Trading tips for dark displays and prop production.
So 2020 Halloween was a bit of a bust but I did make a couple new props.

Since we weren’t doing a new theme this year, I decided to do a couple more ZP mascots.


and, not really a mascot but
ZP Minion:

I have my usual series of progress pictures but this time I actually made a video of how I make these:

In the end, they turned out pretty good. I may have gone a little overboard with the size of Shadow but that’s OK 🙃

One other problem is that the colors of the new ones don’t match the originals. A different DIY store closer to my house had the pink foam and I wanted to try it. (I usually use a blue foam.) Anyway, changing that base made the orange a lot brighter on the new ones.

It’s OK. I just decided that I’ll have to make more and that way have 2 sets 😎👍

Here they are all together

Here's the post on the first round of "making a Zombie Pumpkin"
nosferatu, amandap80 liked this
It’s a great video. You make it look so easy! I still have the one you sent to me a few years back. I absolutely love him. It’s on permanent display in our home office, so I see it most days and it remains one of my favourite possessions.
It looks like I’m going to make a 3rd go at some ZP mascot pumpkins.

Ryan’s Season mascot is drawn from sort of a low angle. I didn’t think the eyes would look right if I made a foam mascot like that. So, I tried to draw a couple versions of Season from straight on.



Then, I just went ahead and drew a template more like the original.


The problem is … I like all 3 🤣

It’s a great classic Jac face, so I think I’ll make all 3 of those this year.
amandap80, SuperSonic liked this
Once again, I'm flattered that my mascots inspire your props. I love to see how you interpret them.

You're right, the "Season" pumpkin is designed to look like he's leaning his head back, to open his wide smile. But does that angle look right when viewed straight on?

To be honest, I think all of these look more than fine. My preference leans slightly toward the proportions of the original illustration, but if you want to lower his eyes or open his mouth more, well that works too! I enjoy seeing your style put a spin on these.

I wasn't very helpful, was I? :lol:
SuperSonic liked this
This is absolutely brilliant, Mark! I wish I had the levels of talent you and some other folks here have. I think I may actually need to try my hand at making one of these sometime. The layering is what blows my mind. That takes it to a whole new level. I think if I end up giving it a go, I'll try some sort of UV reactive paint in places like the eyes, and the flame/tongue inside the mouth.

Dumb question (and maybe you mentioned it in the video but I missed it), do you use different thickness of foam board for sections like the eyebrows?
Do it! It’s super easy and you can certainly do a lot more detail than I do. My stuff is more big than detailed. I’m usually just trying to fill the space.

I like to use 2.5cm. It’s sturdy and easy to cut. I sometimes buy the 3.0cm for the back pieces on the bigger ones. They need more depth to stand well. And 2.0 always feels too flimsy at the shop.

If you are making smaller ones, 45cm or so. The thinner boards are better. 3.0 and even 2.5 seem to be a bit too big. For smaller ones I suggest 2.5 for the back and 2.0 for the layers

This year I bought some 2.0cm to make the inside pieces for my tombstones.

Anyway, I didn’t really answer the question but if you want to have a bit more depth difference and feel, you can get different sizes or just slice them in half for smaller things like eyebrows. I cut the Frankenstein stitches in half. Cutting what you have in half or taking some off just means you don’t have to buy another board.
I made up options 2 and 3. I liked the look of those best and didn’t buy enough foam to make all 3.

Here are some progress shots:

Step 1: sketch the design on to the foam


Step 2: make paper copies of any pieces


Step 3: trace the pieces on to new foam


Step 4: cut out the pieces and layer them


Step 5: paint the backings and any inner areas that will be hard to reach after gluing. Then glue together with hot glue.


Step 6: paint the whole thing orange. Then brush on a little black here and there for shading


Sorry … I don’t know why it’s orienting all my photos as landscape 😡

As I was making the wide mouth guy, I thought it would look really good as a ghost. Instead of painting it orange, if I painted it white and maybe gave it a wispy top, it might look cool. And I don’t have any foam ghosts right now.
Last year I used a new type of foam, pink, and my jacks came out really bright orange. I usually use a blue foam and the old ones are a more dingy orange.

Is what it is. Lighter color foam leads to a different color Jack … so I was thinking if I made a few more with the pink that it would be a good mix of bright and dingy … half and half 😂

But! I made 2 more this year and they weren’t bright orange. Same foam. Same paint. 🤔

Anyway, I guess it’s that the paint browns up a bit after some time. I said same paint but not a new can. it’s the same can of paint left over from last year. So I decided to re-coat my Shadow and Minion mascots and I’m much much happier now :lol:

Mark, @mesmark

I absolutely LOVE your foam pumpkins! I'm trying to do some myself and I have several questions. I signed up on this website just to be able to send you a message in hopes I could ask my questions. The website won't let me message you because I'm brand new.
Would you be able to send me a message that I can reply to? If not, would you be willing to text me so I can chat with you?
I know it sounds weird and creepy, but I promise I'm not a creeper. I'm just a fellow Halloween lover wanting to make these awesome pumpkins and would appreciate some help...

The image attached is my progress so far on one I'm trying...
Casperja, that’s awesome! I’m glad to hear you’re taking on the project.

You can ask any questions you have here. There are a lot of other crafters in here and it might be good to get advice from everyone.

Anyway, your Jack looks great so far. The foam you used seems nice and smooth. If it comes like that, that’s fantastic … no sanding!
Last edited by mesmark on Mon Oct 18, 2021 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.