Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The "Midnight Hour" Pumpkin (Cinderella's Pumpkin Carriage)

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I just love how something as simple as a pumpkin can be transformed into something so magical.  I've been wanting to make this "jack-o-lantern" for YEARS!  It's so beautiful.

I first saw this picture in a Hallmark magazine years and years ago, tore out the page, stashed it away and KNEW that I had to make it someday.  I was transfixed when I saw it:

The "Midnight Hour"
A lot of what makes this picture amazing is not only the pumpkin itself, but the photography with the lighting and the background scene.  And I love the two little mice, Jaq and Gus, in the foreground. 

I decided this is the year that I'm going to make this.  I searched online to find a photo and a how to, and I found it HERE.

Then I started gathering the materials:

You'll Need
3 ornate metal belt buckles
1 pumpkin, about 12 inches tall
Pencil or marker
Craft glue
1 ornate lamp finial
Cordless drill fitted with 1/4-inch bit
4 gourds, about 4 inches tall
2 quarter-inch dowel rods, cut to the approximate diameter of your pumpkin
4 ornate drawer pulls
Heavy-gauge florist's wire

Now, let's get messy!  Gut your pumpkin and save the seeds!!  They are so healthy for you and so ridiculously delicious!  Wait!  Don't rinse them and try this recipe!

Prep the "windows" and "door":  Remove buckles from their belts, by using heavy duty scissors (I used medic scissors - they cut through anything).  You can also use a seam ripper, and just cut the thread holding the belt together.  I couldn't find any ornate buckles, but I was lucky enough to find matching "windows". 

Then I used a screwdriver to remove the prongs from the buckles.

Use the buckles to trace out the holes for the windows and door.  Using a knife or one of those tiny pumpkin saws, cut out the openings.  I had a battery powered one that I bought years ago, tucked away in my Halloween box.  I can't believe it still worked!

Next, prep the pumpkin and buckles for painting:

I was originally just going to use a glitter spray paint, to keep the original pumpkin color intact, but when it went to use it, it didn't work!!!  ARGH!!  This isn't supposed to happen!!  It's brand new!!!  So, here I am, Halloween night, 5:30pm and no time to run to the store!  Thank goodness I had a can of gold spray paint in my paint stash.  Doesn't everyone?

I love spray paint because it's easy and it dries quickly.  I especially love this can of spray paint since it's over 10 years old and still worked just fine. At 5:30pm. On Halloween night.  

Don't forget to spray the lid!  I love how the lid looked like a crown once I cut it out.

The original instructions call for a lamp finale, for the top of the carriage, but I couldn't find any under $10.  Luckily, Micheal's was having an early Christmas sale, and I was able to find this ornament, for less than $5, on sale.  I just turned it upside down and removed the hanging jewel.

Cut the pumpkin stem down as far as you can get it, or break it off if you can, then drill a hole a little bigger that the width as the tip of your lamp finale or ornament, and about 1/4" deep.  Fill with hot glue and insert the finale/ornament.  Let dry.

Then take out your newly painted buckles and your handy dandy glue gun and start gluing on the windows and door.  The pumpkin isn't flat, nor is it dry, so go crazy to make sure they stay on.  No one will see the extra glue once it gets dark.

For the wheels, I drilled a hole through the center of each gourd. Then inserted a dowel rod into the holes of two gourds to create an axle, and secured with glue.  The holes I made were a little too big, so I had to stuff them with some paper towels.  Make two sets.   I inserted a drawer pull into the outside hole of the two gourds facing forward, for hubcaps.

Then line up the two sets of wheels next to each other at about the same width as your pumpkin. Then wrap wire around the dowels to fasten the axles together and to create a webbing for the pumpkin carriage to rest on.  Then place your "carriage" on the wire.  Voila!  Light up the candle and send that girl off to the ball!

Be sure to get her back by midnight or the carriage will turn back into a pumpkin!

I'm linking this tutorial post up to "Home Stories A to Z" Tutorials and Tips Link Party:
Home Stories A2Z




Nancy P said...

Wow, your patience is beyond belief! That turned out really nice.

Jaimie said...

Love this!! I am a friend of Renee's - happy to have found your blog! You should definitely add this to The Stories of A 2 Z's "Tutorials and Tips" Tuesday blog - www.homestoriesatoz.com. They would love it! You can find me at: www.wonderyearsof2.blogspot.com

Quetzal Handmade said...

This is SOOO neat! Where do you find these ideas?! I love it! :)

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