal, use exterior latex paint instead. It will provide a water resistant "shell", allow you to apply a finish coat of acrylic paint, and will provide a more realistic appearance. You can apply a spray sealant, either matte or satin to further protect the painted finish. Drylok is a masonry sealer and has a very grainy texture while Flexseal has a very rubbery finish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Using the big plastic container is brilliant. Why did you wrap it in plastic wrap though? Is that so you can remove it to reuse the container?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
596 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Using the big plastic container is brilliant. Why did you wrap it in plastic wrap though? Is that so you can remove it to reuse the container?
It was so I could remove where I drew my face template with sharpie. Oh, and I also put plastic wrap around the lid so the foam wouldn't be able to permanently glue it to the jar. My hope is to stick a light in the jar and have it be pretty safe from the weather, so being able to pop the lid off is handy for that (I'm using the jars with the lid side down).

The plastic wrap does not remove cleanly, that foam sticks pretty hard. But I just didn't want the black sharpie to show on the final thing so it has worked for that purpose. The black sharpie might not even be an issue, though.
 

·
His name is Roger Clyne
Joined
·
10,362 Posts
Just a thought, have you looked into using a REAL pumpkin stem? You can get some on Etsy, Ebay, etc. & it makes a huge difference. I saved a few from my own pumpkins & bought some different ones on Etsy for some rotted pumpkins & it reallys sells the "realistic" look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
I agree with RCIAG - Every year before I recycle my pumpkins at the garden center I harvest the stems and remove the seeds. I let the stems dry for a few days and then preserve them in a glue/water mixture which makes them water resistant and keeps mold from growing. I use them for stems, noses and horns.
IMG_0483.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
596 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just a thought, have you looked into using a REAL pumpkin stem? You can get some on Etsy, Ebay, etc. & it makes a huge difference. I saved a few from my own pumpkins & bought some different ones on Etsy for some rotted pumpkins & it reallys sells the "realistic" look.
I had not thought about this. I mean, I had thought, "Dang, I bet tons of stems get tossed out November 1 ... if I could go back in time and save them all I would be in great shape." It never occurred to me that people sell them!

That said ... they seem to run $2.50 each and I have a lot of scrap foam I can use for free. And the stems are kinda fun to make. I love the visual references of the pumpkin stem listings, though. I was trying to avoid being too fantastical but I was exercising TOO much restraint. Floodgates shall be opened ;) I can go way past gentle curves and slight twists.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
874 Posts
I always mean to write tutorials, since I have learned from so many here. But I get busy, distracted, or convince myself the project doesn't justify a tutorial. So instead ... build log.

Goal: create many medium to large pumpkins for Demonic Pumpkin Patch this year.
Budget: as little as possible ... within reason.
Strategy: leverage a Stiltbeast video on making a skeleton mask from Loctite Foam

Starting with a jumbo sized clear snack container (Utz brand, cheeseballs and pork rinds come in these things), strip off the paper label as best you can. Don't go nuts, just make it not a big square.

Use sandpaper (80, 60, something coarse) to scuff the outside of the plastic jar. To mark out the face, use some plastic wrap on the jar and a sharpie. Get a can of Loctite foam (I used Gaps and Cracks version) and a spritzer bottle of water. A bucket to hold the jar on its side and a spare scrap of plastic wrap to cover the foam tube is a good idea, too. Spritz the jar with water.

I used 3 stripes of foam for each rib of pumpkin. Pipe 2 stripes right next to each other then another stripe on top. Do this on as much of the jar as you can, spritz the 'raw' foam with water and set a timer for 3 minutes. Wrap the tip of the foam tube with plastic wrap square.

Spritz your hands with water (generously) and see if the foam has a skin on it. If yes, start patting, shaping, squeezing it into the shape you want. I used the side of my little finger to reinforce where the valleys are in the ribbing. The foam keeps firming up as you go.

More to come, but this is the progress so far. I tried painting one with spray paint made for artificial flowers (it is translucent).

Shaping the cured foam and crafting a stem is next. 1 can of Loctite is enough to do 1 jumbo snack container.
View attachment 746233 View attachment 746234 View attachment 746236 View attachment 746237 View attachment 746238
Great job...they look very real!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
anybody know of a source for those jars other than buying them full of cheese balls? Guess after the first jar you could snack on the content of the next jar while working on the first one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
596 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Some more progress. First, stems. I have tried 3 different techniques. First was a standard carve on xps foam that I painted (it is the shortest one), second was carved on white styrofoam and then applied some twine with wood glue. It has great texture. Third one was xps foam carved super quick and then coated in polyurethane glue (it bubbles and gives great texture).

PXL_20210721_225348807~2.jpg PXL_20210721_225414074~2.jpg PXL_20210721_225434244~2.jpg

I also layered on more spray paint (the transparent stuff) to try to deepen the orange. I like the look of #1 but #3 stem is the fastest to produce.

I still want them to be smoother. I am going to try a mache technique on the next one (using outdoor wood glue and nonwoven poly fabric). And I want to spend more time trying to smooth them as I shape the Loctite foam.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
596 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Aside from stuffing the solar flame lights inside of it, I think I have one 99% done.

To highlight the crevices I mixed up some paints I had (all exterior grade, some sage green, some espresso brown, and some universal tint in pthalo green). I used a small brush to paint it in the crevices and a spritz of water to make it run. I also cut a square hole in the top to fit the square base of the stem, and shoved that in there. I want to darken the plastic windows a bit, I haven't decided how. A spritz of transparent brown paint might work on the inside. Or I could try a brown lighting gel cut into the right shapes. TBD on that.
747172


Next up is making 2 more and seeing how to smooth out the foam a little better.
  • Idea 1 is to make the pumpkin in the same way but do not form the face. Make it like an uncarved pumpkin and then carve. After carving, use a paper mache technique to apply nonwoven fabric (white, like super lightweight landscape fabric) with exterior wood glue. Paint/stain from that point.
    • I like this idea because shaping foam limits the fine detail you can control.
    • Also, this would let me seal any cut surfaces with the mache for better weatherproofing.
    • Lastly it gives more control over texture like wrinkles or facial features like eyebrows, sneers, etc.
  • Idea 2 is to use plastic wrap as a shaping aid for the ribs. Stiltbeast has a video using fabric, great stuff foam, and a beach ball. Imagine the plastic snack barrel is the beach ball, and the plastic wrap is the fabric. If I wait until I get a slight skin on the Loctite foam then perhaps I can remove the plastic wrap in the end. For help with making crevices I will attach a screw into the top and bottom of the container so I can loop string around that point.
    • This feels like it could be quick if it works.
    • I am concerned about peeling the plastic wrap off, but if it is a big fail I can mache over it.
    • I will need to apply the Loctite to make ribs the same as before because plastic wrap is maybe strong enough to smooth a rib, but unlikely able to force foam into a rib shape.
PXL_20210723_010324492.jpg
PXL_20210723_010304228.jpg
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top