Fortunately, I finished well before the kids woke up from their naps.
a thin, sharp knife
a large knife to slice the melon in half
a spoon to scoop out the melon seeds
Step 1: Prepare the Melon
Using a crayon or some other writing utensil, draw Vs on the melon skin next to the cut edge. I used the stripes on this melon as a guide for the center of the Vs.
Using the thin, sharp knife, trace along the crayon, slicing just through the skin of the melon. Carefully shave off the skin of the melon from inside the V shape, leaving the skin intact below the line.
Step 2: Cut the Outer Petals
Angle your knife inward toward the center of the melon and cut a V shaped trough all the way around the cut side of the melon, just inside the outer layer of petals, like in picture 5 of this step. This is to create space between the outer layer of petals and the next layer.
Step 3: Cut the Inner Petals
Cut triangles from the layer next to the outer layer like in pictures 3 and 4 of this step. Now cut triangles from the innermost layer. It should now look like picture 5. Carefully trim any petals that need it and clean up any excess bits of melon with your knife. Be careful not to slice any petals off.
Step 4: Carve the Center
I sliced off the skin, then carefully carved a thin slice from around the center of the chunk. This left me with a thin, curved strip that fit around a round center piece of melon. I rounded out the center piece a little more, then cut long, thin rectangles from the strip along one edge (see picture 4 in this step).
I used a spare thin slice of melon to wrap around the center chunk and hold it in place inside the lotus center. I then carefully wrapped the strip with rectangles around the center chunk, placing it with the knife (fingers are too big for this).
Nobody in my family will eat this melon because of some recent Listeria scare, but it was still lots of fun to make. Thanks for reading! Post pictures if you make your own. :)