Sunday, October 11, 2009


 Jack-o-Lantern Pokes

Here is the "How To" lesson for this week. I hope it was worth the wait. I appreciate your comments on this piece. Let me know what you think. Also, please be mindful of the copyright. Do not sell this pattern on any website or mail order. And please ask for permission to use it outside the parameters of The Old Cupboarddoor. Make as many as you like to sale for craft shows or your online craft shop or give as gifts. The is copyrighted by Aly's Room and expressly prohibits commercial production/reproduction.

Jack-o-Lantern Pokes:

2 ½ inch Styrofoam ball
Black felt
All purpose joint compound (premixed) You can find this at Walmart. Hang on to it because I will be showing you another “How To” using this joint compound.
Wooden skewer sticks
Assorted fabric strips (coffee stained and stiffened. If you don’t know how to do this refer to the previous “how to”)
Thread and needle
Sewing machine,
Painting spatula or large craft stick
Ultra fine black Sharpie Pen
Cinnamon stick
Rusty bells
Rusty pins (large or small, your preference)
Tags ( I used round)
Disposable cup with water
Hot glue
Americana paint colors: Buttermilk, Lamp Black, Burn Orange, Marigold, Brandy Wine

Directions: Push the sharp end of the skewer into the Styrofoam ball. Push it in about half way through the ball. Now, remove it and add just a little hot glue into the hole and push the skewer back in. With the spatula or craft stick, stir the joint compound until it is creamy.

With the spatula/craft stick add a layer of the compound to the Styrofoam ball. Don’t make it too thick or it will take a long time to dry and don’t make it so thin that you see the Styrofoam. Smooth it out but don’t worry about making it too smooth, that will come with the next step. Push the stick down into a piece of floral foam to hold it. Let it dry 20-30 minutes and then smooth it out.

To smooth it, put some water into the disposable cup, dip your finger into the water and begin smoothing the compound. I find it helps to tap the compound lightly with my finger. I don’t mind a few bumps in the texture, it gives it character. Once you have it as smooth as you want, push the stick back into the floral foam. It will take several hours to dry. I recommend letting it dry overnight.

Once it is dry, paint the ball with Burnt Orange, paint the skewer with Lamp Black. Once the paint is dry, draw in the eyes, nose and mouth with a pencil. Don’t press to hard. Now paint in the nose, mouth and eyes. Try to make each one different. Mine all have teeth but I have done some with the tradition faces and they turn out really cute. Use your imgination. Paint the teeth with Buttermilk and line the spaces between them with Charcoal. Use Lamp Black or Marigold for the nose and eyes. Use Brandy Wine for blushing the cheeks. Do this with a dry brush technique. ( see end note for the dry brush technique). Dot the cheek and eyes with a small dot of Buttermilk. I use a small stylus for this.

On the guy that has the cinnamon stick at the top of the head, use a small knife and carefully dig down into the Styrofoam. Don’t make the hole too big, it’s best to start small. Once you have a small hole, carefully push the cinnamon stick down into the Styrofoam. Hot glue into place. Hot glue some moss around the cinnamon stick. It should be glued to the top of the head and not the cinnamon stick. NOTE: I used half a stick of cinnamon.

Witch hat: Cut pattern out from black felt. Fold the body of the hat together and sew a seam on the seam line (1/4 inch) indicated on the pattern. Turn right side out. With right sides together hand sew the body of the hat to the brim.

Top hat: Cut pattern out from black felt. Fold the body of the hat together and sew a seam on the seam lines (1/4 inch) indicated on the pattern. Turn right side out. With right sides together hand sew the body of the hat to the brim. Hand sew the top piece to the top of the hat.
Hot glue the hats on.

Please click on pattern to print at full size.

Letter the tags with an ultra fine Sharpie. Antique the tags using your favorite antiquing technique. I antique them using brown paste shoe polish like Kiwi. I love using this because it has a wax in it that helps protect the tag. Just rub a little onto the tags, front and back. For each Jack-o-Lantern, tie a homespun tie around the neck and hot glue into place. Pull a small piece of homespun through the tag and tie once, then add a bell by pulling it onto the fabric (this is why the homespun piece needs to be thin), tie once, then tie it around the stick so it is placed under the neck. But use your imagination, you can connect it at the top with a pin (like the Jack-o-Lantern Spooky).

“How to dry brush”: I use a small stencil brush for blushing cheeks. Barely dip the bristles into the paint and then dab, dab, dab the brush onto your palette (if you don’t have a palette, use a paper plate or a piece of freezer paper). You still have too much paint on your brush! Now rub most of the paint off on a paper towel. This is much like preparing your brush for stenciling. Softly begin to add the paint to the cheeks by gently scrubbing the area with your brush. The trick is to use a very light touch and add more pressure if you need more paint. Be careful you don’t want the paint heavy.
Hope you enjoyed this project. If you did would you please drop me a note and let me know. Thanks bunches.


Shan said...

They are soooo cute!
Thank you for sharing!

Marilyn said...

They are adorable Willa...thanks for the tutorial...can't wait to try them!


emgray said...

Thanks for the tutorial Willa! I hope to try making them one day.


Carol said...

Willa, That's so darn cute! I like that it is an easy project, and bright and colorful. So maybe I could get hubby to join in with that joint compound, ay? lol. Thanks for sharing;) Carol

Karen Valentine said...

Hi Willa! Thanks for the invite to come over! The picks are so cute!! I can see them popping up all across America!! Great tutorial! Have a wonderful week.

My Desert Cottage

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing Willa, they're wonderful!

Miss Gina Designs said...

These are adorable! I would love to give this a try!

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