October 2, 2012 by quirkyuncle
If it’s October, it’s about time to think about making a jack-o-lantern! Why not kick it up a notch this year with an insane flaming pumpkin head!
First, read all the disclaimers at the end of this posting. Flaming pumpkins are super cool, but are also dangerous. Please be careful!
Here’s what you need to do:
- Purchase pumpkins that, once cleaned out, are of sufficient size to hold a roll of toilet paper.
- Make your jack-o-lantern in the usual way. Make sure the hole in the top is big enough to get the toilet paper roll into the pumpkin. Cutting an open pattern with a more chunky structure (as shown above) is advised – it lets more air in to feed the fire and will withstand the extreme heat better.
- Soak rolls of toilet paper overnight in TikiTorch oil (it smells better) or kerosene. Each pumpkin can handle two rolls, burned in sequence one after the other, before being totally crisped.
- To avoid risk of out of control fire or explosion, do not use any other fuel besides TikiTorch oil or kerosene!
- Soak the rolls in a safe place – the oil is flammable.
- I used a metal pail to soak the rolls, as metal does not absorb the fuel and can be cleaned.
- The fuel is poisonous, so don’t soak the rolls in a cooking pot or leave it where children or pets can get into it.
- When ready to burn, place your pumpkin in a safe, non-combustible location.
- Place one roll of soaked toilet paper into pumpkin, standing the paper roll on end, like a big candle.
- Move the bucket containing other toilet paper rolls and fuel a safe distance away.
- Carefully light the pumpkin. Make sure you don’t have any fuel on you, from handling the soaked toilet paper, when you light the pumpkin – we only want the pumpkin burning.
- Enjoy the show. Do not leave the burning pumpkin or fuel bucket unattended!
- You can place a second roll of soaked toilet paper into the pumpkin after the first roll burns out completely. (Be careful!)
- To prevent a fire, wait for pumpkin to cool fully, outdoors away from combustible materials, preferably overnight, before throwing it away. Don’t dump water on the charred pumpkin to speed the cooling process, as this can spread any remaining hot or burning oils around. Pour any leftover fuel from the bucket back into the bottle the fuel came in and save it for next year, storing the bottle in a safe location.
Each of our rolls burned for about half an hour. Flames peaked at about 4-feet tall. The pumpkins smoked enough after the fire went out to still draw a crowd.
Disclaimers to protect QuirkyUncle from financial ruin
Yes, it seems silly that I need to tell people to be careful when burning things, but here it goes:
- Build and operate flaming pumpkins at your own risk!
- Flaming pumpkins must only be operated under the supervision of a responsible adult.
- Have a working fire extinguisher nearby in case your flaming pumpkin gets out of control. Pouring water on a kerosene or TikiTorch oil fire can cause hot or burning fuel to splash and water to splatter, because the oils do not mix with water.
- Do not light or burn the flaming pumpkin indoors or near anything that can burn.
- Keep children, trick-or-treaters, fools, and pets away from the flaming pumpkin! (It draws them all like moths.)
- Keep costumes and loose clothing away from the flaming pumpkin. Use caution handling loose women wearing loose clothing near a flaming pumpkin.
- Do not operate a flaming pumpkin if you are drunk or stupid, drunk and stupid, or stupid drunk.
- Flaming pumpkins smoke like crazy, especially after they burn out, so be prepared to move upwind.
- This list of cautions is not all inclusive. Please, use common sense!