Hi there! I've been carving pumpkins for many years, and I love carving with craft pumpkins because that way they last forever! This Instructable will show you how to use Dremel tools to carve a craft pumpkin from a pattern.
Step 1: Step 1: Materials You Will Need
1. Craft pumpkin (brands include Funkins). These are foam pumpkins you can purchase at a local hobby store or order on the internet. Although you can carve the patterns on a real pumpkin, it won't last long but a foam pumpkin will last forever.
2 Pattern: Select a pattern depending on your carving ability. There are beginners patterns available at a hobby store, but also online (see Stonykins for more difficult patterns as an example). Also be sure that the pattern fits your pumpkin. The pumpkin is curved and has lines which you will need to account for when carving
3. Glue: Elmers washable school. You will need to attach your pattern to your pumpkin and I find this glue is best.
4. Dremel tools: For more intricate carvings and layers, use various sizes of the Dremel tools: I use the Dremel 3001 Multi-speed tool with the flexible shaft that allows me better control. Also the Dremel 4486 MultiPro Keyless Chuck makes it easy to switch out the various bit sizes.
5. Light bulb and holder: To light up your pumpkin, you can use a low voltage light (like a Christmas light). Although usually I use a white bulb, it's fun to mix up the color (I did Frankenstein one year with a green light which added a nice effect).
6. Workspace: Because you are carving into a foam pumpkin, there will be alot of shavings. Be sure to have a workspace that is easy to clean up.
7. Vinegar: Vinegar makes it really easy to take off the excess pattern after you are done carving without damage to the craft pumpkin.
Step 2: Step 2: Size Up and Glue on the Pattern
In this step size up the pattern to your pumpkin. Make sure to level it out and note the size and curve of the pumpkin as compared to the pattern you have selected. In this picture, you can see that the pattern is pretty big for the pumpkin! Resizing the pattern is an important step.
Once you are comfortable with the size, glue the pattern onto the pumpkin. Then, leave it to dry on the pumpkin overnight. If you try to carve now, it will be a wet mess and will mess up your pattern.
Another note on the pattern: Be sure to pick out a pattern that matches your ability. The pattern I show in the image has 4 different shades to it. If you are just beginning, look for 2 or three shades to start.
Step 3: Step 3: Time to Carve
Time to break out those Dremel tools and start carving! As you can see from the pictures, I use different bits for the type of shading I'm going after. The second picture shows a wire circular brush that is excellent for shading (in this case, it's Darth Vadar's cape). Using the wand attached to the Dremel 3001 Multi-speed tool with the flexible shaft allows me much better control for the smaller areas, like around Vadar's eyes and helmet. The Dremel 4486 MultiPro Keyless Chuck allows for quick changes in the tools I use.
Because these carvings are intended to be enjoyed in the dark, lit up, it's a good idea to periodically check your work by lighting up your pumpkin in a dark room.
Step 4: Step 4: Remove Pattern Remains and Enjoy Your Creation!
Once you feel you have completed the carving and have given it a final check, you'll need to soak the pumpkin in a vinegar bath. I use distilled vinegar in the sink and soak it for just a few minutes. I find this removes the remaining paper and washable school glue you used fairly easily, without damage to the pumpkin. Dry the pumpkin and place the light in and enjoy!