View Full Version : Haunted Overload school project

04-21-2010, 11:24 PM
I wanted to share this awesome project a very talented actor, Kyle Arruda did for his senior project. He really kicked ass on it and I was glad to help. He made the best video to date on the process I use to make the foam pumpkins for Haunted Overload. He deserves the grade he got, he really worked hard, followed every step and knocked it out of the park with his presentation. Enjoy the video and his write up, I did. He originally posted this on our Haunted Overload staff forum.


As a requirement for my school, in order to graduate I needed to complete a senior project. This entailed writing a persuasive essay, making a product that took at least 30 hours of work, presentations to the community, and presentations to the school. I wanted to do my senior project on something that was special and significant to me so I asked Eric if he would be willing to be my mentor for it. Eric agreed and from there on, Haunted Overload was the main theme of my whole project. I wrote my paper on the SPCA and different ways to donate time and money to them with an example of Haunted Overload. For my product, I made a pumpkin with Eric. This took longer than I thought, but I'm in love with the end result. I'm donating this prop to Haunted Overload this year. I'd like to share the pictures that were taken of the process to make the pumpkin. I was blown away by the amount that goes into this. I have so much more appreciation for everything in the haunt now that I've been able to experience it like this. Some of the pictures were taken by Eric and Sue. At the end, I put much more than 30 hours of work into the pumpkin with Eric, got an almost perfect score on the whole senior project (one point off.... for stating what I learned by doing this) and got honors. The pumpkin and display board caught people's attention like crazy. I had crowds gathered around, people asking questions, and just gawking at how awesome this stuff looked. I gave out tons of info on the haunt too... I'd like to thank Eric for his help, as I wouldn't be able to do this without him.
Enjoy the video and pictures. Hopefully this will inspire someone else to look into getting a little creative.







04-22-2010, 04:28 AM
That is pretty impressive. never thought of making a pumpkin like that. my question is, what was put in the outside to seal it and why 3 coats of paint?

04-22-2010, 05:48 AM
Liquid Nails or any kind of construction adhesive. It fills in all the holes and divots while strengthening the pumpkin. The thick paint further protects the foam and makes it look like real pumpkin skin because after each coat it gets a little smoother. It ends up being like a flexible hard coat when finished with all the layers. You can do it with oops paint at Home Depot for $5.00 a gallon.


04-22-2010, 06:01 AM
I may have to try that! Actually one just shiped to me from Haunted Overload would work better! Shane and its enjoyed it! Shane this time.

04-22-2010, 06:05 AM
I know what you mean Shane, I'd like some shipped to me as well, lol!


04-22-2010, 06:26 AM
Thanks Eric. I may just have to give this a try.

Gore Galore
04-22-2010, 07:06 AM

That is completely awesome.

But can I give one word of advice. Please please use great stuff and all other urethane foams in a well ventilated area.
it has a fairly high fume output and the fumes are quite dangerous. It can cause liver failure with long term exposure.

04-22-2010, 08:40 AM
Great advice Kevin! I do stuff like this outside whenever possible or open all the windows and use a fan if I can't. Even using a respirator is the best idea. I'm surprised I'm not dead already from this stuff, lol! But seriously fumes are nothing to fool around with. I believe they are also flammable if they build up too much.

If you put a light inside one of these pumpkins use a very low wattage or LED because the foam is flammable as well even when dry. The paint and adhesive helps but if a light bulb were too hot inside it could still burn I bet.

Good luck to anyone that tries this technique for making pumpkins. Each one turns out completely different.


damon carson
04-22-2010, 09:37 AM
Thats great he was able to use something haunt related for a school project. Great job!

Gore Galore
04-22-2010, 02:24 PM
You are correct.
All you have to do is ventilate and or use an Organic Vapor Respirator.
I really wasn't trying to tell you or anyone what to do, but Urethanes are very dangerous because you CAN'T smell them.

As a matter of fact I love your work so much, because you believe in the saying "Bigger is Better",
We are doing a Haunt design and retheming a theme park with huge static figures in mind. All inspired by your creativity.
And I think it would be great marketing to have a giant telephone poll sized monster at the edge of the park to promote their haunted event.
But we will see how open they are to it.

04-22-2010, 02:51 PM
Wow, he did a great job on the project and I'm very glad you posted this. I attended your seminar and talked to you briefly, you did a very nice job and it was well worth the money.

I felt so inspired when we got home from the show that I went and bought balloons and great stuff to try making one of these. I bought these "punch" balloons at K Mart: http://www.cozmicballoons.co.uk/images/uploads/DSC07907.JPG

Not sure if it really matters what kind you use, but these are fairly large and have ridges similiar to a pumpkin when blown up. I started making a head and it's looking o.k., but this video should help me out a ton. Thanks, for posting this:D

chuck weber
04-22-2010, 03:39 PM
plus, your helping a fine young man. Good for you guys! as always, a fine job