Create a festive fall pumpkin using dryer vent duct
The completed “minimalist-industrial” pumpkin (left) and the “Sugar Skull” pumpkin (right) were both made with dryer vent duct and other materials found around the house.
Ask any of my co-workers… the pumpkin bread that I made last week from the Kabocha squash, came out amazing! And speaking of an orange squash, that is a fun and versatile fruit, the pumpkin will be the inspiration for this week’s project that is fun to make for any occasion — the pinata.
Honestly, as a kid I don’t recall ever having a pinata for my birthday or making a pinata in Girl Scouts, but I vaguely remember my cousin having a colorful horse pinata for their birthday and having a lot of fun trying to whack it open with a bat blindfolded. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy trying to blindly hit a candy-filled paper horse hung on a string?
The first and only pinata I’ve ever made was right before I moved to Louisiana, six years ago, for one of my best friend’s wedding. I remember having a good time making it and a great time was had by all destroying the prize-filled pinata.
And… I started writing this article before my project was finished, which it turns out, the pinata was a fail.
I know, you’re disappointed; I’m disappointed; my co-workers are disappointed since they won’t have something to break open on Halloween, as I had promised; and my 6-year-old niece, Emma, was VERY disappointed.
It’s the humidity and rain y’all!! Making pinatas are messy. And since I don’t have a “Craft Shack” yet, I need to do super messy projects outside. I wasn’t done with making my pinata before dark, and I remembered my last pinata took a couple days to make, so I thought it would be fine outside overnight under a covered porch. “Well honey, this ain’t Bellingham, Wa., this is Louisiana.”
I get it, I truly do. But there are experiences in life that you will never forget and always relate doing that particular thing in that particular place. I now know, for sure and true, that making a pinata in Louisiana requires climate control. Which, one of these days, I hope to have a climate controlled “Craft Shack” to make many pinatas for the disappointed.
So with that being said, I still wanted to do a pumpkin. I pulled out my phone and got on Pinterest.
After searching, I found a craft where you can make a pumpkin out of dryer vent duct and I wasn’t sure if I could do it, so I wanted to check the post for instructions. (On a side note, one of the things that really bugs me about Pinterest is that the link you click on doesn’t necessarily instruct you on how to make the project.) When I clicked on the Pin for dryer duct pumpkins, I was brought to BuzzFeed’s “Nifty” page which showed you a bunch of projects that could be done with that theme but with no instructions.
Even though I was a bit frustrated about it, I had looked at the picture long enough that I thought to myself, “I got this! This, I can do.” And, I remembered that we had some duct from when we moved into our house. So this is totally doable.
I took the duct out of the box and uncoiled it to where it came close to making a circle and that’s where I decided to cut it for length. I used regular kitchen scissors to cut the foil and then wire cutters for the wire. Then I had to figure out how to connect the ends.
I saw that the foil could be punctured pretty easily so I grabbed the embroidery project that I’ve been working on, for a couple years now. (Yeah, sometimes I start things and don’t finish them.)
I used my embroidery needle and a piece of embroidery thread, tied a knot at the end and did a “quick stitch” down the outside opening. That secured it perfectly!
Next came painting. I used a foam brush that I had from last week’s project and gold acrylic paint. Emma said that she “Loooovvvveeessss painting” so she got her own foam brush and went to town.
All in all, I think Emma and I did about 3 coats. While I was painting this pumpkin, I got an idea for another pumpkin that would use the strips of paper I tore for the now defunct pinata.
I cut another piece of duct just like the other one. Secured it the same way with the embroidery thread. I then used a hot glue gun to glue the paper to the duct. Regular Elmer’s or craft glue would have probably worked just fine, but I wanted something that would dry faster.
After covering the duct, I painted it with Mod Podge to make the paper hug the cylindrical shape. After the Mod Podge dried, I painted it with the gold acrylic paint. Again, this took about 2-3 coats.
While both pumpkins were drying, Emma and I went outside to check on the chickens and gather a couple of sticks from under the oak tree that we could use for stems. Emma did a great job and found two perfect sticks. Both sticks fit exactly in the center of each pumpkin.
For the plain duct pumpkin, I used hot glue on the bottom of the pumpkin to secure the stem to the pumpkin. With the paper duct pumpkin, I covered the bottom with paper so when I stuck the stick into the center, I didn’t push it all the way through and secured the top with hot glue.
After each pumpkin dried, I took the first pumpkin (plain duct) and gave it a slight coat of gold paint starting from the “stem” and ending about ¼ of the way down and then sprinkled it with “pumpkin” colored glitter.
This pumpkin I now call my “minimalist-industrial” pumpkin. (My degree is in art history, so I get giddy like a kid when I can actually use my degree.) If you would like to learn more about the Minimalist movement, you can reference Concepts of Modern Art; From Fauvism to Postmodernism, edited by Nikos Stangos, which was used in my Modern Art class.
“Industrial” is more of an interior design term and you can find more information on this style at wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_style. I use the majority of my art history degree helping customers design their ad to make an impact to the viewer.
The paper duct pumpkin I now call my “Sugar Skull” pumpkin, because the smooth surface allowed me to decorate the pumpkin with cute adhesive vinyl sugar skulls that I bought from Niche Creative Studio.
I used hot glue to define the sections of the pumpkin by sprinkling the glue lines with glitter. I then outlined the vinyl with hot glue and glittered those as well. Controlling the glue gun was a bit difficult but I feel the imperfection gives it an imaginative feel.
Well, there ya have it. The pinata didn’t work out but now I have two phenomenal pumpkins that will be on display in our American Press office. All crafts during the contest period will be on display in our office for you to come by and view.
When you come in, don’t forget to place your ad for entries into The Creative Crafter Contest. You could have your crafts featured in the Holiday Gift Guide which is in the biggest paper of the year!
Creative Crafting with Kim prints on Saturdays. If you would like to advertise your crafting business or sell leftover crafting supplies call the American Press Classified department at 337-494-4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline to place a display ad is Wednesday at 4pm and line ad deadline is Friday at 4pm. Feedback about this article can be sent to email@example.com.