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Creative Bliss

Saturday, October 27, 2012

DIY Paper Mache Pumpkins

I love fall and I love decorating for fall.  It has been a little challenging here in SW Florida especially since it is just around 85 degrees usually this time of year.  Back up in NJ I would have pots of mums, corn stalks, hay bales and pumpkins.  I tried my first year here and even though I watered daily my mums never did well, I haven't even seen corn stalks anywhere, I worry about bugs getting in the hay and I tried pumpkins, we carved and they lasted a day.  We can paint them and they last pretty good, but the kiddies love to carve them.  I found this idea for keeping your carved pumpkins from molding and I am going to give it a try, we will see how we make out this year.  We just got our pumpkins today so we will be carving tonight or tomorrow afternoon.

Since I can't decorate with a bunch of real pumpkins around the inside and outside of the house I have made some and you can check them out here.  This year I was going to buy some of the carve-able pumpkins that they sell at the craft store; that is until I saw the prices!  The ones I wanted were $24.99 each!  Even with a coupon I could not justify spending that much on 3 pumpkins.  Well the hunt was now on for ideas on how I could make pumpkins that looked semi "real".  I found this wonderful post from Instructables here.  I figured it was worth a shot:)  I went to the dollar store and got the punchy balloons, and bought two newspapers, I already had flour and twine at home.  Here is how I made mine:

First I got all the supplies together and started cutting the newspaper into strips

I put the flour in the bowl and added water to make my "glue".  Don't add too much or it will be too thin and runny, I made mine to be the consistency of Mod Podge.

Then you want to blow up your balloons, but don't tie yet.

I used a binder clip to hold the air in so I could wrap the twine around the balloon

Tie the twine to the end that has the rubber band that is used for punching the balloon.

 I then cut off the rubber band because it got in the way when trying to wrap the twine around the balloon.

Then wrap around opposite end where the binder clip is and come back up the other side.

This is how it will look when you are done.

Now hold the balloon opening and remove the binder clip and blow up some more and this will give it the pumpkin indentations.

I put the balloon on top of a bowl so it wouldn't roll around while I was working on it.  Now put strips in the "glue" and I started out by going over the twine first.

It is messy!

I wet my hands with the mixture and put a very light coat on the balloon, it seemed to help the strips from sliding.

The end that I tied the balloon off I started making the stem of the pumpkin by wrapping it with the strips.

I kept a little circular spot around the bottom undone so I would be able to pop the balloon and put in a battery operated tea light if I carve it.  Just keep going until the balloon is completely covered.

To make doing the bottom easier I just put the top part upside down in a bowl and it didn't roll around.

I got a hanger and looped the end of the tied off twine over it.

Then it was drying time!  It took two days for mine to dry in my garage.  I am in Florida though so it is quite warm to help with the drying time.  It said in the original post that it takes 3 days.

Onto to the other two I have left:)


When it was dry I got out my little sander and gave it a quick once over to smooth it out.

I then painted them pumpkin orange and added some black and painted another coat of orange.

After that I got out my Old English scratch remover for dark woods and rubbed it on and it got a nice dull orange look.  The one in the front has the Old English and the two in the back don't, so you can see the difference.

I cut out leaves from burlap and soaked in liquid starch.

I wrung out the excess and put on small pieces or foil so I could get some bend in them like real leaves do.

Once they were dry I wrapped the stems in twine and attached 2 leaves to each pumpkin.

Here it is outside next to my "redone" plastic pumpkins that I redid using the same painting technigue as I used on these ones.  You can see the slight dimension that the twine left.

Here is a pic of the one I drilled holes in, I added a small strand of lights inside.

I put one on top of my fridge.

I am going to "carve" this one when my boys carve their real pumpkins.  I will post a pic when I do:)  Sorry this pic is so dark...I so need a new camera...or maybe some photo taking abilities;-)

Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my blog!  ~Angi


Becoming Martha

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