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"Carved" pumpkin door decoration using solar path lights.

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I have always enjoyed carving pumpkins for Halloween, and now that I have a scroll saw, I wanted to make something a little more permanent and unique. I have collected many of the carving pattern books over the years, I have lots of scrap wood, and solar path lights are cheap.

Let's put it all together.
 
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Step 1: Supplies and tools

I wanted a sort of hollow base to put the LEDs in to act as the inside of the pumpkin and changeable pumpkin fronts so I could "carve" as many patterns as I want and change them as the mood strikes me.

For materials I used:
scrap MDF (Medium-density fiberboard), 1/2" thick
scrap hardboard or HDF (high-density fiberboard), 1/8" thick
--I think I got both of these from an entertainment center that someone threw out on trash day. the MDF was unfinished (no veneer) and the 1/8" hardboard was from the back of the cabinet. Lots of good materials out there on trash day!
2 cheap solar path lights, probably from Menards
spare wire, to extend the LED leads into the "pumpkin" (I used the paired wires from a network cable)
Schmartboard jumpers (I used these so I could replace LEDs easily and troubleshoot solar circuit/battery problems, but you could just solder it all together.
2 spare LEDs from other torn apart path light projects that didn't work out.
Pumpkin carving patterns. I used two from Pumpkin Masters books that I had.
white latex primer
Acrylic paints, for finishing the pumpkin.
Spray paint, flat black, for painting the mounting board.
Wood glue
Double sided tape
3/4" packing tape

Solder & flux as needed
Finishing nails and wood screws, for putting it all together


Tools I used:
Band saw, but you could use a hand saw or jigsaw
Electric drill and bits
Scroll saw, but you could use a jigsaw or coping saw
Rotary tool with very fine spiral bits
Router (optional)
Small files
Sandpaper
Clamps

Soldering iron
Scissors
Black Sharpie



zcheshire5 months ago
such a great idea I'm going to try and do a few of these on a slightly larger scale and use them for yard decorations. thanks for the post!!
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