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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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!