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Hauntless
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
These are flickering fake pumpkins that are on a timer. For the latest edits or lessons learned please go directly to my albums where all my tutorials are located: Halloween Forum - Terra's Album: Tutorial: Flickering Pumpkins

To see them live, here's a video:

[video=youtube;UGP4VnyKxxY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGP4VnyKxxY[/video]





These are brightly lit and have a slight flicker to them. You can do any combination of pumpkins by the way. This a picture of a set of three. This tutorial shows how to make a double set.











Materials Needed (for one double set):

2 Michael's fake pumpkins
1 Flickering light set
2 White C7 bulbs
2 Ground stakes (mine was pilfered from a store-bought prop I had)
Glue sticks
Gorilla Glue (not pictured)
Outdoor timer (not pictured)

Tools needed:

Drill (optional)
1 1/2" hole spade bit (optional)
5/8" hole spade bit (optional)
Wood burner tool with Exacto knife attachment (or a pumpkin saw)
Glue gun
Beer or wine (this wouldn't be as fun without it)










Trace out your design on the pumpkin while the wood burner with Exacto knife blade is heating up. Then, plunge the knife into the pumpkin and slowly drag it through. It's a bit slow going but does a great job cutting.

Alternatively, you could cut the pumpkin out using traditional tools.










Using the 1 1/2" hole spade bit, cut two holes near each other in the back of the pumpkins (you could also just cut out the holes). You will be putting half of the flickering sockets into one pumpkin and half into the other. But first change out one of the flickering lights with the white C7 bulb in each pumpkin. This one white bulb makes the inside of the pumpkin much brighter than just using all the flickering lights (too orange and dim).

Be sure to have the plug sticking out of one pumpkin and the socket sticking out of the other.

If you were making a single pumpkin, just put a whole string in with one of the flickering lights changed out to a C7 white bulb, but again, have the plug and the socket sticking out. For a set of three pumpkins, divide the light string up into thirds.










Picture 1: On the bottom of the pumpkin, draw a large circle and mark a line through both sides so when you replace the lid, you know where it should go back. Take the ground stake you are using and mark the size of the hole you will need.

Picture 2: Using your 5/8 drill bit (or regular pumpkin cutter) cut out the hole for the stake.

Picture 3: Use your heated wood burner (with the Exacto blade) to cut out the bottom of the pumpkin where you marked it. Also, cut out some notches so rainwater can drain.

Picture 4: Hot glue the stake to the bottom of the pumpkin. Go really thick and do both sides. (I did a couple of coats to be extra sure it was going to handle being set into the ground.










Picture 1: Line up that line you marked, put a bead of hot glue around the edge and quickly set the bottom of the pumpkin back in place.

Picture 2: Put a heavy coat of hot glue all around the seal (avoiding the notches) to keep the bottom in place.

Using Gorilla glue, glue your two pumpkins together. For the three, I stacked one on top of the two (the top one didn't need a ground stake). I tried using hot glue but it didn't hold. If you don't have Gorilla glue, just use a very strong glue.











The ground stake may be pretty secure in the pumpkin but I don't know how hard your ground is. So, pre-make a hole in the ground where the stakes would go so you don't have to literally drive the pumpkin into the ground. My ground stakes are really just to help keep the pumpkin in place in the ground.....

Now, plug into the outdoor timer. You can daisy chain sets of pumpkins together too.

The pumpkins really add some life and spirit to the graveyard, I think. Thanks for looking at my tutorial :)
 

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Blvd FrightNight
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Terra your work is amazing! i try the candles today an i was very happy. your help was great. i wish i had more time to do this project.

-BYH
 
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Thanks guys. :)

This is a pretty quick project. Knocked out three sets in two hours.

AMAZING, as always Terra!!
quick project for you- would take several days for me. And that includes hospital time after I electocuted myself. :D:D:D

your biggest fan, :D
Cathy
 

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Terra - PLEASE stop having these great ideas and tutorials..... I can't take it anymore!!!!!!! ;)

Great job, as usual!
 

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Hauntless
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much everyone.

I took a hard look at them last night to see if the flicker is still noticeable from a distance of about 15'. Unfortunately, with the white light I put in there, the flicker is a bit drowned out. I still really like the color they have so I still recommend them. But, I suggest you try not adding the extra white C7 bulb first to see if you like that look better. Using the straight flickering lights makes the pumpkin obviously flicker as if you have a real candle in there (but on the orangy side).

With the pumpkins next to my candles, I thought they blended in too much (uses the same type of light). But, if these aren't displayed along with flickering candles then the straight flickering lights should look great.

Just wanted to let everyone know and thanks.
 

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Amazing as usual! Not to hijack your thread, but I did something very similiar to this using Joann "Funkins". But, I used a replacement C7 cord for a lamp, an orange replacement xmas bulb, and a CS-2 starter with inline fuse. (all available at Lowes). Pretty simple but puts out a lot of light, and flickers very noticeably. I also found that painting the inside of the pumpkin black helped accentuate the eyes and mouth.
I love this forum!

-James
 

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Hauntless
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Amazing as usual! Not to hijack your thread, but I did something very similiar to this using Joann "Funkins". But, I used a replacement C7 cord for a lamp, an orange replacement xmas bulb, and a CS-2 starter with inline fuse. (all available at Lowes). Pretty simple but puts out a lot of light, and flickers very noticeably. I also found that painting the inside of the pumpkin black helped accentuate the eyes and mouth.
I love this forum!

-James
I have heard of those CS-2 starter thing-ma-jigs but don't know how you hack those into a line. Feel free to hijack this thread if you've got some pictures of yours. I'd love to see it. Those flicker light sets are a bit on the pricey side if you don't get them on clearance.
 

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I have heard of those CS-2 starter thing-ma-jigs but don't know how you hack those into a line. Feel free to hijack this thread if you've got some pictures of yours. I'd love to see it. Those flicker light sets are a bit on the pricey side if you don't get them on clearance.
I'd like to see this as well. It was too windy this year to keep the candles lit, and I didn't have quite enough battery operated lights to go around.
 

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This is the tutorial I used:
U-Build-It

Very simple, and very effective. I have had mine on every day for a few hours for three weeks, and its still going strong.
I bought flickering light sets at Lowes for about $7.

-J
 

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:) After visiting Disneyland in mid October, it made me want to find something even more accurate. The lights on most rides there dont really flicker, they dim slightly and come back, and brighten up slightly and come back. I found this that I think might be just what im looking for:

Simple Flicker Pilot - HauntForum.com



Oh and you are MOST welcome, my haunt this year would not have happened without your tutorials! Its only going to get better next year!

Only 300 some odd days til next Halloween.....
 

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Hauntless
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
UPDATE! For those of you that have been following this thread, I just updated the tutorial with a lesson learned.

After the pumpkins were out for the season (30 days), I took them down and the hot glue that held the two pumpkins together broke apart! DOH! Well, I've been looking for an excuse to try Gorilla Glue. That stuff rocks! The pumpkins are good and joined now. I think this will hold together forever! What a great glue :)

So, you can still use the hot glue for everything else but use Gorilla Glue to join two or more pumpkins together.
 

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How funny! I used gorilla glue when joining my tombstones together while following YOUR tutorial ha! The only thing I didnt like about the gorilla glue, is that it bubbles up and expands to almost twice its size. So use sparingly, no more than the amount you need. But I agree....the hold is amazing!

-JR
 

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I love this idea, and am adding it to my Spring and Summer '10 to-do list. Everyone here has such great work- and Terra, everything you do is beautiful.

Forgive me if this is the wrong place for this question, but I am a beginner to working with fake pumpkins, and am looking to start at least one project with them very soon (this one among them). I see that there are Funkins, and also during the season Michael's and other crafts stores sell their own. I am going to be carving them- what is my best bet? Are prices better in store during the season? Online right now Funkins seem to be $30 for a good sized one- I was looking for something a little cheaper. Is there any place or thread I can be directed to for beginners in the world of fake pumpkins? Thanks!
 

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crossfit zombie
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Terra great pumpkins and great idea for lighting up the gy with ambient lights.
Where did you get your flicker light set?I found a set with 2 seven blub strands to use in my candles.I would like to find more.I got so tired of turning those tea lights off last year I decided to put the electric strands in them.
 

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Hauntless
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I love this idea, and am adding it to my Spring and Summer '10 to-do list. Everyone here has such great work- and Terra, everything you do is beautiful.

Forgive me if this is the wrong place for this question, but I am a beginner to working with fake pumpkins, and am looking to start at least one project with them very soon (this one among them). I see that there are Funkins, and also during the season Michael's and other crafts stores sell their own. I am going to be carving them- what is my best bet? Are prices better in store during the season? Online right now Funkins seem to be $30 for a good sized one- I was looking for something a little cheaper. Is there any place or thread I can be directed to for beginners in the world of fake pumpkins? Thanks!
Don't worry about hijacking...it's a great question. I got my pumpkins at Michaels right after Halloween. They were in a bin for $2 each, clearance. I snapped up 6 of them and was told that the bin would be empty by the afternoon. So, I guess you have to time it right. I had no problem working with these pumpkins so I recommend them.

Here's a site I found that had a good essay on the pros and cons of the two versions of pumpkins: Funkins and Michaels: Stoneykins.com Pumpkin Patterns
 
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