Creative Alternative to Carving Jack-o-lanterns


Kyleigh Dyal, Contributor

Have you ever made a jack-o’-lantern? It’s lots of hard, messy work, all for it to be destroyed by rot. As intense Halloween fans, my family and I always dread the end of the season. We adore the colors of Fall, the room for creativity in the costumes and decorations, and as you may have gathered, the iconic pumpkins.

While pondering the inevitable demise of our hard earned jack-o’-lanterns, we stumbled upon a solution- one that leaves no room for a lack of creativity and devotion to Halloween, paper ma’clay pumpkins! The name paper ma’clay is based off the technique of combining both paper mache and paper clay to make the pumpkins. We cleverly came up with the word combo ma’clay.

So, what’s the price for an eternal jack-o’-lantern? If you make it yourself, it’s relatively cheap for supplies– the expense lies in your own creative ability and devotion. Willing to pay this price? Here’s our process:

  1. Stuff a plastic bag.
  2. Tape off your sections.
  3. Find a paper mache mixture involving flour (Recipes are online.)
  4. Paper mache the bag and tape base for 4 layers at least.
  5. Once paper mache is dry, draw your desired design onto the pumpkin.
  6. Carve out bottom or top.
  7. Remove the insides of your pumpkin, bag and all.
  8. Carve out the design.
  9. Once glue is cooled, use a paper clay mixture to cover the entire surface of your pumpkin. Keep in mind your pumpkin’s sections.
  10. Once you have finished the face and all of the paper clay, let it dry.
  11. Sand down any bumpy areas.
  12. When finished sanding, seal the clay with the paper mache mixture by painting it all over the pumpkin.
  13. Paint!
  14. Seal with polyurethane or a quick seal from the craft store.
  15. Add an electric tea candle and enjoy!