I’m one of those people who constantly says “I can do it better”.
Seriously, I can.
Take these Home Depot lawn spooks.
I like them, but…
“I can do it better”.
(Especially better than $169….SHEESH!)
I started with a big ol’ Funkin. (that’s a foam craft pumpkin).
Of course I couldn’t find any at a local craft store in the size I wanted, about 14 inches across, so I had to shop online at Funkins.com.
Still not satisfied with the color (it’s a little one-dimensional orange) I aged it by washing it over with brown acrylic craft paint mixed with water. The brown settles into all the nooks and crannies nicely….making it look a little more realistic.
When it was good and dry, I set about carving a spooky face in it with a sharp steak knife. I just drew my image first with a pencil.
It’s pretty similar to carving a real pumpkin…without all the moisture. (Bit of advise; It’s easier to cut clean straight lines than curves. Just sayin’)
For a secure base of the ghoul I used an 18 inch round wood table top from the hardware store. I stained it grey to match the concrete patio and screwed a silver 1/2 inch flange to the center.
Into the flange I screwed a 5 foot pipe that I sprayed the bottom 3/4 white with spray primer. (I suppose you could use PVC pipe, but for some reason I had a few extra pieces of steel pipe in the garage.) I want my finished ghoul to look like he’s floating in air.
For the shoulders, I attached a second flange to the center of a scrap 2X4 and twisted this to the top end of my mostly white 5 foot pipe.
I stapled some scrap pieces of chicken wire to each end of the 2X4 to shape into arms.
I picked up these skeleton lawn stakes from the party store…
…and just wired them to the ends of the chicken wire.
I simply used hot glue to glue my funkin to the center of the 2X4. (Also notice that I used a small piece of wood under the back to ever-so-slightly aim his face downward)
To light my ghoulish face, I wired a chandelier socket to the cut end of a white extension cord…
…and added a 3 watt flicker flame bulb. It doesn’t put off a lot of light…just enough to make for a spooky glow inside the funkin head.
I used a drill with a paddle bit (1 1/4″) to make a hole in the back base of the funkin big enough to push my flicker flame bulb inside.
Just insert the bulb into the hole and use zip strips to attach the cord down the pole.
You’ll need a queen/king sized white sheet. I tore the entire edge off and washed it a few times. I squished it into a ball and let it air dry so it was as wrinkled as possible. I cut a hole in the middle for his face and ties a piece of string around his neck for a little definition.
Next I covered him in a few pieces of gauzy cheesecloth from the craft store being sure to leave his face exposed…
With a pair of sharp scissors, I cut tears and holes as randomly as I could. I just wanted to be sure there were no straight edges. I don’t think it’s possible to do this wrong….the more tears, the more it will blow “creepily” in the October breeze.
Because he looked so pristine, I filled a spray bottle with diluted coffee and spritzed him as randomly as I could. I love this part…..it smells so good.
From foam pumpkin….
To feindish ghoul on our front porch in just an hour…..
and yeah, I think I did it better.
Outstanding!!!!! I love your ghoulish guy better than the stores. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Kathleen, We do too……..and it only took a year to make….
Yep, way better!
Can you say Martha Stewart!? Made me laugh! Anyway…..it is outstanding and absolutely better than store bought….if I am in Dallas I will drive by to take a look! 😀
Had to take him off the porch for a few days…..but he’s looking out the front window….(Insert maniacal laugh here)
Great job! You are so talented! I love your decorating flair. Thanks for sharing.
Wow! I’m so impressed. Looks great. Can’t wait to see what you do for Christmas.
Christmas is a little…..ummmm(coughs)…… over the top.
I’m looking forward to seeing your Christmas décor, you always do such a beautiful job!
Very cool indeed. You failed to mention the cost comparison though.
That freakin funkin is wicked frightening😆
WOW!!! Your talent knows no bounds! Adore this!!!
Wish I weren’t too old to trick or treat at your house!!!
Terrifying! Nicely done. Am I the only one wanting to see him lit up in the dark?
I haven’t snapped any pics yet…..but I will. He looks amazing….I thought the little bulb would be too dim, but it’s perfect.
You have outdone yourselves. What a fun and creative goblin.
Awesome! It is the one time of year, even more than Christmas that I wished we lived in town.
What a wicked face! I LOVE IT! Got to make one soon!! Going to make those little kids think twice before begging for peanut butter cups! I know our neighborhood kids will love it, too! Thanks for the inspiration and tutorial!!
Oh my gosh you did do better! Way better! I like that it’s Halloween without being so creepy! It’s just right and looks great next to your pumpkins too. Thanks for the website tip!!
You really can do it better! This and many other things. Still loving your blog. Thanks for sharing this.
The door swag is also stunning – diy?
YES you DID do better and I am always saying that as well. He came out great and I bet it looks wonderful at night:) Thank you for sharing.
Great job, you are right, you did it so much better!
Thanks for this tutorial! I’m totally making this. As a craft hoarder, I already have the old white sheet from the thrift store. Might try to rig it up to hang from the porch ceiling instead of the stand/pipe configuration. You guys are such an inspiration, and your photos and descriptions are just fantastic! Happy Halloween!!
Nice! May be trying this soon. The only thing I’m going to do different is paint the inside of the funkin and the carved out pieces. Unfortunately, the raw foam interior color is not very pumpkin like. I ran into this tutorial that I want to combine with yours. Fun fun fun!
Hi Brian, I thought about painting the inside. I really did….like a warm yellow…..it’s hard to see in photos, but the 3 watt flicker flame bulb lite the interior just how I wanted it. Will you send a pic or 2 of your finished ghoul? I’d love to see how it comes out for you.