Introduction: Laser Pumpkin

Picture of Laser Pumpkin

This is a quick tutorial showing how you can create a Laser Pumpkin.

The idea for this project came from last year's article entitled "Jack-O-Laser of Doom" which involved creating a Jack-O-Lantern with a Laser Vortex projecting from the mouth and eyes. Our pumpkin was very similar, but instead we used a couple of our laser accessories to create a unique Jack-O-Lantern. This project would be great for parties and dance clubs, as well as your front porch.

The equipment you will need will be a laser with continuous operation, diffraction gratings, a pumpkin, and something that will create fog or smoke.

Step 1: Carve a Jack-O-Lantern

Picture of Carve a Jack-O-Lantern

Everyone knows how to do this step, it's easy. Scoop out your pumpkin guts, and carve out a scary face. Keep in mind when designing your Jack-O-Lantern how you would like the laser beams to project out of the eyes, nose and mouth. The best pumpkins for this will have large mouths and eyes.

Step 2: Attach a Diffraction Grating to Your Laser.

Picture of Attach a Diffraction Grating to Your Laser.

We borrowed lasers from our partner as they have an assortment of laboratory and alignment lasers in various colours and powers. If you don't have access to a stationary laser, a handheld laser with a higher power output will be effective. You will need to tape down the button if it does not have the ability for continuous operation. For this project we chose a blue, green and a red laser, although any colour will work; more colours will create a cooler Laser Pumpkin.

Attach a Diffraction Grating to each laser to create a scattered beam effect; the more beams, the better the effect. We used electrical tape to hold the Diffraction Grating holder to the laser. Diffraction Gratings that split a single laser beam into many beams including the Matrix, the Double Matrix and the Mega Matrix will be the best for this project, and they are available from in the Optics section.

Step 3: Setup the Laser and Cut a Hole.

Picture of Setup the Laser and Cut a Hole.

Setup the laser behind the pumpkin and cut a hole in the back to allow the laser to come through. You could place the laser inside but you may not produce the same effect and you might get your laser full of pumpkin goo. You may have to make slight adjustments to the laser to get all the beams to project out the mouth and the eyes.

We also used the lasers with Diffraction Gratings for back lights and background which helped to increase the effect of the Laser Pumpkin.

Step 4: Shut Off the Lights and Create Some Fog.

Picture of Shut Off the Lights and Create Some Fog.
You're done your pumpkin! Now it's time to shut off the lights, or take it outside in the dark, and check out the beams. To make the beams more visible you can use fog or smoke. Fog can be purchased in a spray can, or you could borrow/rent a fog machine for continuous enjoyment. Or, you can set up some incense to burn allowing the smoke to pass through the laser beams. Keep in mind that the wind will blow your smoke in certain directions, so try and set up you fog or smoke to be blown into the beams.

Laser beams will project out for long distances, so be sure not to shine your laser pumpkin anywhere that might affect other people's vision. Beware of cars, planes, and your neighbours.


Bones4000 made it! (author)2016-11-01

I used a fog machine and it worked beautifully. Unfortunately, my phone takes crappy pictures.

Xellers (author)2008-10-02

Where can I cheaply get a laser that can produce a visible beam? Can I somehow overpower a regular laser pointer to achieve a visible beam? Are there any cheap devices such as wall alignment tools that I can get and then extract a laser out of? Please help.

kedo1981 (author)Xellers2016-10-21

Try ebay, Igot 3 laser pointers red green and violet for, wait for it, wait for it, 5 bucks. the green has a very visible in a dark eareia

damasta (author)Xellers2008-10-07

just blow some smoke, cheap smoke machines can be found online, but you can also buy some dry-ice and put it in a bowl of hot water

Xellers (author)damasta2008-10-18

I would do that if I were more interested in a Halloween effect, but right now, I'm bent on getting a laser that can at least project a dot that can be easily visible in moderate daylight, or a laser that projects a visible beam...

BlueFusion (author)Xellers2008-10-19

If you're not in the US or Australia, will be perfect. Cheap as nuts too.
Visible dot in daylight, visible beam at night. It's great. I've had several (bought more for friends). And DX is indeed a good reputable site - lotsa great stuff, and they're great on returns if it's needed.

Tommyhzy (author)BlueFusion2009-08-08

Totally agreed. I bought a 30mW laser and 100 magnets from them, perfect.

ablelaser (author)Xellers2009-03-09

we are the professional manufacture of laser projector. you can browse our web site: .
And you can contact with us with E-mail,

mikuka (author)2015-12-11

If you would like more information about laser pointer, please click on the Business pinterest:

Seeed Studio (author)2015-10-14

That's awesome. Especially the light, cool.

masterURlaser (author)2015-08-12

This is neat! We're going to have to try this with our laser cut pumpkins this year! Laser cut pumpkins with laser lights... Lasers everywhere!

vishalapr (author)2011-08-26

That is totally awesome! Unfortunately I don't have any lasers... :(

rimma (author)2009-11-05

this is great!
lazorz go pew pew!

The Expert Noob (author)rimma2009-11-22

 now they dont, they go: jew! jew! (no religion pun intended)

dave23 (author)2009-11-04

cool lol

electronman (author)dave232009-11-05

hi dave...
have any ideas for instructables?? 

al9595 (author)2009-10-24

cool lolz

ScienceWiz (author)2009-07-22

WOW I was super surprised when I looked at all of the optics at NovaLasers! Most sites only have a couple diffraction gratings and usually charge an arm and a leg... Great Instructable!! Really cool idea!

fwjs28 (author)2009-02-06

good song choice :P

Sandisk1duo (author)2009-01-06

Where's the techno music?

stimps (author)2008-10-30

Thanks for the advertisement. =/

Cooshinator (author)2008-10-18

Two words: DANCE PARTY!!!

masterchrisx3 (author)2008-07-06


Shoop Da Whoop.

CarolineTigeress (author)2008-07-24

Great idea, great instructable. I was wondering if you were to put mirrors on the sides of the pumpkin wouldn't you generate greater defraction..

Matt D655 (author)2008-07-17

thats viscious.

npsark (author)2008-03-07

Amazing!! finally something useful i can do with my laser!!

mever (author)2007-11-08

This is major cool! Wondering the same thing as billbob though ... how powerful is the laser you used?

novalasers (author)mever2007-11-09

For this project I think the green was around 20mW, the red was only a 5mW and the blue was a 50mW. But we didn't put the power ranges in this Instructable simply because power is not a major concern for this project, you can use very low powered lasers and it will still look amazing. But for all the laser fans out there, I know you guys like to know the power outputs, so I apologize for leaving them out. :)

I tried this with a 125 mW green laser! :D It looked SO cool! but stupidly I kinda forgot about my neighbors who got all freaked out because they saw a bunch of little green dots on their wall.

mever (author)novalasers2007-11-09

Cool, nice to know... Awesome instructable

hamishofangus (author)2007-12-06

Blue lasers? That's some pretty expensive tech inside that pumpkin... blueray technology costs thousands of dollars, even for a low-power stationary laser.

maker12 (author)hamishofangus2007-12-09

its green ray!

if you need a blue-ray prep a ps3 for organ doring see my post!/

RockInBlack (author)2007-11-10

Coolest pumpkin I've ever seen.

novalasers (author)2007-11-09

We had to dispose on the pumpkin. Luckily for all you explosion fans, it went out with a bang. Watch the video.

BlueFusion (author)2007-11-08

Novalasers FTW! I buy from them. :D never had an under spec laser! always ~5 to 10mW over!

gwrober (author)2007-11-08

Very, very, cool!

X_D_3_M_1 (author)2007-11-07


billbob (author)2007-11-05

how powerful are the lasers?

Ward_Nox (author)2007-11-05


alvincredible (author)2007-11-03

those pictures look awesome!

Geoffrito (author)2007-11-03

this has got to be one of the coolest things i've seen. Good job!!

CameronSS (author)2007-11-02

Ahh!! Alien pumpkin!!! Run for your lives!!! Pretty darned cool....

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-11-02

nice :-)

canida (author)2007-11-02

That just looks awesome.

About This Instructable




More by novalasers:Laser Christmas TreeLaser Pumpkin
Add instructable to: