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112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've all seen it...hell, if you're anything like me, you've been staring at the images for years. Wondering if there was a way. Is there a way for me, an average Joe Haunter, to make the Pumpkin Sentinels like Pumpkinrot makes?

Well, I don't know. But I am sure as hell going to try :)

So without further ado, here is my experience in trying to recreate the seemingly flawless Pumpkinrot masterpiece. The Sentinel.

Now, if you are unfamiiar, Pumpkinrot has been at this for years, and the props I am referring to are these:

Natural environment Forest Tree Jungle Old-growth forest

Now, I am not going to copy these exactly. But I am taking the general idea of them and using techniques I've gleaned from a number of sources, I will endeavor to make something terrifying and unique.

I do have to give special thanks to Darkrose Manor for all the help. Without them and their photos (and email exchanges) I would be a bit more frustrated :)

So with no further ado:

Step One: Building the Stand
Not the hardest step. But an important one. I have seen many different techniques for this and considered many of them. In fact, I was going to duplicate the Monster Mud Reaper base (floor flange with reducer pipe) but while I was at Loews, I made a game time change and opted for an easier approach.

I purchased some simple corner brackets, a piece of 1"x1", and a 16" x 3/4" x 48" piece of board.

Insert some screws et voila
Wood Wood stain Table Plywood Tool

But Tom! What about the fact that your screws are going through the board and into whatever surface is below?

Yeah that...I just ground down the burs with a metal grinder. There are cleaner ways that involve countersinking bolts and what not (again, see the Monster Mud Reaper) but I was happy enough doing it this way.

Wood Wood stain Hardwood Plywood Floor

Wood stain Wood Hardwood Plywood Furniture

Step Two: Cutting the PVC

I did not take photos of this step...sorry about that. But I cut an 8' piece of PVC into pieces to represent the spine, the neck, and the spread of the shoulders. And using a 4 way pvc connector, I assembled them together. I saw no need to screw them together or use cement as the fit between the elements is tight enough for our uses.

Use your imagination on this part. How do you want your torso to look? Do you want it more squat? Use a shorter spine and wider shoulders. Longer and leaner: longer spine, narrower shoulders.

As for the neck, I would only cut a piece about 6-8 inches in length. The pumpkin is just going to be placed over it so it should be tall enough to hold but short enough to allow the head to rest on the "chest" of the sentinel.

Step Three: Adding the Ribs

In order to space the ribs on the spine, I simply placed a piece of the polyflex tubing (irrigation tubing: 1/2") and moved it down the spine while drawing lines to get the right distance. Be sure to squish it while you do this so ensure enough space. Then drill a hole for every rib you want. Make sure to drill a hole that is large enough to take whatever size screw you intend to use, but small enough to hold it tight. I used a piece of scrap PVC in order to get it just right.

Once you've cut the ribs (2 of the same size, then 2 slightly larger, 2 about the same size as the first two, then 2 smaller, 2 smaller still, and then a final 2 smaller than those) drill a hole through the ends of both pieces, thread a screw through both piece of tube, and attach them to the spine from top to bottom in the order listed above.
Bicycle handlebar Bicycle part Vehicle Metal Bicycle

Step Four: The Sternum

Now that the ribs are attached to the spine, we need to make a sternum for them to attach to in the front.

I accomplished this by cutting a piece of tubing to arch from the 4 way connector to a point lower on the abdomen. I used duct tape.

Bicycle part Plant Spoke Bicycle wheel Wheel

Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel Bicycle part Spoke Wire

Step Five: Ribs to Sternum

This can get a bit tricky. The hose may not want to bend the way you want it to in order to attach to the sternum. Sometimes, as your bending, the tube may crimp. While this is not ideal, ultimately, it only makes your sentinel's torso look more broken and ruined...not a bad thing. However, should you want to avoid this, I recommend using a heat gun as you bend the pipe so that it is more willing to do your bidding.

Photography Still life photography

Some people like to use zip ties to attach the ribs to the sternum. I was ok, once again, using heavy tape.


Be sure to spread the ribs out as shown above...it looks much better than if they just come straight across.

Microphone Light fixture Metal Fashion accessory

And as you can see, I did not attach the last two ribs to the sternum, but rather to the ribs above them. This helps create a more anatomically correct look.

Step Six: Collar Bone

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the more this looks like a real skeleton, the better the effect is going to be. So, in that vein, I attached a collar bone. This will also serve as a tie point for the arms when I get to them.


As you can see, I've also put 90 degree connectors at the ends of the shoulders...if you want to make pvc arms, this is necessary. I think I am going to go another direction though.

Step Seven: Corpsing

I researched corpsing to death (no pun intended.) And finally landed on the Darkrose Manor technique of using outdoor carpet adhesive and white shop towels. It is messier than anything, and since you are using adhesive, a pain to get off your hands. But it looks so good.

Be sure to use cheap white shop towels. They have no texture or pattern and ultimately will make your life easier. Also, it is a good idea to tear the sheets a bit to get the frayed edges. These will blend much easier than the hard cut edges of the towels.

The benefit to using the outdoor adhesive over traditional papier mache is that there is no need to waterproof afterwards. Plus, as you can see, the adhesive dries to a nice fleshy color :)


Undergarment Tree Linens Beige Textile

Wood Table Pipe

I have the torso temporarily attached to the stand with zip ties as shown in the final image. This is not how it will stay. I think the best bet is going to be to get a flagpole bracket and mount that to the post, and then slide the PVC spine into that. Ultimately, I want this to be disassembled easily for storage.


Well that's it for now! I will post more as I progress

Take care!

268 Posts
Very nice alternative way to build ribs. I gotta see how much irrigation line I have lying around since the growing season is about over with. I've got a very big scarecrow to make and this is a great way to go at it!

The white shop towels, I'm guessing they're just Lowes or Home Depot paper towels that are beefed up versions of home kitchen paper towels?

112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
...The white shop towels, I'm guessing they're just Lowes or Home Depot paper towels that are beefed up versions of home kitchen paper towels?
Yeah, I got mine from Lowe's. They were in the paint section and come in a cardboard box. I think 200 per box. They have blue ones as well, but for the reason of not wanting to have to prime before painting, I specifically looked for white.

112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Step Eight: In Which the Arms Are Added

For the arms, as I mentioned before, one could simply use PVC angles and pipes and create a sturdy structure. And this is a good way to go. You could then add mass to them to cover the joints with newspaper and corpsing, but I wanted to go another way. If one would refer back to the original image of the Pumpkinrot Sentinels, you would be able to see that they have a distinctive organic nature to them. They look as if they were made from evil and pumpkin vines.

So what better source to draw from than nature herself?

After selectively pruning some of my trees of dead branches, I reviewed my options, made some decisions about arm position, and set to lashing them to the torso with my good old friend duct tape.

Tree State park Landscape Plant Park

I let the branches extend past the joint at the shoulder to create sort of a spike. It is unnatural looking and disjointed which adds to the total air of creepiness. Plus, you can see Pumpkinrot has done the same thing.

Bird Beak Branch Plant Perching bird

As you are attaching your arms, and deciding on what position to make them, think about what your sentinel should be doing. In my mind, this sentinel is just starting to reach out for you. In that light, I tried to have his left arm more casually at his side, while his right arm is bent up, ready to extend. Lash the sticks together in this way.

Ceiling Room Window

Branch Tree Plant Adaptation Plant stem

Step Nine: Adding the Hand(s)

I decided to only have my sentinel in possession of the one hand. I kind of like the idea of have one arm look like it was broken off. Take a number of smaller sticks and lash them together to make a finger like arrangement. The longer the better in my opinion. And don't be afraid to break away from anatomical norms. This is an evil pumpkin demon and as such, should not conform to the human standards.

Dragonflies and damseflies Dragonfly Plant Wildlife Damselfly

Close-up Macro photography Rope Wire Cable

Plant stem Insect Branch Plant Macro photography

Step Ten: Corpsing...again

Go over the taped lashes with the same corpsing technique as before. This time around, I used a brush on the strips and used less adhesive overall...hopefully this will help the dry time.

Branch Twig Tree Adaptation Plant

Leaf Close-up Hand Plant Tree

Sculpture Dress Cat Art Nonbuilding structure


Tree Woodland Plant


OK that's all for now...when we return, hopefully we will be wrapping up the painting of the sentinel and then we can begin discussing options in lighting.

Happy Haunting

71 Posts
The organic look is great....
Mind sharing product info on indoor/outdoor glue and approximate drying time on the torso.
I am assuming you will use a craft pumpkin for the head, if so what size? Did a quick query on craft pumpkins and didn't see anything larger then a 14".


112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The pumpkin I am using is the Funkin Mac

If you wanted to go bigger, you should look into making your own. There are numerous tutorials out there on this process so I won't get too into it, but I would stuff a trash bag full of newspaper, squish it down, run masking tape from top to bottom to create the ribs, then paper mache...

The outdoor adhesive: I got it from Lowes...I cannot recommend the brand I bought as it is the first one I've used, but I do know that others have used (and recommended) Henry 663 outdoor carpet adhesive. But it is in rare supply.

112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·

I had to go out of town the last three weekends in a row...totally screwed up my plans.

This morning I gave the sentinel a permanent mount...it is an adjustable flag hanger.

I am so behind! GAH!

Door handle Pipe

Door handle Pipe
Wood Table Floor Hardwood Plywood

Room Workshop House Metal

112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Pumpkinrot is the KING of Halloween in my book. Love him! (Total fangirl squealing!) :D

Yours turned out fantastic! :) Job well done, and thanks for sharing how you did it!
It's not yet done :) But thank you...still needs paint and a head!
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