These lighted plastic pumpkins can be found in the seasonal section of most craft stores. But for the best deal, try looking at garage sales where sooner or later you’re bound to find a pumpkin or two at bargain basement prices. Who knows, dig around in your own Halloween decorations, you’ll probably find one of these grinning characters there, just waiting to be dazzled.
This is a roll of crafting vinyl available at most craft stores in a variety of colors. I found this holographic foil at Tuesday Morning at a much lower price – and I knew just what I wanted to do with it, too! STEAMPUNKIN’
I tried a couple of different colors of acrylic paint that I thought would go well with the holographic vinyl. I ended up with a toxic green, Tim Holtz Distress Paint in Mowed Lawn. I painted the inside edges of the ‘face’ and well out away from each cut and the stem, also. I also painted around the hole where the light goes.
This is how I (currently) am making the Steampunkins. My crafting techniques are always open to improvement as I find better supplies or figure out a better way of doing something.
I cut my vinyl to fit my embossing folder and emboss. Then I pull the protective covering off the back of the vinyl (these vinyls have a sticky back already) but they don’t stick well enough on their own for this type of use. So, after I pull off the protective back I stick it down onto double sided craft tape. I found this nice big roll online and the width is almost perfect for the finished embossed pieces. There’s a protective cover on the back of this tape, too, but I leave it in place until I’ve finished cutting out the pieces of “metal” to cover my pumpkin.
Yes, all of those pieces of embossed vinyl will be cut and applied individually. It’s kind of like building a puzzle without a picture.
I always start on the face section, pulling the paper backing off each piece and then sticking it down in place. But check it out – this holographic vinyl is SO COOL!
I’m just going to give you the fast forward through hours of work here – watch how an ordinary plastic pumpkin becomes an opalescent wonder!
Wow! That went fast (not). But finally, he’s all covered. You may find a few places that the edges don’t stick down properly. I use just a bit of Aleen’s Craft Glue to stick these stubborn guys down permanently.
Okay – I made a little bit of a leap here. But don’t worry – the exact ‘how to’ can be found on my Steampunk Pumpkin post on July 21, 2016.
But in a nutshell, I used Tim Holtz Distress paint in Black Soot with a wet brush and in sections, painted on the black, let it set for half a minute then wiped it off with a paper towel leaving as much of the black behind as I wanted. Instant Vintage Distressed Patina. And doesn’t it look great on that holographic foil? Like black opals – I’m lovin’ how this turned out.
After I had done the entire outside vinyl covering, I went back with a dry brush and added some black over the green cut outs to give that area it’s share of the patina as well.
I did the same process on the stem adding a bit more black right at the base to meld the joining of the vinyl and the stem together.
We’re not done yet, though. I thought leaves would look good on this guy. I’ve used this technique before and it can be found on the same post listed above.
Leaf templates on the left and cut out riveted metal vinyl leaves in the center with their toxic green craft paper backing showing on the right.
The patina gets applied the same as on the pumpkin. Can you see the excess paint on the craft mat around the one I just painted? The paper backing is going to absorb that extra paint as I move the leaf around on the mat wiping the front off with a paper towel.
In the process of doing the front, the back gets done as well – perfect. I can’t get over this holographic paper though, depending on how the light strikes it, it’s a totally different show each time. Wild!
Time for stems and vines. Plain black service wire will do the trick. This is 16 gauge wire. I’ve cut a length for a leaf stem. The little 1″ dot of green craft paper has the double sided tape underneath.
I just pull off the tape cover, place a wire end on the back of a leaf, cover with the dot and press down well to seal.
And now it’s just a matter of sticking the other end of the wire into the pumpkin. These pumpkins are made of a sort of foamy plastic and it’s easy to insert something thin and sharp, like these wires. If you have any problems just use a pair of needle-nose pliers to help. Grip the wire close to the insertion point with the pliers and then push the wire down in until you’ve got it well planted.
Pumpkin plants always have those little runner vines that reach out and grab the nearest thing in order to support the plants weight and growth. They’re always in a curly shape and are an iconic piece of pumpkin ‘art’.
I make mine out of cutting a long piece of wire and then wrapping it around a pointed dowel. Once it’s wrapped, you can just push it right off the dowel and you’re left with a runner vine. I make a number of these in a variety of lengths to tuck in around the leaves.
And this is how it looks finished:
Working with the holographic vinyl was a fun challenge. At the beginning, when I first started cutting out pieces and applying them to the pumpkin – it was a little hard on the eyes. My eyes kept trying to focus on the ever-shifting colors. But that sensation went away fairly quickly and I’m glad I stuck it out because this turned out to be a truly exceptional Steampunkin’.
This crazy Steampunkin’ is now listed in my Etsy shop, Old Raven (here’s the link)
Thanks for following along.