Introduction: Hot Air Balloon Jack-o-lantern
I've always carved the same faces on my pumpkins every Halloween and this year I wanted to do something different and unique, something that I had never seen before, it was going to be awesome. But I had the one small problem or what I was carving, I was constantly looking for inspiration and ideas for 2 weeks straight without anything, when the oddest thing happened, in my church we were talking about things that lift us up when it occurred to me all the things that literally lift us and that train of thought eventually led me to the idea that I have now, which I can confidently say that I personally have never seen done this way.
Hope you enjoy and are able to make your own pumpkin look amazing!
Warning! Carving pumpkins can be dangerous especially if you are using a sharp blade (I found this out personally several years ago and that finger still doesn't work the same way that it used to.) so please exercise caution when carving and always be sure that you have a firm grip on the knife
Step 1: Tools
- Carver- engraver
- Potato peeler
- Bleach solution
Step 2: Choosing and Prepping Your Pumpkins
You want to choose a small pumpkin for the base and a relatively teardrop shaped pumpkin for the body, then at least one day before you need it cut the holes in the body pumpkin (one at the top and one at the base) and scoop out all the seeds and any excess pumpkin from the inside so as to give it an even balance and make the walls thin enough that you can see the light through them.
Step 3: Cutting the Grooves
Measure eighths or sixteenths on your pumpkin and cut shallow cuts (not puncturing all the way through!) all the way around the pumpkin and remove the skin with the potato peeler.
Step 4: The Panels
When shaving out the panels on your balloon you want them to be thin enough that you can see the light through them, but you also want to be careful not to cut the pumpkin too thin or it will crack and fall apart.
Step 5: Let It Sit
After you have shaped the panels to where you want them, I advise using your peeler to remove some of the outermost layer of the pumpkin because at this point because of the weight of itself it will have bruised the pumpkin a bit. When you have everything looking the way you want it, spray or wipe your pumpkin in a solution that is one part bleach to ten parts water (this will help the pumpkin stay fresh longer) and leave it to sit overnight.
Step 6: Preparing the Small Pumpkin and Frame
The day after you make the body of the hot air balloon's body (which should be a bit leathery by now), carve out the pumpkin that will serve as the basket and cover it with the same bleach solution that you used the night before on the larger pumpkin, and leave it out to dry.
While the smaller pumpkin is drying you need to build the frame as this is what will be holding your pumpkin up, what worked for me was that I cut out a small wooden base and drilled holes in it (and the small pumpkin) and glued my dowels into the base through the small pumpkin.
I apologize for not having a picture of it.
Step 7: Assembly
To put the basket and body together you must squeeze the dowels in through the base of the body and make sure that they hold the body up without puncturing the it, if you find that your dowels are pushing through the pumpkin then you can stuff something in between the dowels and pumpkin.
After you have everything put together your pumpkin is ready to stand. if it does stand, then that is great! But if your pumpkin is like mine and seems lacking in the balance department then you can lean it up against a wall or try to balance it by removing extra pumpkin meat(?) from the inside.
Thank you, hoped you enjoyed making it as much as I did, comments and ideas welcome!