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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! I was just wondering if there’s a specific sealant to use on foam pumpkins so that they can withstand the elements outside? We are doing a Nightmare Before Christmas display and we will be having pumpkins on homemade fence posts (see pic below from movie). The pumpkins I have are from Michael’s and are called craft pumpkins. They say they are plastic, but when I carved out the faces, they are clearly foam. The outer layer isn’t foam tho, but it is easy to make indents in (ie. Fingernails can puncture the outside layer). I will be cutting a hole in the bottom and top so that the fence “spike” can go through them. I might be lighting them as well, but not 100% sure yet. Is there a special kind of sealant to use on foam pumpkins?? I would hate for them to get ruined if we get rain or snow before Halloween.

Thanks so much!
Desiree
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Hey everyone! I was just wondering if there’s a specific sealant to use on foam pumpkins so that they can withstand the elements outside? We are doing a Nightmare Before Christmas display and we will be having pumpkins on homemade fence posts (see pic below from movie). The pumpkins I have are from Michael’s and are called craft pumpkins. They say they are plastic, but when I carved out the faces, they are clearly foam. The outer layer isn’t foam tho, but it is easy to make indents in (ie. Fingernails can puncture the outside layer). I will be cutting a hole in the bottom and top so that the fence “spike” can go through them. I might be lighting them as well, but not 100% sure yet. Is there a special kind of sealant to use on foam pumpkins?? I would hate for them to get ruined if we get rain or snow before Halloween.

Thanks so much!
Desiree
View attachment 751236 View attachment 751237
Last year I used 3 pumpkins like this outside. I had used a leather stain (Tandy Eco-Flo Gel Antique in Saddle Tan) to give them a darker tone on the body of the pumpkin and really highlight the cuts. That stain is water based (although it won't wash off your hands ... I guess it really loves any leather including human leather).

I used 2 coats of Satin clear spray finish (I think Krylon, though I have Rustoleum in the basement as well so who knows). Our stuff goes outside the first weekend of October and stayed out in rain, wind, and 4" of flipping SNOW last year. Zero damage to the pumpkin or the finish. I think 2 coats with adequate drying time between is important, though. 24-48 hours between coats, and a truly DRY base is something I am slowly learning. The green pumpkin is one of the solid styrofoam types, not like the foam shell kind.

If you don't add color to your pumpkin, you might want to use a spray anyways to get some UV protection so they don't fade or become brittle prematurely. I don't know how long these things last but my neighbor has had some for at least 4 years that she carved.
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Last year I used 3 pumpkins like this outside. I had used a leather stain (Tandy Eco-Flo Gel Antique in Saddle Tan) to give them a darker tone on the body of the pumpkin and really highlight the cuts. That stain is water based (although it won't wash off your hands ... I guess it really loves any leather including human leather).

I used 2 coats of Satin clear spray finish (I think Krylon, though I have Rustoleum in the basement as well so who knows). Our stuff goes outside the first weekend of October and stayed out in rain, wind, and 4" of flipping SNOW last year. Zero damage to the pumpkin or the finish. I think 2 coats with adequate drying time between is important, though. 24-48 hours between coats, and a truly DRY base is something I am slowly learning. The green pumpkin is one of the solid styrofoam types, not like the foam shell kind.

If you don't add color to your pumpkin, you might want to use a spray anyways to get some UV protection so they don't fade or become brittle prematurely. I don't know how long these things last but my neighbor has had some for at least 4 years that she carved.
View attachment 751238
You did an amazing job!! Thank you for sharing all of your ideas
 

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I have used those pumpkins for about 6 years now and have not had any problems. I had one out last year for about 2 weeks and we rain & snow, made through just fine.
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If they are the craft foam pumpkins - you shouldn't need anything to protect them for outdoor use. The only item to consider is adding drainage holes to them from collecting water.

I both buy the plastic blow-mold style jack-o-lanterns and carve the foam ones and have had not issues with both being in my outdoor display for the month of October. I'm fortunate that my display area for them is fairly protected from wind - as otherwise, you need a solution to secure them.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Last year I used 3 pumpkins like this outside. I had used a leather stain (Tandy Eco-Flo Gel Antique in Saddle Tan) to give them a darker tone on the body of the pumpkin and really highlight the cuts. That stain is water based (although it won't wash off your hands ... I guess it really loves any leather including human leather).

I used 2 coats of Satin clear spray finish (I think Krylon, though I have Rustoleum in the basement as well so who knows). Our stuff goes outside the first weekend of October and stayed out in rain, wind, and 4" of flipping SNOW last year. Zero damage to the pumpkin or the finish. I think 2 coats with adequate drying time between is important, though. 24-48 hours between coats, and a truly DRY base is something I am slowly learning. The green pumpkin is one of the solid styrofoam types, not like the foam shell kind.

If you don't add color to your pumpkin, you might want to use a spray anyways to get some UV protection so they don't fade or become brittle prematurely. I don't know how long these things last but my neighbor has had some for at least 4 years that she carved.
View attachment 751238
Thanks for all the info!! Your pumpkins look amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If they are the craft foam pumpkins - you shouldn't need anything to protect them for outdoor use. The only item to consider is adding drainage holes to them from collecting water.

I both buy the plastic blow-mold style jack-o-lanterns and carve the foam ones and have had not issues with both being in my outdoor display for the month of October. I'm fortunate that my display area for them is fairly protected from wind - as otherwise, you need a solution to secure them.

View attachment 751248
Oh wow! Your pumpkin display looks awesome!! My pumpkins will be secure, and shielded from the wind, but if it rains or snows they could get wet. But good to know I shouldn’t need a sealant. Thanks for the info!
 

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I’ve been putting Michael’s pumpkins outside for all of October for over 15 years and they hold up just fine. No need to spray anything or protect them. Just weigh them down so they don’t blow all over the place. I use Ziploc bags of sand. They work great.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I’ve been putting Michael’s pumpkins outside for all of October for over 15 years and they hold up just fine. No need to spray anything or protect them. Just weigh them down so they don’t blow all over the place. I use Ziploc bags of sand. They work great.

View attachment 751337 View attachment 751338
OMG! Look at all your pumpkins!!! That is so amazing! LOVE IT. Thanks for sharing! Looks like I won’t seal them then, which just saves me so much time :)
 
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