Monday, 7 October 2013

Paper Mache HALLOWEEN Pumpkins


 So we've got to October already...this year is just flying by!! I guess time flies when you are having fun!
With Halloween fast approaching, I thought I'd jump on the pumpkin bandwagon and post a tutorial on how I've made my paper Mache pumpkins for our annual Halloween party!

 With money being tight I was trying to come up with a way to make the house a bit spooky on a budget...In the end I've opted for paper Mache Pumpkins , as not only are they cheap to make, but it's  also a great way to recycle old newspapers...


All you'll need to make the basic pumpkin shapes are:
Balloons
String and masking tape
Old newspapers
flour and water 
Brush 

MAKING THE PUMPKIN SHAPE:


 Blow up a balloon , the deflate and repeat a couple of times...
This makes the rubber in the balloon more stretchy, and will make the next step easier...
Blow it up again, but not fully, then tie it up as usual...
Get some string , or use strips of masking tape, and tie it around the balloon to make the Pumpkin ridges...

Next:

THE PAPER MACHE PASTE


 Simply mix flour and water to a "batter" consistency.
Tear your Newspaper into strips 1-2" wide.
Wet the paper strips with the paste, then brush it onto the balloon.
Overlap slightly until you've covered it all.
Leave this layer to dry completely, before applying the next...


MAKE A DRYING BOX


I was completely surprised at how long the layers of Paper Mache took to dry, as I'd never done Paper Mache before...
Impatient as I am, I decided to make a simple drying box:
I had a big box, (that our new boiler came in), and I strung a bit of masking tape across the top of the box to hang the pumpkins from (attach a bit of string to your pumpkins...), then I made a hole in the side, and stuck my hair drier through, blowing COLD air onto the pumpkins...
(DO NOT be tempted to speed up the process with HOT air, as this will make the balloons swell and will pop your Paper Mache...)

NOTE!!Even with my drying box, it took me almost 3 days to get 4 dry layers of paper Mache onto the balloons..so PATIENCE is definitely a virtue in this project!!



MAKE UP SOME PAPER CLAY


With my basic pumpkin shapes nice and stiff (and fully dried), I decided to emphasise the shape a bit more using some PAPER CLAY:

I used:
Newspapers (torn up)
Toilet roll tissue
water
PVA glue
Flour

I put the paper and tissue in a saucepan and covered with water...
Then I let this boil for a couple of hours until the paper turned to mush..
LET IT COOL DOWN
Then using a blender I mixed in some water and PVA glue ( a big dollop will do),
before draining off excess liquid in a kitchen strainer...squeezing the liquid out as much as possible..
Then I added flour little by little by kneading it in, until it formed a sculpt-able dough.


I added this dough to the areas of the pumpkins I wanted to emphasize, then covered in another layer of newspaper strips using the flour and water paste...
Leave to dry fully( this took about 1 1/2 days )


 ADDING A STEM TO YOUR PUMPKINS:


 I used some masking tape to wrap around the balloon nozzle, to build up a basic stem shape, then covered in two layers of newspaper.....

I then added a layer of white office paper strips, to cover the news paper print, for easier painting.

When I was satisfied that my Pumpkins where fully dry, it was tome to concentrate on making the surface a bit smoother...

PREPPING THE SURFACE

I know this is not how a seasoned Paper Machier would do this, but I didn't want to suffer the expense of a trip to HOBBYCRAFT, so I just used what I had in hand: Quick drying Poly filler (the kind you get in DIY stores for filling cracks in the wall)....
...and it worked just fine!!(If you want to know how it should be done, visit ultimate paper mache)
I used a sponge and wiped a thin layer of poly filler all over the surface of the pumpkins, left to dry, then sanded the surface until satisfactory smooth...
I then Painted my pumpkins with a layer of Acrylic gesso Primer to seal and prep for finishing...

NOTE: This did make my pumpkins quite heavy !!

SCULPTING THE STEM:

  
The stem stubs I created earlier needed a bit of sculpting to finish off the shapes of my pumpkins..
I had a bag of DAS air drying clay (costs about £3-4), and simply squeezed a bit around the stubs, before using my fingers and some water to sculpt into a pumpkin stem...I used this link :Pumpkin images for reference. Then I used a pencil to carve in the detail...
Nothing fancy, my finished pumpkins are not going to look "real"...
Then I left the clay to dry over night...
 


The next day, when the clay was dry (it turns white) I painted the Pumpkin stems black.
I used a liquid tempera paint, but normal poster paint would work jus fine...
I later finished the look of all the pumpkin stems by gold-fingering the details, using rub'n'buff  in antique gold.....

 


Now for the fun part!!



DECORATING THE PUMPKINS

Like I said earlier, I didn't want my pumpkins to try to look real, but I wanted them to be suitably creepy for Halloween, without being to clichéd.....


A LITTLE PINK AND GOLDEN "EYEBALL" PUMPKIN...

 

I almost covered the pumpkin in pink tissue paper, using PVA glue with a little water mixed in.
I didn't bother covering the bottom of the pumpkin at this stage...
When the glue had completely dried, I sprayed it with  a layer of clear lacquer, to harden the surface..
Then I painted the bottom half of the pumpkin with some PVA glue...let this dry until just slightly tacky (ca 15-20minutes), then applied some gold leaves that I already had...(You can get gold leaves at hobbycraft, £10,90 for 25 sheets)...I found this article on how to apply gold leaf very useful, but I didn't necessarily follow the rules...don't worry too much: It's really not too tricky...

 

I flattened the gold leaf using the tissue paper from the gold leaf book, then used a soft brush to remove any excess and break up the edges a bit...
Then I sealed the gold leaves with another layer of clear spray lacquer...
For the finishing touch I mixed some black paint with some PVA glue and dribbled it from the top of the pumpkin, letting it run down the sides, creating a creepy "black blood" effect..


Next up I did ....

.... A CREEPY CRAWLEY BUG PUMPKIN

I simply printed out a couple of sheets worth of "black bugs" from the graphics fairy ....this site has copious amounts of beautiful vintage free printable images, and is well worth a visit!!
I will show you some other projects I have done using images from there later this week!!




I simply printed and cut out the little bugs and glued them on the pumpkin with some PVA glue,
then sealed when dry with a coat of clear spray lacquer...



Next up I made

A SCARY SKULL PUMPKIN

again, I used the internet as a resource, and found this scary scull motif at deviant art...It was perfect as it was already made to be a stencil, and all I had to do was print and cut it out with a scalpel....
TIP: Make the paper thicker by gluing (I used double sided tape) another sheet to the back of your image before cutting, to make your stencil last longer...

 

I spray painted the pumpkin black, then used my stencil to apply some antique gold rub'n'buff...
I sealed with a coat of clear spray lacquer...


  

Lastly I made a

SPIDERWEB PUMPKIN

I actually wanted to use some spider web tights to achieve this, which would've been soo easy, but unfortunately I couldn't get hold of any....So, I ended up using this spider web tablecloth from a £shop instead...

 
I cut a hole in the middle of the fabric, just big enough to get the pumpkin stem through, then used the blunt end of  a scalpel to push the fabric under the stem...(Because I'd sculpted the stem on top of the paper Mache, It actually could be lifted up a bit to allow for this).
 As the tablecloth was not elastic, it was a little more fiddly to do than had I used tights: I had to cut darts out of the fabric , so it didn't bunch up too much....and glue it in place using double sided tape...


...The effect is quite striking!!


Although the self critic in me thinks I could've done better with the actual shape of the pumpkins (Ran out of patience ....waiting for paper to dry!!)I am pretty pleased with the finish of my pumpkins: They all compliment each other and are quite original and suitably scary for Halloween....without being too clichéd...

I have a few more easy Halloween inspired DIY's to show you in the next few weeks, and will reveal our entire spooky house transformation for our Party just before Halloween...

 I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial....any questions will be answered asap, just leave a comment below!
And if you do try this yourself, I would love to see how yours turn out!!

xxx
June
























2 comments:

Jeanine H said...

WOW!!!!!!!! Wow wow wow wow ...I have read through, pinned, followed, subscribed, shared, and saved a ton a huge ton, of Halloween DIY Pumpkin Art Tutorials and DIYs this year. I did it mainly to share inspiration with others but, obviously also to inspire my own creative side for our own Halloween decor. I have to be honest, N O N E has inspired me in the slightest as compared to the inspiration overload that you have given me through this post! I think the world should see just how much hard work, detail, and time you put in to this absolute 100% original pumpkin decorating idea!!!! I, wow, I am just speechless as how amazing these are. Even more speechless as I clicked the Pinterest link I found this post through, and read the step by step you have given us here. Just Wow! You have really pushed the bar for creativity and originality for this years pumpkin DIYs, decor, colour, and Halloween pieces....amazing. Truly amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel honored that you have shared your hard earned designs with us. An honest thanks,
Jeanine H
Canada

june olsen said...

Wow! Jeanine! Thank you so much! That may be the best comment I have ever had on a post! I am humbled ! So glad I could inspire! I hope you will keep popping back for my next Halloween project later this week...thank you so much again for your amazing comment ....you have put a big smile on my face! !! Xx June

"