Trading tips for gutting, transferring, and carving the real thing.
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By cyberdman
Well, here is the awful truth. I finally gave the spray adhesive a try last night ... don't bother, it was terrible. The spray came out ice cold and kind of froze my pattern. So, needless to say the pattern was reluctant to shape itself to the pumpkin. It bonded after a while, but not very well. I even sprayed both the pumpkin and the pattern - which the directions said to do for maximum bond. It was the Krylon "Easy-Tack" repositionable spray adhesive. It was the only one in the aisle that worked on as many substrates as it said it did and one of them listed was craft foams.

Maybe other brands would work better, but I highly doubt it and if they did I'd be afraid of not getting the remaining paper off. I still carved it as it was any way, but am glad I chose to do a very simple pattern of my own. The edges of the pattern kept lifting and shifting as I was passing by those lines with the X-Acto knife. It came out alright, but anything, more challenging I think would have ruined the pumpkin.

This was done on a Michael's brand foam pumpkin. Afterwards there was a slightly tacky skin of the adhesive left on the carving surface that I could not remove even after washing for a while. Lit up the pumpkin looks fine - even in the daylight to most people they wouldn't even notice it, but I do because I know it is there. I'm sure it will wear off after a while like the can said, but it just gives it an odd appearance - like there are a couple of spotted areas that look like the adhesive made the ink run through the paper.

Anyone else try this with other sprays I'd be curious to see how they turn out. Also I would never try this on a Funkin brand because of the paint peel. I wonder how a real pumpkin would do. I don't think I'll ever try this again.

I still say my glue stick method is the absolute way to go.
By Coley
When you say "glue stick" is it like the Pritstick variety here in the UK? With the twist bottom to raise the glue up?
Yet again the UK sucks when it comes to Halloween Equipment!
I am desperate to get this "glueing the stencil method" to work as i reckon this will greatly reduce my carving time per Pumpkin.
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By cyberdman
I am not familiar with "Pritstick", but we are talking about the same thing. Take the top off and twist to raise the glue - kind of like a glue chapstick if that helps.
By Coley
Glue chapstick is a perfect way to describe it! I am going to try it myself this afternoon. i am also going to try good old school arts PVA glue a try also. Will get back with the results.
By Coley
All i can say is....

Thank You cyberdman! :D

I Purchased a large Pritt stick, (Glue Stick) and a pot of childrens PVA Art glue, and set about my my new pumpkin technique.
I also attempted another first this year, in trying to carve the smallest pumpkin i have ever bought, just bigger than a tennis ball size

I reduced the size to 30 %, cut around the image (oogie boogie 3).Next i applied loads of glue stick to the back, then stuck it on the face of my mini pumpkin.

The next one was a normal size, and i used Lightening Mcqueen, as it is my sons favourite new stencil. I cut around the design, and applied a small amount of PVA to the back. I spread it evenly around with my fingers, the stuck it on to the face.

After about half an hour, the stencils felt as if they were stuck pretty good. So, with my recently purchased Warren pro tool Carving Kit, i set about carving.

I cannot stress enough just how much better this method is. I can honestly say, cutting out the stencil, sticking to the pumpkin, leaving to dry and then actually carving the thing, took less time than just poking the holes on the old method. Let alone then trying to make sense of pumkin with 5000 pin holes in it!And it is so much neater, ( The Warren pro tools might of had something to do with that as wel. They are very good!)

When finished, i just peeled off the paper, then cleaned the surface under a running tap.

Im not exaggerating when i say i reckon i will carve 3 pumkins in the time it would take to carve one using the old method.

I will try and post pics, but still not entirely sure how just yet !







Gotta agree with cyberdman, glue is the way to go!
By Coley

They worked!

Double bonus, posted my first pics aswell! :D
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By cyberdman
Fantastic! Those came out great and I am so glad you like this method. It is very fast. I just love that little Oogie Boogie! Awesome. Thanks for sharing!

Yeah my wife and I were just talking and I was saying man I can't believe I ever used the poke hole method. Now in comparison that method seems so pre-historic! :lol:
Last edited by cyberdman on Sun Oct 22, 2006 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Coley
your more than welcome!

just sorry about the poor quality on the pics.
By Liderc
Your photos have inspired me to use the glue stick method on my 6 real pumpkins this year. I've always used the poke method and I just thought it was so time consuming and boring, this way seems so much more fun and looks like the results are the same, in your case-amazing. Well done and thank you for helping me decide.
By Joey
So I tried out the glue stick method tonight. And while it saved a good amount of time, I didn't get the amount of accuracy I usually do. Perhaps it was the stencil (Eye of Newt), but I had a lot of parts break off. It seemed harder to carve through as well, though that may have been the pumpkin itself. I wouldn't try this on a detailed stencil again.

Furthermore, it's useless for shading. What I usually do with shading is cut out the top layer of skin before peeling it, and doing that is nearly impossible through the paper. I needed to poke out the parts I was shading.

So yeah, I may give it another shot with something more simple.
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By Tkaraoke
Hey Cy!

I've been meaning to ask you...

Do you notice if cutting through all of the paper dulls your blades faster than it would if you just cut directly on the pumpkin?
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By Drayco
Tkaraoke wrote:Do you notice if cutting through all of the paper dulls your blades faster than it would if you just cut directly on the pumpkin?
I'm using the PM artificial pumpkin saws, the Warren Cutlery saw, and X-Acto knife and haven't noticed the blades dulling any faster from gluing and cutting through the patterns. I've used the same saws two years in a row and will be using them this year.

As far as accuracy of the pattern the fact that Cyberdman is the 2006 contest winner for accuracy proves the glue method can be used without sacrificing accuracy.
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By cyberdman
Thanks for your testimony Drayco! :lol:

Yeah I don't have any problem with dulling and any pattern glue method either X-acto blades, saws or drill bits. Practice makes perfect.
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By Tkaraoke
I'm just looking for ways to sheer off as much time as I can for this year so I can carve more pumpkins! LOL
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By cyberdman
Boy I can definately identify with that notion.