How To Make A Halo Master Chief Costume – Part 1

How To Make A Halo Master Chief Costume – Part 1

Master Chief Costume

Oh, my goodness!  Through this process, I can’t tell you how many times I have thought that perhaps I had bitten off more than I could chew!  After researching different sites on how to make this costume, the one thing I knew was it needed to be made from EVA foam.   What is EVA foam?  Ethylene-vinyl acetate and it just so happens anti-fatigue floor mats are made from this.

How To Make A Halo Master Chief Costume on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Walmart had packages of four anti-fatigue floor mats.  This is what they look like.  One side has texture.  One does not.

Looking for patterns for the Master Chief costume, I checked out several websites.  Most were talking about Pepakura and how you could get the patterns on different sites.  Well, I printed off a pattern for the chest plate.  Too many pieces!  Oh, my gosh!  It hurt my brain! 

I asked ten-year-old Aidan to draw a picture of what he wanted and this is the picture.

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With this in mind, I found a picture of Master Chief, which Aidan had pinned on his Pinterest board, printed it off, and drew a freehand pattern from it.  That was so much easier!  

When Aidan came over, I tweaked the paper pattern for the chest plate detail, adding some length to the part that fits over the shoulders.  Then, the pattern was traced onto the mat.

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Watching some YouTube videos on how to cut this foam, I found those who say to use a heat knife, those who say to use an X-Acto knife, and those who suggest scissors.  

Using an old woodburning tool we have, fitted with a knife blade, I tried this method.  Maybe this one is not hot enough.  The results were less than spectacular.

There was not an arrow on this picture of Master Chief.  I saw this on another picture and took the liberty of adding it for more interest.

The X-Acto knife worked better but the edges seemed a little bit mangled.  The scissors seemed to work the best.  Any area where it was possible, I used the scissors.  In the corners and for the little cutouts, an X-Acto knife was used.  Scissors were also used to trim up the edges as much as possible.How To Make A Halo Master Chief Costume on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

 

The arrow needed to be raised.  It might seem counterintuitive, but first, it needs to be cut out and removed.  How To Make A Halo Master Chief Costume on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

The glue bought for this project is LocTite All Purpose Go 2 Glue.  This is a newer glue in the LocTite line.  Reading the package, it seemed to be exactly what was needed for this project.  (We are an Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small percentage of any sales from this link at no cost to you.  Thanks for supporting this website!)

A thin line of glue was applied to the lower half of all the edges of the piece, which was removed.  The piece was then reinserted in the opening and left partially extending above the surface.  This glue gives you a little more drying time than super glue.

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The other two pieces of detail were cut out, removed, and glued back in place, extending above the surface, too.  After the glue was dry, the heat knife was used to draw the lines.  A small metal ruler was used as a guide for the blade.  This needs to be done slow and steady so you don’t accidentally slip onto the plate and mar the surface of the chest plate detail!How To Make A Halo Master Chief Costume on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

At this point, I showed this to Aidan and checked to see if it fit properly.   Let’s just say he was not very impressed.  

Undaunted, I plodded on, and using the foam cutout as a guide, made a paper pattern for the breastplate.  This was adjusted and fitted to Aidan, too.  Then, that pattern was used to cut out a piece from the foam.  Actually, this piece had to be cut from 2 pieces of the foam.   I made sure that the front piece went over the shoulder and there wouldn’t be stress on a seam there.  We used the textured side of the mat for this piece. 

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You can see in the picture where the seam was glued together.  Masking tape was used along the inside seam to hold the two pieces together while the glue dried.  A large heavy book was placed over the seam to hold it in place, too.

After the seam was glued securely and dried, the heat gun was used to shape and mold the edges to contour around the torso.  This post on 405th.com explains how to shape the foam and it works quite well.

Just look at that!  You can see how flat the left edge is and how the right edge now curves to fit a body!  Aidan tried it on again at this point and still was not impressed.

Most of the posts out there for this costume say to use spray paint.  That means masking off areas, taking this outside, spraying, turning, spraying again.  Well, no thanks.  The time constraint I have right now made me consider alternatives.  

On a scrap piece of foam, I painted a patch of bright blue acrylic craft paint.  It was allowed to dry.  I bent it.  The heat gun was used on it.  No problems!  Why not use inexpensive acrylic craft paint?

We bought a Master Chief helmet before we began this project.  I matched a marker to the color of the helmet, took it to the craft store and found a pretty perfect match, DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint – Light Avocado. (We are an Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small percentage of any sales from this link at no cost to you.  Thanks for supporting this website!)

Two bottles of the Light Avocado were bought.  A bottle of craft smart Medium Metallic Acrylic Paint in Silver was also purchased at the same time.  You will notice that the helmet has silver brushed on it in places.  

Some more detail was cut out of regular craft foam.  I found a 12″ x 18″ piece of gray foam at Michael’s for 99 cents.

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Personally, I like the gray behind the green but Aidan wants that part black.  Using acrylic craft paint again, the chest plate was painted black.

Then, the LocTite glue was applied to the back of the green chest plate detail, up to the shoulders and leaving the curved edge around the waist sides loose.  It was positioned on top of the black painted piece, placed face down, and books were placed on top of it to keep it compressed together while the glue dried. 

The curved green waist sides were then glued, one at a time and heavy books were placed on them in the same way and the glue allowed to dry.  Both shoulders were glued in the same way.

A pattern was drawn for the waist belt, too, using the Master Chief picture as a guide.  Since the middle ‘cup’ part was raised in the picture, a separate piece of the thick foam was cut.  So the tip would bend back more easily, it was scored on the back side with the heated knife about 1″ above the tip.

Then, the heat gun was used to make that part bend back like the one in the picture from Aidan’s Pinterest board.  Details were drawn on the belt with a pen and then the heat knife was used to make those more apparent.

How To Make A Halo Master Chief Costume on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

How To Make A Halo Master Chief Costume on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

This is the front.  The back pattern was made following the same pattern only drawing less of a curve at the bottom.  The plan is to add Velcro on the sides to finish the belt.  

I sent a picture of the costume at this point to Aidan’s dad to show him.  He messaged me back that Aidan said it is COOL!

He has begun to see the possibilities!

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How to make a Halo Master Chief costume in a couple of weeks?  Maybe it is not impossible!How To Make A Halo Master Chief Costume on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

 

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How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget – Part 3

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget – Part 3

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath

Finishing the pumpkin wreath will go more quickly than preparing the pumpkin and the arms.  Those took a little time but we are there now!  Thankfully, it will be ready before Halloween!

The arms, shoulders, and hands were completely wrapped in the paper strips.  The Papier mâché glue was applied with a paint brush just like before.  Then, the piece was allowed to dry. Some heavier paper was used at the elbows and the shoulders and a little extra bulk was added, too.

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I wanted the hands and arms to look skinny and some of the lines from the cable to be accentuated in the hands.  When the paper was applied there, I took care to press it down alongside of the cable.

Drying time is all relative to humidity and sunshine.  One day, I put one of the pumpkin heads on the table on the patio, the sun was shining brightly, and there was no humidity.  That one was almost dry by the end of the day!  If you remember the first pumpkin I made, it took days!  Looking back, it was the weather that slowed the process.

 

After the piece was dry, clay was applied over the paper strips.  Since I was doing this on a flat surface, only one side could be worked on at a time.  You can see in the picture that balls of clay were applied where the knuckles should be.  Then, the clay was pressed around the edges and gently blended into the base coat of clay.  It’s beginning to look like a creepy hand now, right?

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One side of the arms, shoulders, and hands was covered in the Papier mâché clay. ◄(You can find the recipe for the paste and clay here.)  That was allowed to dry.  Then, the other side was covered with the clay.  The hands had to be done in a few settings and allowed to dry between settings because of how close the fingers were to each other.   It was much easier to allow the fingers to dry and then apply clay to the one right next to it.

After the entire piece was covered in the clay and allowed to dry,  Valspar Black 60074 – Flat paint, was painted over one side.  The paint was allowed to dry and then, the other side got a coat of the paint.

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Some of the Kilz primer was dry brushed over top of the arms and hands.  Then, I mixed a little black acrylic craft paint into some white acrylic craft paint to create a light gray paint and dry brushed it over the areas where the primer was.  The dry brushing just brought out more of the knuckle detail and the texture of the clay.

 

 

 

 

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

The pumpkin had to be attached to the wreath in some way.   I decided upon using fishing line.  That meant it had to be threaded through the pumpkin somehow.  

Using a small drill bit, I drilled two holes in the back of the pumpkin toward the top.  These were barely visible but the fishing line was easy to thread through one of the holes.

In order to take less tension or stress off of the points where the fishing line went through the pumpkin, a sleeve from a mechanical pencil was used to absorb some of that.  The fishing line was threaded through the hole drilled in the back of the pumpkin, through the sleeve, and out the other hole.  That should spread the stress all across the back of the pumpkin instead of on two little spots.

  Going in was easy.  Bring the line back out from the inside was not.  I ended up threading the line through a needle and using it to pull the thread through.  That worked nicely.

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

This is the back side of the frame.  You can see the eye screws were attached to the frame on the indentation where the glass and picture would normally be placed.  A small hole was drilled before screwing each of the eye screws into the wood.  It makes it much easier.

Felt pads were also glued on the back of the frame so the front door would not be scratched up by the frame. It probably cuts down on the noise of it banging against the door, too.  The zip ties were threaded through the eye screws and around each of the arms, securing them to the frame.  The shoulder piece was also zip tied securely.  

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

I left the ends sticking out in this picture so you could see where they were placed.    Then, using the fishing line threaded through the pumpkin head, the line was tied onto the two eye screws at the top of the frame.  (I used a double piece of line to thread through the pumpkin.  It will hold more weight and is much easier to tie.)

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using PicMonkey Editor, the sign was created.  The background was first created using the papyrus option under textures.  The typeface is ‘Face Your Fears’.  On top of that, I used an overlay  from the Vampires theme, the one with the tombstones.   The fade was increased a bit until the words showed up well but the tombstones were still recognizable.

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When I was happy with the results, the sign was printed on regular copy paper.  The paper was then attached to a black foam core poster board, which had been picked up at the dollar store.  Using an X-Acto knife, the paper and the foam core were cut neatly.  The white inner core of the black board showed on the edges and a black marker was used to cover it on all four sides.Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Then, more exterior Mod Podge was painted over the printed sign, the back, and a coat on the sides.  A couple more coats were painted over the sign, allowing each layer to dry before adding another.

 

 

 

 

After the pumpkin head was tied onto the frame, I picked up the black thorny branches used on the skeleton wreath.  It just seemed something was missing at the top of the frame and the branches just seemed perfect.  Three of the branches were hot glued together toward the base of the branches.  Fishing line was used to tied them to the frame and a little hot glue for extra support.  The dried leaves got a couple of coats of Mod Podge and were strategically placed to hide the fishing line.

Finishing The Pumpkin Wreath - How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 3 - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

The process of  “How to Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget” has taken some time but I am so excited to see how people respond!   Finishing the pumpkin wreath – part 3, hope you have enjoyed this and hope it inspires you to create your own!  

 

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget

 

 

 

 

 

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Sad Cake – Moist, Chewy, and Delicious

Sad Cake – Moist, Chewy, and Delicious

The Sad Cake is moist, chewy, and delicious!  It stirs up easily in a saucepan.  A mixer is not necessary; just like a brownie, it shouldn’t be beaten.  You simply stir the ingredients together with a spoon and pour the batter into a prepared pan.  Could it be much more simple than that? 

As summer slips away, and the crisp autumn air creeps into our days, certain foods begin to come to mind, don’t they?  For me, Sad Cake is one of those foods and it is such a quick and easy to make dessert.  This moist, chewy, cake has been a family favorite since the 60’s.  My mother brought the recipe home from work.   She has used this recipe a lot when she needed to take a dessert for potlucks, and to this day, she still says the ‘men‘ love it. 

Maybe that’s because there are not a lot of frills to this cake.  It isn’t particularly pretty.  The cake rises nicely in the oven and then falls and the top cracks!  What it lacks in visual, it makes up for in rich decadent taste.  There is no need for frosting.  The cake is rich enough on its own, but a small scoop of ice cream on the warm cake is heavenly, too.  To make it look a little more appealing, you might consider a dusting of powdered sugar.Sad Cake - Moist, Chewy, and Delicious! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Sad Cake

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) Butter ( Not margarine)  
  • 2-1/4 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup White sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 cup Nuts

Preheat oven to 350°

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Place the 2 sticks (1-cup) of butter and the brown sugar into a 3-quart saucepan.  (The batter will be completely mixed in the saucepan.)  Melt the butter with the brown sugar on low heat. Sad Cake - Moist, Chewy, and Delicious! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com 

* Remove from the heat and add the white sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, and the vanilla. Sad Cake - Moist, Chewy, and Delicious! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

 

Do not beat.  Stir until mixed.  Stir in the chopped nuts. 

Sad Cake - Moist, Chewy, and Delicious! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Sad Cake - Moist, Chewy, and Delicious! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 Pour the batter into a 9″ x 13″ pan, greased and floured, or a pan lined with non-stick Reynolds Aluminum Foil. 

Bake 40 minutes at 350°.

 

 


Sad Cake - Moist, Chewy, and Delicious! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

*Tips - A few years ago, I bought this set of clear nesting mixing bowls.  These are so wonderful!  Measuring the ingredients into these before adding them to your recipe ensures that you won't forget an ingredient or miscount how many cups!  Not that I have ever done that before... unless I was interrupted by a child or grandchild!

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I also mixed the flour and baking powder together with a wire whisk in the bowl.   Everything was ready to go before the butter was melted.

* I have to confess, I added the white sugar, two of the eggs, the vanilla and half of the flour - baking powder mixture, and stirred that until somewhat blended.  Then, I added the other two eggs and the remaining half of the flour - baking powder mixture.  It's not necessary but easier to mix this way. 

I also use the non-stick wrap.  I love the way you can lift the cake right out of the pan, fold the foil down, and easily cut the cake. 

Sad Cake - Moist, Chewy, and Delicious! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Whoever came up with this recipe might have thought it was a “Sad Cake” but, in my estimation, it would have been more aptly called a bar cookie.  Whatever it is called, it really is delicious and the ‘menfolk’ love it!

 

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How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath – Part 2 – Arms, Hands, and Shoulders

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath – Part 2 – Arms, Hands, and Shoulders

 

Part 2 – The Arms, Hands, and Shoulders

So, I decided to use the cable for the ‘skeleton’, the arms, hands,and shoulders, for this figure.  It’s pliable to begin with, and by the time all of the paper is glued to it, it will be stiffened.  (If he were going to be standing, a more stable frame would probably be necessary.) In  the picture below, you can already see how the arm on the left is becoming more rigid.   The newspaper page I used on the arms is a little heavier than your run of the mill newspaper.

I cut a cable long enough to allow for shoulders and the two arms.  Although I was planning to use PVC pipe for the shoulders, I had a heavy cardboard tube from a package of aluminum foil and decided to use it.   You can see the cable is  crimped up on each side of the tube, which helps hold the tube in place.  I also flattened the cardboard tube in the middle so the pumpkin head could sit on top of it.  (That would have been a lot harder to do with a PVC pipe.)

 

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You can see how the ends of the cable coating were sliced, splayed, and the wire ends exposed.

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 2 The Arms, Hands, and Shoulders on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

Then, the ends were spread around the ‘arm’ above the wrist and hand and using masking tape, secured the cable to the wrist and hands.

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 2 The Arms, Hands, and Shoulders on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

 

My plan was to have the hands positioned like they were pulling the figure up and out of the frame on the bottom of the frame.  Trying to think how I would pull myself out of a frame, I moved his right hand to the bottom and then the left hand to the top corner of the frame.  Then, I saw a picture where the figure was offering one hand, beckoning you to come with him.  Ohhh!  That was perfect!  Now, he will look like he is reaching down and offering a hand to pull you into the frame!

So, I placed the shoulders and arms into the frame.  The piece fits perfectly against the sides of the inner frame walls.  Using eye screws, I can secure the arms to the sides of the frame.

The pumpkin head laid on top of the flattened cardboard tube looked great.  The head will be attached with fishing line or metal wire.  Two little holes drilled into the back will allow the wire to go through one and out the other and attached to eye screws in the frame.  To spread out the load on the wire or line, the wire will be run through an old marker tube.  Then, there will be less stress on the two points where the wire or line touch the pumpkin head.

The space below seemed to need something.  I picked up the sign from the skeleton wreath and placed it there.  Yes, I think a sign there would be perfect.  Now, I need to come up with the perfect words…  Any ideas?

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath - Part 2 The Arms, Hands, and Shoulders on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

In the meantime, the arms, hands, and shoulders will be receiving more Papier mâché and, ultimately, paper clay.  

Click here to see ►Part 1 of How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget.

 

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How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget

This is not your typical Halloween ‘Pumpkin Wreath’!  Remember the Skeleton Wreath I made a couple of years ago?  How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.comWell, I decided to update the decoration, disassemble the skeleton wreath, and the idea of a pumpkin wreath began to take shape in my mind using the black frame again.

James Whitcomb Riley, the Indiana Poet,  and his Little Orphant Annie poem was my inspiration.  My mother read this to us when my siblings and I were little, and believe it, or not, I memorized it.  It is probably my favorite poem of all time, especially the part about the little boy who wouldn’t say his prayers.

No, I didn’t want a sweet little pumpkin wreath.  From Riley’s poem:

An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

The vision I had was a creepy pumpkin crawling out of the frame.  That is why I have been making Papier mâché pumpkins.  They were the practice leading up to this ‘Pumpkin Wreath’.  (You can find the instructions for the Papier mâché pumpkins by clicking on the link.)

After making these pumpkins, I can tell  you it is a fun process and I am afraid this Papier mâché has become an obsession…an addiction…  I love it!  There will be more Papier mâché creations!  

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Well, here are some of the elements to begin this wreath.  The pumpkin head has a first layer of paper clay in this picture.  The pumpkin also has a flat back because of the plan to place him in the picture frame.  I also made the hole in the back instead of the bottom.  Hopefully, that was a good decision.

This creepy cloth was found at the craft store.  Wanting some type of pliable wire to create a skeleton for the hands, I asked Dave if we had any coaxial cable (We are an Amazon affiliate and may receive a small percentage of any sales from this link at no cost to you.  Thanks for supporting this website!)

It took no time for him to bring this to me.  He even offered to strip the cable, which would have left me with three individual wires but why not use the whole thing?

First, using my hand as a guide and adding length to it for a bigger hand, I cut the cable for the thumb and each of the fingers.How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

Then, I cut a double of each of those lengths.  The small finger ended up being 11″, the ring finger  11 -1/2″, the middle finger 13 – 1/4″,  the forefinger 11 – 3/4″, and the thumb – 10″.  These measurements are not critical!  This is a monster!  Use your imagination and create your own!

Lay the cable out with the thumb on one side, the forefinger length next to it, the middle finger, the ring finger, and lastly the little finger section.                                                                  

Gather the cable up, adjust the cable, trying to keep the fingers in the correct position, and wrap masking tape around the “wrist”.  Begin spreading the cable out to resemble the hand.  I kept referring to my own hand to judge where the hand needed to flare and where the thumb would need to be.

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

You might have seen where other people have used old marker tubes to create the segments of the fingers, which was my original plan, but this cable was thick enough that I didn’t feel like I needed that after all.  I kind of like it being long and skinny.

 

 

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

You can see where the thumb was positioned out and away from the forefinger piece and masking tape was wrapped around it.  It is beginning to look like a hand isn’t it? 

The next step was to wrap the entire hand piece with the masking tape.   The tape was used to create the palm and back of the hand.  Small pieces of tape were torn and placed over the ends of the fingers and then each of the fingers was wrapped.  Paper strips and clay will add more detail to the hands.

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

These hands will look like they are pulling the pumpkin figure up and out of the black frame.  At least that is the plan!   You can see I’ve already begun to shape the hands in appropriate positions.  Even though they are easily manipulated right now, after the Papier mâché clay is applied, they won’t be as pliable.

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Figuring out the arms and shoulders and adding the Papier mâché will be the next steps.  Part 2 of “How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget” will be shared later this week.

Has this inspired you to create your own pumpkin wreath?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Make A Pumpkin Wreath No One Will Forget on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

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