Several years ago, Annie Riepert and I colaborated on a Halloween project. I did the scene in the pumpkin, and Annie designed and created a darling Lion trick or treat costume for my doll chloe.
Unfortunatley, Annie is no longer doing dolls and her website has been taken down, including the lovely tutorial on making the lion's costume.
I do not have the instructions, but I do have a copy of the costume pattern, which is pretty basic, so if you want to give it a try without instructions here is a link to the costume pattern in pdf format.
Just print out at 100%
|Purchase a pumpkin from Michaels or other craft store.
They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and you can choose any you
like. Next time, I will choose one that is a bit taller, so that the
doll will have a bit more "headroom", but this one works too....
Cut an opening on one side of the pumpkin. Don't try to cut it in straight lines, but make it wavy and natural looking. Do not cut all the way to the bottom, leave a small lip at the bottom front, about 1" deep.
|Cut and fit a piece of Styrofoam to the inside bottom of the pumpkin so that it is nearly level with your front opening. This will be the support for the floor.|
|Use your Styrofoam piece as a pattern to cut a piece of
wood flooring. If you don't have any wood dollhouse flooring, you
could also use paper with a wood pattern printed on it, or make a tile
floor using paper squares and a shiny finish.
Set your floor support and floor aside for now.
|The walls will be made from a piece of poster board
covered with wallpaper. Use a cloth tape measure to measure around
the inside of your pumpkin, starting inside the front opening 1" and going
around to within 1" of the other side of front opening.
Also measure the height from the floor level up to the ceiling of the pumpkin, measuring at the place where the walls will hit the ceiling.
Cut a piece of poster board the size of your measurements. Mine measured 4 1/2" tall x 13" across. Cover the poster board with wallpaper, matching the patterns in the wallpaper.
I created my own wallpaper design. If you would like a copy, use this link to download:
|Position your wall inside the pumpkin. This takes
some patience, and you may need to trim here and there a bit.
Using hot glue, glue one end just inside the opening. Push the wall around the entire inside of the pumpkin, and glue the opposite end into place just inside the opening. If desired you can run a bead of hot glue around the bottom and top edges of the poster board to make it more secure.
|Glue your Styrofoam base into place using hot glue.
Then glue your flooring into place over the Styrofoam. The wood floor works well for this project because it is flexible enough to fold up and put in thru the front opening in one piece.
Set your pumpkin room aside for now, and lets make some jack-o-lanterns.
|Use sculpey, fimo or premo, whichever you prefer.
You will also need 1" Styrofoam balls, and acrylic paints in a nice
pumpkin shade, and in green.
Begin by mixing your polymer clay - 2 parts white to one part yellow. Knead till soft.
|Roll your clay out into a sheet approx 1/8" thick.|
|Place the sheet of clay over the Styrofoam ball.
Begin at the top, and work the clay down around to the bottom of the ball.
NOTE: You can preshape your Styrofoam into a taller pumpkin, or make it smaller by trimming, squishing, etc before covering with clay so that you have a variety of sizes and shapes of jack-o-lanterns.
|When you get to the bottom, pinch off the excess clay. Work on smoothing the piece out into a nice shape.|
|Make a slight indentation in the top of the pumpkin with the round end of a rather large brush handle. Use a toothpick to make grooves into the pumpkin, from top to bottom, dividing into quarters.|
|Use a toothpick and make additional lines, dividing into eights.|
|Add a few short random creases to the pumpkin, particularly at the top, coming out from the indentation.|
|Add a short stem to the pumpkin.
Use an X-acto knife to carve the features, cutting all the way thru the clay to the Styrofoam.
Now, because you were all paying very close attention to our quest yesterday, you have LOTS of fabulous patterns for making some wonderfully creative jack-o-lantern faces, right????
If not, go back thru the MSAT postings from 10/30, and you will find a wealth of information on pumpkin carving~!
|Remove the excess clay from the features, and smooth the openings the best you can. You will also be able to trim them up again after the clay has been baked.|
|Bake your pumpkin at 275 degrees for 15 minutes. Cut a
hole in the center bottom of the pumpkin so that we can light him later.
Note: I have heard all kinds of horror stories about how Styrofoam balls will explode, expand, etc. I found none of these to be the case. The ball shrunk slightly in the cooking, and nothing more. The brand of Styrofoam balls I used was Floracraft, available in a package of 16 1" balls, and was purchased at Michaels Crafts. I also have read that the fumes can be harmful, and that using a toaster oven outside is a good idea. I didn't notice any fumes, but always think that a separate oven for clay projects is a good idea.....
You wouldn't bake a chicken in your kiln, would you????
|After the pumpkin is cooled, you will still have a
Styrofoam ball inside. It is smaller than when you started, and will
be rolling around loose in there! Carefully take a pair of tweezers and
try to break up the ball into small enough chunks that you can just shake
them out thru the hole in the bottom.
|Paint the outside of the pumpkin with orange acrylic paint|
|A little green on the stem finishes him. This one is
still very wet, but will dry without any shine.
For this project, make at least three jack-o-lanterns for the table, more if you like. You can also do a few extra to sit around the scene.