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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have recently come into possession of this Jack O Lantern blowmold. A little back story on him, he was my next door neighbor's, he had it
FOR-EV-ER and I had always admired it partly because I've never seen another one like it. This summer my neighbor moved and left him sitting on the curb! So I rescued him and now he's mine!!!
Well upon closer inspection he has a couple of huge cracks down the front. So I'm thinking about covering him with paper mache and giving him a Jack Skellington look (my display is all Nightmare) but I'd like to patch the cracks with something before I start the paper mache. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to use? Or another idea for him? He lights up as well.

Thanks in advance!

Calabaza Jack-o'-lantern Pumpkin Orange Head
 

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I have two of these exact blow mold jack-o-lanterns that were given to me a few years ago. If you're going to cover them with some kind of texture like paper mache anyway, then I'd just repair the cracks from the outside with some two part epoxy. You can get it at Walmart for just a few bucks in the hardware department in the isle with the different types of glues. Usually near the paint counter. It looks like two syringes stuck together. Prep the area to be repaired with some sand paper to give it a little texture for the epoxy to grab in to. Like I said, the epoxy looks like a double syringe, with an A part and a B part, and the plunger which dispenses both parts equally. Squeeze them out on a disposable surface, such as a paper plate, mix the two together with something disposable, such as a popsicle stick, and apply the mix to the surface you're repairing. Depending on which type you get, they have different setup times, some as short as 5 minutes, and some as long as 20 minutes. Most two part epoxies harden clear. In any event, within an hour they set up pretty strong and dry to the touch. By the following day you can sand it, if need be, paint it, or do pretty much anything you need to do with them. The make different strengths of the epoxy, and to be used on different materials. For what you're doing, the general purpose epoxy would work perfectly. I always have some on hand, because I use it for all kinds of repairs. Hope this helps. Would love to see some pictures after you complete the paper mache. Best of luck.
 

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Hey there! I have a few blowmolds. I must admit, I have not been successful myself, getting damage such as yours repaired. The two-part epoxy fix given above should work to stabilize the blowmold from further damage. I have used this myself and it has stayed put for many years of use. However, as far as being able to ever illuminate it again without seeing the fixes... I think that would be very difficult to achieve.

There are some blowmold folks who swear by fixing them with hot glue. Don't. It is temporary. If you have any kind of pressure or in the cold, the hot glue will pop back off. I had this happen to many of my repaired (with hot glue) blowmolds. I no longer will do this. I believe some use a torch and will melt or add plastic onto/into cracks, breaks... There also are plastic welders. But we are well beyond my area of expertise there. I am familiar with the repair tutorial from the forum mentioned above, and the author of that is an expert at restoring vintage and expensive blowmolds and probably for this particular pumpkin, that may be more trouble than the pumpkin is worth.

My humble opinion is that as far as illuminating this one and using it as is... it is a better idea to go ahead and repurpose it as you thought and give it a new life. That is my favorite thing to do with old blowmolds. PLEASE come back and show us when you are done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I will get some epoxy, repair him and go ahead and begin to paper mache. His color looks much better in the picture but he is quite faded which is why I thought I should just cover him. I will definitely get some pictures up here when I'm done.
 
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Mine are a bit faded as well. I have every intention of corpseing at least one of mine, and the other I'm considering splitting it in two, and turning it into a foam mold to make others. As is they're way too cartoony for my taste, and only subtract from the look I'm going for. Hilda is correct, once you repair the splits in the plastic, you're probably not going to want to illuminate them from the inside again, because the repairs will show up like a sore thumb. Much better to repurpose them, as you intended.

One more thought for repurposing it, is to paint it to look like stone. It would make a pretty awesome looking stone statue, if you know what I mean. A good technique would be to get some Rustolium for plastic, (which is designed to stick really well to plastics) give it a good base cote, then paint it with Drylock for the stone texture. Afterwards give it a good tea-stain to age it, and finally dry-brush to bring out that stone look. Hadn't thought of that until just now, but it would look really cool. Of course my tastes may be different than yours. I'm going to for the old aged cemetery look. You may have something completely different in mind. In any event, I can't wait to see what you come up with.
 

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...paint it with Drylock for the stone texture. Afterwards give it a good tea-stain to age it, and finally dry-brush to bring out that stone look. Hadn't thought of that until just now, but it would look really cool. Of course my tastes may be different than yours. I'm going to for the old aged cemetery look. You may have something completely different in mind. In any event, I can't wait to see what you come up with.
I did that last year as a test subject on a small squirrel blowmold. It held up GREAT!

Statue Sculpture Art Monument Stone carving



So just today I am finishing up making cemetery pillars using blowmold griffons (that were damaged in a tumble down my stairs) as the toppers. I used Drylok right on the blowmolds, then will do the black paint 'tea staining' and a white dry brush. I am very excited. They are looking great.
 

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That looks really cool Hilda. The reason I suggested first using a basecoat of Rustoleum for Plastic, is because these blow mold pumpkins are huge, and have a lot of give to them. It's easy to push in on the sidewalls, and since Drylock has absolutely no give, it will crack and separate from the unprimed plastic pretty easily. On small rigid projects like your squirrel, it wouldn't imagine that being a problem. But on these huge pumpkins, I imagine the Drylock wouldn't hold very long if applied directly to the flexible smooth plastic. The basecoat should help it stick. However, the Drylock will still be prone to cracking if flexed. Come to think of it, Drylock may not be the best choice for these large pumpkins. It might be better to just mix in a little sand with latex paint, which will have a little more give if flexed. I'd still do the spray base coat first, to give the latex paint something to grab onto. See, by trying to help others, I've discovered something along the way. :rolleyes:
 

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That looks really cool Hilda. The reason I suggested first using a basecoat of Rustoleum for Plastic, is because these blow mold pumpkins are huge, and have a lot of give to them. It's easy to push in on the sidewalls, and since Drylock has absolutely no give, it will crack and separate from the unprimed plastic pretty easily. On small rigid projects like your squirrel, it wouldn't imagine that being a problem. But on these huge pumpkins, I imagine the Drylock wouldn't hold very long if applied directly to the flexible smooth plastic. The basecoat should help it stick. However, the Drylock will still be prone to cracking if flexed. Come to think of it, Drylock may not be the best choice for these large pumpkins. It might be better to just mix in a little sand with latex paint, which will have a little more give if flexed. I'd still do the spray base coat first, to give the latex paint something to grab onto. See, by trying to help others, I've discovered something along the way. :rolleyes:
Good thinking! I didn't think of that. I actually did fill the griffons first with great stuff for some stability. Only it really expanded and made the cracks worse. Yipes. Totally an experiment. LOL I was able to work with it. Thankfully.
That is part of the fun with what to do with a 'compromised' blowmold. :D
 

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If you want to try and save the pumpkin try painting it with Metalcast Spray paint MC205. It's a transparent orange color that doesn't look too bad on a blow mold. I painted one pumpkin with it. I got mine at the auto parts store. If they don't have it they should be able to order a can for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you everyone for all your great ideas. Hopefully I'll get a chance to work on him soon, I'm thinking of turning him into a Jack Skellington.
 
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