Tiki Halloween Decorations – Shrunken Head Pumpkin

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I’m not normally very crafty, but when I found instructions on how to make a shrunken head pumpkin I decided to give it a go. It was a fun way to add some Halloween decorations to the tiki room in our new house, and it wasn’t too difficult. The most annoying and time-consuming part was poking holes in the top of the foam pumpkin and threading the raffia through them.

INSTRUCTIONS (via Michaels.com)

Materials List:
Small Gourd – White
Multi-Colored Raffia
Craft Foam – White
Wiggle Eyes
Wooden and Colored Beads-Assorted
Exacto Knife
Pencil
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

Step: 1
Cut a hole in bottom of Gourd, large enough to fit your hand inside.

Step: 2
Cut a series of 16 holes in the top, in a circular pattern. These should be large enough to thread double-thick strands of raffia through.

Step: 3
Thread double thickness of raffia down through a hole in the top, and then thread it back up through the hole next to it, so the ends of raffia stick up out of the top of the Gourd like hair. Repeat until all holes are filled. You may use different colored raffia to create a custom look.

Step: 4
Gather raffia into a ponytail at the top of ‘head’, and wrap with loose raffia.

Step: 5 (I skipped this step)
Cut out a bone from white craft foam and hot glue behind wrapped area of raffia.

Step: 6
Draw on face with a pencil, and carefully cut out with Exacto knife. You may carve only the surface to create a relief effect, as shown.

Step: 7
Cut holes on top and bottom of mouth line and thread raffia through the holes to create a stitched mouth.

Step: 8
Hot glue wiggle eyes in place.

Step: 9
Select two strands of raffia toward the front of the ‘head’ and string with wooden and colored beads. Tie a knot in the end and trim to desired length.

Do you put up any tiki-themed Halloween decorations? Tiki Central has a thread on Tiki Bar Halloween Decor that can give you more ideas. Happy Halloween!

Related Posts:
Enchanted Tiki Room Painted Pumpkins at Disneyland
Halloween 2010 Art Show at the Tonga Hut
Spooky Tiki at Halloweentown in Burbank

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A Walk Around the Ruins of the Coco Palms – Kauai

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An abandoned hotel wouldn’t normally be high on my sightseeing list, but the Coco Palms on Kauai was a notable exception. (Sidenote: I do actually find ghost town-type places kind of fascinating, like China’s haunting Wonderland amusement park or the now-demolished Nevada Landing, a riverboat hotel adrift in the desert near Vegas.)

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Behind that chainlink fence and ominous No Trespassing sign is what was once Kauai’s premier resort that played host to Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, who helped make it famous in a little film called “Blue Hawaii” in 1961.

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Through the overgrown trees I could see the lagoon from the romantic scene at the end of the movie where Elvis serenades his wahine with the “Hawaiian Wedding Song” as they float on a double-hulled canoe. (The web site ElvisInHawaii.com has some screen caps of that scene.) But the land’s importance goes back way before “The King” to Kauai’s actual kings — this was their ancestral homeland and the site of burial grounds and other sacred spots.

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So what happened to the Coco Palms? Twenty years ago, Hurricane Iniki hit the island, the hotel suffered damages and it’s been closed ever since. It’s easy to spot as you’re driving along Kuhio Highway in Wailua, north of the airport. Even in its decaying state, there are parts of it that are still captivating. It’s also kind of spooky to see lamps still in in the windows of some of the hotel rooms.

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Plans to build a new resort on the property seem to have fallen through, but Pacific Business News reports that the site has been sold to new investors. It seems inevitable that the original buildings will eventually be torn down, so I’m glad I got to see some of what’s left.

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I only checked out the outside area, but it is possible to get a closer look. Bob and Jerri Jasper, original founders of Hawaii Movie Tours, offer tours of the Coco Palms Monday through Friday at 1:45 p.m. for $20 per person. For more information, call 8-8-346-2048 or visit cocopalmstours.com. And apparently Coco Palms’ longtime entertainer Larry Rivera even coordinates “Blue Hawaii” themed weddings among the ruins.

Related Posts:
Tahiti Nui Tiki Bar, Hanalei, Kauai
Havaiki Oceanic & Tribal Art, Hanalei
Tiki Carver at the Westin Princeville, Kauai

Tiki on “American Dad”: Part 3

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After the latest disappointing Treehouse of Horrors episode from “The Simpsons,” we needed something to take our minds off the awfulness. Thankfully that arrived soon after when we spotted a bunch of tikis on “American Dad.”

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In “Killer Vacation,” which aired on October 7, 2012, the Smith family takes a vacation on an unnamed tropical island, and shenanigans follow. Hayley and Jeff are propositioned by another couple while sipping umbrella and coconut drinks at the poolside bar, complete with bamboo and a tiki mask on the wall.

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Harder to miss were the giant blue and red tikis decorating the luau that Roger the alien attends later in the episode. Lots of Party City tiki influence apparent here (even more so in the last picture in this post).

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I think somebody that works on this show must be into tiki, since this is the third time we’ve found them and I’m sure there are others that we’ve missed. Check out the tikis on “American Dad” Part One and Part Two to refresh your memory.

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More Related Posts:

Tiki on “Archer” (You better be watching this show!)
“The Simpsons” Make Fun of Trader Joe’s (with Tikis!)
Tapa, Ukes & Surprisingly Neat-looking Tikis on “South Park”