Halloween Jack

The Halloween Countdown Clock was great, but I wanted something guarding over it this second year we put it out so that it was more than just a billboard.  Rather than going to existing folklore or pop culture, we just mashed together some Halloween imagery to create this character.


Meet Halloween Jack!

Craft stores sell these polyurethane pumpkins every Halloween.  They're designed to be carved just like a real one, only they won't rot by the end of the season.

_ The face was based off one I saw in a store and liked sometime early in the season, so I sketched it right away (left), scanned it, modified it to my liking, mirrored it, printed it out, and Dani taped it on as a template.

One problem with them, however, is that their "skin" flakes if you aren't careful (or even if you are) during the cutting process.

Fortunately, we planned to paint it anyway.  The paints I'm using are a bright yellow for the interior (to give greater reflectivity for the light source inside) and a fluorescent green for the exterior.


After a couple coats of the green, he's not bad, but the expression is too flat....

...so I added black on the inside (cut) face of the holes.

Note that he's fluorescent under a black light as well.

Some galvanized wire, PVC tubing, and a ratcheting cutter come in handy...

...for making simple skeletal hands.

You can't see it very well at this resolution, but there's a little twist at the end of the wires on each fingertip that holds the PVC lengths on.

(Jack's waving at Stan and Gertie in the background.)


Jack's head is painted, but the arms are just taking shape.  This is all PVC (again).  I used 45° bends for the elbows, but you can get 90° or 22.5° if you have other ideas (e.g., see my lamppost).

The electrical cord runs through the X connector from the little 5 Watt xmas light inside the head.  (I comment on this elsewhere, but while some folks complain about the xmas decorations being put out in the stores so early, I think it's cool that I have more materials to take advantage of.)

I didn't get a picture of it, but the head is held in place by a series of loops of galvanized wire run around inside the head through holes in the X connector.  I also added a short length of tubing for the body to help stabilize him on the clock.


Here we have Jack above the clock.  He's dressed up, but the arms are still in progress.

The fabric was just some "stained" orange material from Joann's.  Earlier in the season I had seen some that I liked better at Hancock, but we didn't buy it at the time, and I never found it again.  Much more textured and almost worn-looking right from the start.  Some distressing would make this look so much better.

Anyway, about the arms...


I added some of the fluorescent green to the fingers and forearms.  I had tried him with just white arms (assuming they'd look "boney"), but they just didn't stand out against the white house.

Fully assembled (finally), here's how he looks.

...and here he is at night over the Halloween Countdown Clock, lit from the inside and fluorescing in the blacklight.  He's totally in his element!



Copyright 2009 the Ale[x]orcist.
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