Sunday, October 10, 2021

How to make a 1:9 scale jack o' lantern with polymer clay

I had a need for 1:9 scale jack o' lanterns, but realistic ones with the insides scooped out and faces that were carved instead of painted. I couldn't find any that met my standards, so I decided to make my own. 

There are a lot of ways to make miniature jack o' lanterns. The method I chose requires polymer clay and aluminum foil.
Using a real pumpkin as a reference, I mixed up three different colors of clay.
I flattened the skin and pulp colors. 
Then I stacked them and rolled them flat again.
Next, I rolled the aluminum foil into some pumpkin sized balls.
I placed the ball on the flattened clay...
and pulled the sides up so the foil was completely covered.
I trimmed the excess with scissors and then smooshed the clay until the pumpkin was smooth, round and completely orange.
When that was done, I broke out the sculpting tools.
I made a little indent on the bottom of the pumpkin and used some of the leftover pulp color to fill it in.
Next, I starting some shape and texture.
More shape, more texture.
Once I was pleased with pumpkin itself, I set it aside for a bit to let the clay stiffen again. Then, it was time to cut out the face.
This can take a while. I was in too much of a hurry here, which is why this one is messy. This is also the time to add the stem and cut out the lid.
When all of that was done, I baked the jack o' lantern according to the directions on the package.
I let it cool completely, then I carefully removed the aluminum foil with needle nose pliers.
The finished jack o' lantern! 
Here's a look at the inside. 
The jack o' lantern can be glossed or left as is. This one really was messy, so I touched it up with acrylic paint.
There are probably easier methods for creating small scale jack o' lanterns, but this one has worked well for me. I hope someone finds this helpful. I can't possibly be the only one with a need for tiny jack o'lanterns!


  1. OMG, this is SO cool. I really want to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Could your son 3d print some? I don't know if you can 3D print Hollow circles

  3. Really like the tutorials. I would not have thought of this approach. I wondered how you would get the foil out; lots of work but the best way.

  4. Ahhh, they look fantastic! That's exactly the method I used a few years back to make 1/12th scale ones! If you want to get extra fancy, buy some mini LEDs for putting in balloons and then you can light them up from the inside!

  5. Wow! I love how realistic the two layers look.

  6. Now I want to make (have) 1:9 scale Jack-o-lanterns.

  7. Goodness, you're so creative! I might just have to try this, thank you!