Progress on Paper Mache Pumpkin

Tonight is strange, and eerie.  The streets are quiet, the rain has slowed down a little, everyone’s porch light is out – Halloween has been postponed until Sunday.  This will be a Halloween that we will never forget, as Halloween night did not come as it should have, but it was delayed due to Hurricane Sandy.  By now, we would have handed out close to 200 treat bags in our neighborhood, and we would be working feverishly for the next few hours to bring in all of our expensive props back into the house.  None of this happened tonight.  We had to pull up every one of our Halloween props that we had strategically placed in the front yard into the garage when the hurricane winds started.  Now, over the weekend, we will try to recreate our graveyard for the trick-or-treaters that will arrive on Sunday.  We go through all of this because of our love for Halloween, and because the kids love it.

Being in the Halloween mood, I worked some more on my paper mache pumpkin today.  I knew that I was not going to be able to get this project completed by Halloween, but I am determined to create a masterpiece, well perhaps a masterpiece in my mind, but you can tell me what you think.

I started this whole paper mache pumpkin with a large plastic bag from the grocery store, then started filling it with more plastic bags and rolled up newspaper until I got it to the size I wanted then tied the bag at the top.  Next, I took masking tape and pulled the tape from the top of the bag down to the bottom, making an indent in the side of the bag to form the side grooves of the pumpkin.  I worked my way around the entire bag until I made enough grooves around the pumpkin.

Next, I mixed up the paper mache mix and tore lots of strips of newspaper.  Now the fun part begins!  I dipped each piece of newspaper into the paper mache and then ran the piece through my fingers to remove an excess and laid piece by piece all over the plastic bag.  When you paper mache, you should always crisscross the pieces of newspaper on your form so it makes a strong bond.  I kept working my way around the pumpkin until I got the entire top complete, then I let it dry overnight.  Then, I flipped it over and did the same to the bottom, and let that dry.  Now, I have a completed paper mache pumpkin that turned out nice and hard.

So today, I decided that I needed to get to work on this project, and hand drew a face.  Next, I had to cut out the eyes and mouth and I used a sharp knife to do so.  I was nervous on this step, but knew if I messed up I could fix it with more paper mache.  The knife actually cut through the paper mache somewhat easily, but you have to make sure not to press too hard on your form to crush it.  Once I got the eyes and mouth cut out, I started on removing the inside bags and newspaper by slowly and carefully pulling out pieces through the openings.  I got everything pulled out somewhat easily, but now the bag that made the form is kinda stuck on the paper mache, so I will have to carefully figure out a way to pull this bag out from the pumpkin.  I had to see what it looked like lit up, so I pulled out our battery operated LED tealight and it is now eerily glowing inside the pumpkin.

It’s been quite awhile since I did a paper mache project, and I have learned that it does take time to complete, but the whole process is amazing.  I still have some work to do on this project, as I want to make the eyes 3-D and give them depth, so back to more paper mache & newspaper strips, then I will paint it and seal it.

I hope you have enjoyed what I created, as this pumpkin has truly made my Halloween, and I am still amazed that I made this.  I have not taken my eyes off of it all night.

15 thoughts on “Progress on Paper Mache Pumpkin

    • I am glad you like them! Wait until you see the rest of the bunch that I am working on! We are BIG on Halloween and I am working on some neat groundbreaker props for our yard out of paper mache!

    • I know, but who would have guessed that hurricane winds would have blown through here on Halloween! It even snapped three of our fence posts too, and now we have to replace the fence this year.

  1. Wow,what a great idea! I’ve never worked with paper mache but it sounds just as messy as carving out a real pumpkin, lol. I’m anxious to see the finished product. Keep me posted!

  2. AWESOME PUMPKIN!! You mastered another project!! We knew that you would!! Envious of how many trick-o’-treaters you have! Sounds like the area that Michael and I grew up in! Where we live in Bethlehem, we don’t seem to get many trick-o’-treaters. This year, we only had twenty; what a disappointment!! And, the majority of that number was in the first half hour!! I bet it was VERY cold putting up your decorations today! GOOD LUCK tomorrow!! TRICK-O’-TREAT!! Love you guys!! XO

    • Hey Karen! Glad you liked what I have done on my pumpkin so far. I am still working on it! Our trick-or-treating is on Sunday and normally we would get about 150, but we’re not sure as to how many we’ll get tomorrow with the weather. It’s really cold out and it even sleeted today. Winter’s coming baby! We love you you guys too!

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