Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Steampunk Jack-O-Lantern!

Or, ok, let's just go ahead and call it a Steampunkin. :)


I had a lot of ideas for this guy, so nailing down the design was definitely the hardest part. If I'd known what I wanted to begin with, I probably could have finished in an afternoon, instead of taking over a week. o.0

(I really vacillated between painting it copper & leaving the pumpkin "natural." I'm happy with it this way, but tempted to grab another small pumpkin and go full on metallic. :D)

My only expense was the pumpkin itself - a $15 "Funkin" - and a single sheet of craft foam. Everything else is bits and pieces I had on hand.

The jaw and tube flange are made with craft foam, silver rub n' buff, and "bead in a bottle" paint for the rivets:

The plastic tubing is for holding computer wires (there's a split down the back), from a big roll I found in the clearance section at Ikea for a dollar.

The monocle is a discard from my original goggles tutorial, but you could easily substitute a jar lid or piece of PVC pipe:

The straps are more craft foam, held in place with furniture tacks.

The last thing I added ended up being one of my favorites: a cut-away section with exposed gears:

The gears are the same thin foil gears I use on just about everything, which my friend Sharyn makes in her die-cutting machine. (Love ya, Sharyn!)

I originally planned to have a PVC "chimney" on there, too, but the proportions were off so I scrapped it. John liked it, though, and since he took a cool photo I GUESS I'll go ahead and post it:

It's all wrong, though, right? Yep, I stand by my decision to remove the chimney. (But that photo on the right is awesome. Hey John, sweetie, you wanna do all my project photos? [Bambi eyes])

 Now, are you ready... for the magic? 



And check out the gear cut-outs on the side!

Aw yeeeeah. I am DIGGING those gear silhouettes.

And I'm completely in love with my pumpkin light, you guys. It's the same one I had last year, which changes colors in alternating flashes & slow fades. I found it at one of those seasonal Halloween Superstore places for about $10.

I also added a glow bracelet (left over from my poison apple tutorial) inside the tubing, which works surprisingly well.

Here's a video of it all in action - turn off your sound, unless you want to hear my wall clock ticking away:

But wait, WE'RE STILL NOT DONE. I have one more trick up my, uh, pumpkin.

Did you wonder why I carved the mouth so big? And why the whole thing is sitting on that black plastic base? There's a reason! And here it is:


Here's how we did it:

I've had this $10 bubble gun for ages, figuring I'd use it for something steamy eventually. John built a wooden turn rod that, when twisted, presses the trigger. The rod above the trigger-pusher goes through the gun's housing for stability. Then we topped off the turn rod with an old faucet handle.

Initially the pumpkin's mouth was angled down a little too far, so the bubbles kept popping on the jaw. To prop it up, John cut off most of an old plastic bucket to form a ring. This gives a nice stable bottom for the gun, and also lets us angle the pumpkin any way we like. (The bubble gun is easily removable, btw, which is nice.)

The bubble feature would be WAY cooler if it were motion-activated, of course, but we don't have those skills just yet. It's fun to have the option of a little interactive surprise, though, and I think the neighborhood kids will like it come Halloween night!

Hope you liked my Steampunkin, everyone! And thanks to those of you who suggested I make one in the first place over on the Epbot FB page; I really had fun with this guy, and couldn't be happier with how he turned out!


Come see ALL of my craft projects on one page, right here!


  1. Perfect! And I'd have kept the chimney...but only if John could build in a fog machine :)

    1. Bubbles coming out of the chimney?? AWESOME.

  2. So much awesomeness!! So much punk-spiration! MUST. FIND. PUMPKIN. FOR. CARVING.
    Awesome job, Jen! I would keep that guy on display year round.
    Hopefully when the time comes, I won't have to buy "practice pumpkins". hahah. Sharp objects and I don't get along.

  3. WOW! That is the most adorable punkin I've seen today! :D

  4. I feel like xe should be called Steampumpkin, but then I have a thing for bad puns.

  5. Aww, he looks so happy! Very cute.

  6. I was awed and amazed and then you added BUBBLES!! Made my day :)

  7. Wow, that's so spiffy!! Very nicely done! (I just love it when you craft! :D) BTW, where is the hole for the bubble handle? Did you hide it under the craft foam strap?

    1. The first hole *is* under the strap, but then we decided to move the gun forward, so John drilled a new hole after I took those initial photos. I suppose I could make a little foam "hatch" to fit over it, for the times we display it without the bubble gun inside...

  8. I've done pumpkins a couple of years that involved fog rolling out. I also had to start it manually, but it was so much fun to hear the kids. I'm sure bubbles will be a blast!

  9. Every time I thought this pumpkin couldn't get cooler, it DID!!! Wow!

  10. Now I want to make one. Awesome!

  11. Gosh this is adorable as heck! Love it! <3

  12. Oh my gosh, you are so clever!! The bubbles just send it over the top.

  13. BUBBLES!! AND lights??
    So fun! So creative!
    I can't handle all this awesome.

    --Piper P from Washington State

  14. I thought the pumpkin by itself was pretty durn nifty... then oooo changing color lights... wait! there's more?!?!? Then BUBBLES!!!! I'm in love! That's absolutely fabulous! You're amazingly creative and talented, and I learn something each and every time I read Epbot! Thank you!!!!!

  15. Saw your aside about trying to make a copper pumpkin and I'm shouting "Full Metal Pumpkin! Full Metal Pumpkin!" And then thought...wouldn't Full Metal Pumpkin be a great name for a strictly Halloween metal band? Just a thought. And if you make a copper pumpkin, please post a picture.

  16. You two are so stinking creative! It never would have occurred to me to try to figure out a way to activate the bubble gun from outside the pumpkin.
    Also, Funkin is just too fun to say (over and over again).

  17. This is so cute, clever, creative and I'm half-dead of cute and half-dead of envy!

  18. What's a Funkin and where did you get it? My daughter wants to carve pumpkins every Halloween and call me a Scrooge, but they're soooo messy and then everyone forgets to take the pumpkin off the steps and down to the garden and then it snows and then the next spring we have a half rotten half frozen pumpkin to dispose of.

    And cool pumpkin. I like the chimney.

    1. They have them at joanns in a couple colors

    2. You can get them at Joanne's or Michaels. They're basically fake pumpkins that you can carve and then store for next year, and they come in a few different sizes, shapes, and colors. I live in southern California and we have the opposite problem--you have to carve your pumpkin on Halloween day or it will be rotten by the time the trick-or-treaters show up. Funkins are a boon.

  19. That is sooo cute! I love the smile and bubbles, so cheery. :D

  20. that is seriously one of the cutest and most awesome pumpkins i've seen :D

  21. At first, I thought, "Cute jack-o-lantern. Wouldn't want to make one for myself, but it's nice."
    Scroll, scroll...a cutaway showing the gears: "OH! Cool!"
    Scroll, scroll...the glowstick in the tubing and the color-change light: "WOW! That looks seriously awesome!"
    Scroll, scroll...bubbles on demand: "WHAT?!?! BUBBLES?!?! DO WANT!! MUST MAKE!! RIGHT NOW!!"

    You guys are so freaking creative. That rigged-up bubble gun is very clever and impressive!

    When the vid of the bubbles first loaded, it looked like lightning was shooting from his mouth. Hahaha! That would be pretty nifty. He could be your guard jack-o-lantern: bubbles for the cute, polite kids in costume and lightning for the teenage prank-playing thugs. Get John to work on that right now. If creating lightning bolts is a bit optimistic, then a flame thrower will be fine.

    Hooligan bully on Halloween: "Nice pumpkin, losers...It would be a shame if something were to happen to it!" Pulls back his fist to punch it, but leans in for a closer look first. Fire shoots from jack-o-lantern's mouth. Bully's eyebrows singed. Runs away screaming and crying for his mommy. (I'm picturing Biff Tannen as the thug here.)

    Thanks for always inspiring my imagination, Jen and John!



  23. LOVE this. The gear cutout was my favorite thing... until there was a color changing light... and bubbles. Yup, now I just love the whole darn thing!

  24. I like the pipe and hat. Reminds me of a fascinator.

  25. You guys are amazing! Lights and bubbles? I LOVE it!!! So cute!

  26. Absolutely delightful - such imagination and cleverness to pull it off ;-)


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