Sharing knowledge for the art of artificial craft pumpkins.
User avatar
By St0ney
Drayco wrote:
St0ney wrote:Ryan - two years ago, you sent me this photo (or posted it - I forget) when we were trying to get that other company to fix these things.

Question: Do you still have any of the 2010 pumpkins in stock (un-carved).

I'm thinking this new company could dissect it, what foam was used, make molds etc....
Also change the paint color.

let me know.

Thanks Much
I just checked and I have two uncarved 2010 pumpkins. You have my contact info if you're interested.
Awesome ! I have to drive my wife to her friends house, so I'm out the door in like 2 minutes.
I'll send you a PM, as soon as I get back.
User avatar
By wookie66
Wow this is awesome, finally we get a pumpkin designed by professional carvers. Thanks so much Stoney for all this work. I say the 2010 pumpkin with the paint of the 2011. How about a deal also for buying multiple pumpkins at a time if that conversation is on the table. I trust your judgement Stoney, can't wait for next year to come.
User avatar
By Raven
Something else that would be nice is if they would be sold online in the "off season". There are a lot of carvers that search for them throughout the year and people in other countries would love to get their hands on them.
User avatar
By punchi
RavensDestiny wrote:Something else that would be nice is if they would be sold online in the "off season". There are a lot of carvers that search for them throughout the year and people in other countries would love to get their hands on them.
Agreed. It would be nice to not have to spend all my money all at once. ANd maybe Stoney could convince them to sell the Saral paper!
User avatar
By St0ney
Okay I will post The Info as it's being told to me by the company.

1. there is two separate companies supplying these pumpkins to Micheal's

a) The New company (That wants to remain nameless) This is the one with the Blank Bottom, No date or numbers (NO LINES inside) this is the pumpkin we are working on to fix for next year.

b) Is still the pumpkin made by GEMMY - Same Foam your used to, and DOES have Grid Lines inside - There WILL be a Stamp of date and Numbers on the Bottom.

2. Some of the things I already Addressed , with this Company (and Ryan it was interesting to read your great Post) we are both on the same Page with all items)

a)The Actual Foam Used:
The Foam this year, we ALL have Issue with, both Shading and Cut-Out, The foam will be changed, (Through Testing) They are going to try different Foams and Send me samples to Carve and Try Out.

b) Thickness:
The Thickness this year is a Little TOO Thick, as stated by Ryan and in my report to my contact, Our Tools need to be able to Pass Through the Foam (On One Pass).
Dremeil Bit , Hot Knife, X-acto Blade, And Standard saw Blades, For Shading it would be great to have it a little thicker, than the Gemmy's in years past.
But Not too thick where the tools don't go through, (My Over-ALL goal Here) is to Design a Pumpkin, that could be conveniently purchased, and carved straight away right off the shelf. By ALL Carvers, wither Shading or Cut-Out, (Most Shaded Designs Have Many Cut-out Sections) if the pumpkin is a smidgen thicker, it will also make a more stable pumpkin.

c) Grid Lines inside: I may have misspoke, Because at the time, I did not know that (2) Separate companies were Supplying these pumpkins.
The one I purchased, for testing, was this brand new pumpkin (with no lines inside) I assumed all in the bin was this model.

With the Company I'm working with, I was Adamant about Keeping the Lines Out. and was told that this is not a Problem.
(So next year, there still may be 2 Different pumpkins being Supplied at Micheal's Craft Stores.) Gemmy has 60% this New Company Has 40% at this time.
This may change next year, where this new company does em all. (They really want ALL and wants to improve their product)

d The Stem
I did bring up that we would like something nicer than that little Stub, They are going to look into it. The Stem and the overall size of the pumpkin is based on Shipping Cost, and Shelf Space. This is why I asked for a 2010 Kin, the stem was curved and looked better, and did not add too much height to the overall pumpkin.
(Drayco I still owe you a PM I'll get to that today, I got hit with a big Project yesterday- and was not online at all).

I'm with Ryan, this is really not a big deal for me either, as long as it's some natural shade of orange - Pumpkin Color

f) Having them online for purchase in the off season
I did bring this up, The Main Issue with selling Online, is the shipping cost, passed on to the buyer.
So these pumpkins you buy in the store for 14.99 with Coupon, could cost $29.99 + Shipping. Could Run $40 to $50 bucks overall for One pumpkin.
I would advise, that when we do have a great pumpkin to carve, start Stocking them, Wait until after Halloween, and when there is a coupon % off entire Order including sale Items. (I still have around 25 blank kins from last year).

Well that's it for Now, Keep giving input, ALL Pumpkins for this year, are what they are, Our Aim is to fix em for 2014
User avatar
By St0ney
Sorry Forgot one more Item:

g)Hole in bottom
I asked the pumpkin REMAIN Solid on the bottom, It's not too difficult to make your own hole.

The reason I asked for it to remain solid, is I always make a Hole in the bottom, when cutting out shapes, it could be difficult to remove the cut pieces, just from the cut shapes made. So a 3' Hole made makes it simple to remove all the pieces that fall inside, and whatever Dust inside. If the Pumpkin is a Gemmy, I put a 4" Hole on the bottom so my paint stripper wheel fits inside to remove the grid-lines.

So Why not have the hole already there?
Well, After I'm done carving, I like to Glue the bottom Disc back in, I then make a small Hole for the clip on Light.
If displaying the pumpkin OUTSIDE, I like to Fill the pumpkin with 3" inches of play sand, this makes the pumpkin wind resistant.

I Don't use a Hot Knife for carving, But DO use one for cutting the hole, This will give you a More SNUG fit when replacing it.
A Dremel (regardless of drill bit size) takes out too much materiel, and makes this disc Loose.

I'll Post a Photo of a Little thing I do to make this easy/peasy.
User avatar
By St0ney
Placing the Bottom Hole in the Foamy.

First I just use a 4" PVC Coupling as a template for the Circle, And just trace around it with a Pencil.
If the pumpkin has no lines inside, I will use a smaller Coupling 2 or 3 inch

The Small hole on the Back, is for my clip light - Placement depends on pattern used, But never Lower than 4" from the bottom, case sand is to be used, to weigh it down.


I then Use the hot-knife to cut it out . Cut it out at 40 degree angle.


Lastly I just add a little notch with the dremel, to make it easy to replace,

If Carving Many Foam pumpkins you can Add in markings on the pumpkin and disc (like AA on the Disc and AA on the bottom of the pumpkin.)
Next Pumpkin BB etc...... this way you know what Disc goes to what pumpkin.


Also notice How Snug the disc fits back in using a hot knife.

The Notch is really for my customers, with the line that goes Left and right, there's only one or two tries to get it right.

Edit: if your in need of a hot knife, there's a cheap one at Harbor Freight for $8.99 ... 38593.html

What's really great about this one is it takes STANDARD X-Acto Blades. Lot more cheaper than those screw in blades on the Micheals Hot-Knife.
User avatar
By SuperSonic
I dont like holes in the bottom of my foamies anyway. I always top-cut them. I prefer to place a electrical light such as Howlers inside a pumpkin with a nice barrier between the grass and it.

Call me a traditionalist, but I was very angry when I saw that the Funkins already had a hole cut in. I wanted to cut one in the top but it seemed pointless. Every pumpkin I have had has a hole in the top.
I agree with SuperSonic. I too cut my hole in the top. Just seem to be the right thing to do.

So I believe that all new foamies should have the option to either cut top or bottom. Depending on personal preference.
User avatar
By St0ney
To Each his own on cutting top or bottom - there is no Right or Wrong.
It's personal choice. I like the bottom strictly because, I don't want anything cut and seen with the eye, that's not part of the design.
Cutting on the bottom completely hides this opening, for the pumpkin sits on it.

Guys just wanted to thank everyone for their input,
I asked Drayco to ship out the 2010 Gemmy to the New Company, and he did - Thanks Dray !!!
That Pumpkin will act as the Starting Ground.

I haven't been online much for the past few days, This past Monday, I locked in a custom Carving job of 75 pumpkins.
And it's pretty much a Rush Job, need to be carved/boxed and shipped by next Wednesday, So this took first Priority.

Here's a Class Photo of the entire Project. (I have 1/3rd already carved)


Patterns placed on pumpkins, ALL Sticker Paper (not one drop of glue used - and No Tracing with transfer Paper)

Photo Below - What I'm Carving today.
Before you ask, the little piece of blue tape, is just to tell me what side, I removed the foam lines on.
This was used when placing the patterns on. So I did not have to look inside each pumpkin to figure it out.


Some Post Carve: I have Some already Boxed, I am waiting for some shipping supplies to come in, to Start boxing more.


SOOOOO We'll get back on track, with the design of the new pumpkin for next year.
Most of the talk will actually happen after Halloween , I do have a website to attend to - LOL
User avatar
By amandap80
I picked up 3 of the Michaels pumpkin last week. Has anyone attempted any hot knife work yet?
User avatar
By sloaner
I used the Versa tool on 1 so far and found it slightly different when carving. I bought 6 more since then but these ones seem to be the older foam so I should have no troubles with them.
User avatar
By wookie66
So I went to Michael's today and really looked at those custom carvings that they offer to do and at the end your total bill is going to be around 60 to 70 dollars. That's nuts. I also asked them who carves the pumpkins and they said they ship them off to corporate to have them carved. So I guess part of the cost in getting a custom carve is double shipping. I'm also thinking potential side job opportunity and asking them if I can help them carve some of those pumpkins in the store.
sloaner wrote:I used the Versa tool on 1 so far and found it slightly different when carving. I bought 6 more since then but these ones seem to be the older foam so I should have no troubles with them.
Note that (as Stoney was able to discover) there are two separate companies supplying these pumpkins to Micheal's. So at any point this year, you could find ones with hard foam or soft foam. Pick your preference.

If things go according to plan, next year the hard foam version will be softer and better suited to our carving overall. We'll give you the details on how to find the best ones next year.
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