This is the story of a DIY project gone wrong, and turned into something more amazing than the original idea. And I’m posting this to tell you that DIY projects will fail, things don’t always turn out the way you expect, and sometimes your best ideas come to you while you’re trying to slip into a Benedryl-induced nap, forcing you to get up and search through unpacked boxes for a Sharpie.
This is the story of my Sally inspired no-carve painted pumpkin!
Like I said, this wasn’t meant to be a Sally pumpkin. I set out to do a color block pumpkin and my project didn’t come out “perfect” and I considered it a failure. What I learned from this project is that you can’t put painter’s tape on top of a painted pumpkin! The paint will come off with the tape. Oh, the horror!!!! This project actually sat for several weeks because I was so frustrated! Then I decided to improvise and it didn’t work “perfectly” and I almost threw my pumpkin away!! I’m so glad I didn’t because I love the end result. It’s still not “perfect” (do you see that I’m putting this word in quotes? That’s because there’s no such thing as “perfect” in DIY-land), but I love my little ragdoll pumpkin.
Here’s how I made it.
Step One: Get a pumpkin. Use painter’s tape to tape off a section of the pumpkin. I decided to do one half of my pumpkin in pink …. but you can tape off any area of your pumpkin that you desire! I first used painters tape to make the “edge,” then I used more tape and junk mailings to cover the part of the pumpkin I didn’t want painted.
Step Two: This is where I found out that painter’s tape will pull up dry paint on a pumpkin. (And I let it dry overnight, so wet paint was not the culprit.) So I had to improvise, and decided to simply hold up a peice of newspaper to make an edge and spray the desired area. What a mess! Not only did I get paint all over my hand, but my yellow paint is kind of old and it was gross and drippy. I got the edge I wanted – kind of. From far away it’s okay but up close it’s a hot mess.
I then used this same sloppy technique to paint off a blue section on the top.
After I was done with my pumpkin, I looked at it and thought, “Funny, those are kind like Sally’s colors.” Then I shrugged and walked away, totally disappointed with my failed color blocking attempt.
I was experiencing bad allergies that day so I actually decided to take a Benedryl and lay down for a nap. As I was dozing off, I came to me … add black stitching along the edges to represent Sally’s ragdoll gown! (My best ideas always come to me when I’m almost asleep and in the shower, and don’t have the capability to write anything down.) I drowsily searched the house for a black Sharpie. It was quite comical, considering how sleepy I was and how half my possessions are still in moving boxes.
Step Three: Use a black Sharpie to add smal lines where the colors meet to make the patchwork stitching! I added a few “x” marks here and there, too, mostly to cover up paint imperfections! I think the uneven lines work better for this design because Sally’s dress is meant to be haphazard and imperfect …. kind of like me.
My friend Rosaura said, “Half of art is just creative problem solving.” She’s totally right! Art is never perfect and is never really finished (like Disneyland!) and if something you are creating is not matching your vision, step away from it for a bit and I bet the solution will come to you! And I want to give a special shout out to reader Nadia who had the same turn-it-into-Sally idea that I did! We are clearly both geniuses. (And HAPPY DISNEYLAND WEDDING DAY tomorrow!!!!!)