Decorating your pumpkin to look like Jack Skellington, the protagonist of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, is an awesome idea for those who don’t want to carve their pumpkins this Halloween.
I saw these two little pumpkins in the foyer of my apartment building and I thought they were brilliant. Although I didn’t make them I’ve got lots of ideas for creating them and ways to improve upon the original design.
Let’s do this.
- Acrylic paint (black, white)
- Foam brushes
- Bristle brushes
- Pencil & eraser
- Stiff black felt
- White puffy paint
- 1-1.5″ black pompom
- Googley eyes
- Top hat, black (optional)
How To Make a Jack Skellington Pumpkin
Wash and thoroughly dry your pumpkin. This gets rid of any dirt on the surface and allows the paint to stick better.
Paint the pumpkin white using a foam brush. A foam brush will minimize the appearance of brush strokes. Take care not to get any paint on the stem. I would recommend working from the top down to the bottom as far as you can go. Once the paint is dry you can flip the pumpkin onto its side and paint the bottom. By working from the top down, if there are any seams or discontinuity between the top section and bottom it won’t be very visible.
If necessary do a second coat. You want to create a matte white finish.
Use a pencil to lightly mark the position of the eyes, nose and mouth. Using a thin bristled paintbrush apply the black paint for the eyes, nose and mouth. Once the paint is dry, if you like you can use a fine brush to apply a dab of white to create a ‘gleam’ in his eyes.
Now it’s time to decide what you would like to do with the stem. You can leave it plain, as has been done in the photo above, you can paint it black. Another option is to find a small black top hat at a dollar store, thrift store or costume supply store. You can glue this on slightly askew over top of the stem. If the stem is too long for this then you can trim it down a bit.
To make your pumpkin look even more like Jack Skellington you can make his bat bow tie.
Take your place felt and cut the bow according to the template in this tutorial. Decorate it with the white puffy paint. Instead of sewing it to a hair clip, glue it to the underside of the pumpkin near the front so you can still see lots of the bow tie on either side.
You can make the bat out of felt as shown in the tutorial or you can glue the 1-1.5″ pompom in the center. Glue two googley eyes onto the pompom. Cut two little felt triangles and attach them to the top of the pompom for little bat ears.
Celebrate and enjoy.
1) Nightmare Before Christmas Art, artwork by Helgi Halldórsson, via Flickr, used under CC2.0, adapted by Isle of Halloween
2) Jack Skellington Pumpkins, photo by Isle of Halloween
3) Jack Skellington Costume, photo by Jennie Park mydisneyadventures, via Flickr, used under CC2.0