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How to carve fruit for a centerpiece

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Picture of How to carve fruit for a centerpiece
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This instructable will guide you through some of the basics to creating fruit centerpieces.  All you will need is a good knife, a few toothpicks, some fresh fruit, and your imagination.  I am self taught and have made a few centerpieces for various summer occasions (when fruit is in season!).  

I have included photos of some of my carvings including a watermelon rose, parrot, various flowers and more. Some of these are a bit more advanced, but a cantaloupe swan is a perfect starting point. Here I will guide you through constructing a beautiful and tasty swan. 
 
 
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Step 1: What you will need

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It is best to work with fruit that will not brown when left out for extended periods of time.  I try to refrain away from using apples, bananas, etc since those fruits will oxidize.  Your best friend to prevent oxidation is lemon juice and cold water.

Here are some of the common fruits and veggies I use to sculpt with:
honeydew melon
watermelon
cantaloupe
pineapple
strawberries
kiwi
squash
carrots
potatoes
radishes
grapes
peppers
celery
green onions
leeks
many, many more


Step 2: Making a swan

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For a swan you will need to use a rounded fruit and the only materials needed are toothpicks and a knife.  Before cutting into the melon practice the technique on an apple, it works just as well.

To begin we cut off one side (about two inches worth) of the melon to make a flat bottom.  Do not throw this piece away as this will be used to carve the head.

Step 3: Carve the swans head

Picture of Carve the swans head
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Using the extra piece from the bottom level the curved side and cut off the rind to make a one inch thick piece of melon and carve it into a basic swan shape.  Essentially this is a hook shape with a larger head and pointed beak. Place this aside until the body is curved.

Its so beautiful :)

Cool! I love making things like fancy centerpieces and I had no idea it was that easy! I would love to know how to make the roses.
bakesalot2 years ago
Why is the main photo different than the one in the instructable? I'm really confused..
My point exactly...False advertising in my opinion!
stevequag (author)  BodyMan542 years ago
Your comments are very rude and upsetting, instructables is a place for sharing ideas not attacking others projects. My intent was to give a basic demo that any beginner could try and wanted to showcase other projects I had made in the past. I did not have step by step photos for the older pieces so I carved the new one. I'm not sure why you seem to be out to attack my project. I made this as a fun idea in hopes that other members would try it out and see how fun and easy it is.
I'm sorry for hurting you feelings, that wasn't my intent. If you wanted to showcase some of you other projects, I think it would only be fair for you to do that at the end of your instructable. The first photo is kinda like a book cover. If I picked up a book in hope to learn how to do what was on the cover, then I found out that that project wasn't even in the book I would want my money back. I'm not in competition with you. I just want this to be a fair playing ground. If and when I post an instructable up. I would only add other works at the end for inspiration. not on the cover.

Proof is in the pudding they say, where is the pudding!
BodyMan542 years ago
To me the picture shown on the cover is a different artist than the one show in the demo. I really appreciate you sharing you instructable, but i don't understand why you would make the second one not as nice. It would be as simple as changing the angle that you carved the tail feathers. You also changed the neck from the original. If you are the artist I do apologize for showing concern, I just don't see any resemblance in the two pieces.
stevequag (author)  BodyMan542 years ago
I made all of the pieces shown using two different methods. The demo shown used a different technique based on the size and ripeness of the fruit. Due to smaller and a more ripe melon I was unable to carve a more detailed piece for the demo. I also wanted to keep the instructions more basic for the beginner carver to attempt. I appreciate the concern and encourage you to try the more difficult carvings using the process shown in my instructable.
In that case why would you change the angle that you carved the tail feathers. The cover picture doesn't look any harder to carve than what you did in the demo. The only difference is the change in angle of the the tail feathers. This is what drew me to my statement. Besides that, even the demo bird is a nice instructable. I'm glad you shared, it just makes me wonder. Please when you get the time make another explaining the different technique used in the first picture, if there are any! I will give it a try, but I'm not much of an artist myself.
DUDE!! Seriously awesome! Gets my vote, hands down.
rimar20002 years ago
You are really an artist!
mary candy2 years ago
Beautiful work !
I hope you follow up with some more advanced carving techniques. I'm looking forward to the next one. Great job at breaking it down.
stevequag (author)  1ofakindwork2 years ago
I plan on it, I just need to find some time, things are pretty busy as i have just started student teaching... Perhaps i will make a centerpiece come thanksgiving or christmas. Stay tuned!
zurichko2 years ago
This is beautiful!! I want to see how you make the roses in the watermelon...my mind is officially blown!
stevequag (author)  zurichko2 years ago
stay tuned, i hope to show how to carve the watermelon rose in an upcoming instructable. I just started student teaching so if I find some free time eventually i'll be making one up :)
Gorgeous work! I hope you've entered the play with your food challenge!
daling8852 years ago
very well
sunshiine2 years ago
Wow! Wow! and Wow! I want to do this! So beautiful! Thanks for sharing and have a splendorous day! Sunshiine
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stevequag (author)  sunshiine2 years ago
Thank you, enjoy making your very own!
I always do! This entry is going to be hard to beat! Great!
Who made the fruit tray in the first pictures. You can see they where made in different locations by the cabinets and stuff. Your swan is also different from the photo shown on your instructable's front page. Nice work but it would be nice to see your work first before other's. Thanks for the instructable!
stevequag (author)  1ofakindwork2 years ago
All pictured creations are mine. One was taken in the kitchen and the other in the basement kitchen. I wanted to show my creations to inspire ideas and start everyone off with the basic method behind carving a swan. The swan on the cover is a bit more involved for the average beginner. Glad you like it!
sunshiine2 years ago
Even my cowboy hubby loved this! I will be making one!
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