Picture of Phot-o-lantern
Dwight Final.jpg
Here is a relatively easy way to to take a photo of yourself, a friend, or a random celebrity and carve them into a jack-o-lantern.

The first half of this Instructable will show you how to create a carvable pattern while the second half will give tips on how to carve it into your pumpkin.

**Be sure to come back closer to Halloween to check out some more of my projects for this year.**

Step 1: Phase 1: Create your pattern

To carve a photo, first you have to find your photo. A good place to start is with photos of yourself, a friend, a boss, or a celebrity. If there is a good amount of contrast or shadow on the face in the photo, the carving process will be much easier.

You will also need photo editing software with some basic layer and brightness/contrast controls. I will be using a trusty old version of Adobe Photoshop. Gimp and other software should work just as well.
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blazinmt5 years ago
Excellent write up!! I did one of my son and it turned out perfect!! I am no artist either, I just followed the steps and an hour later:
cainunable (author)  blazinmt5 years ago
Looks great.  What did he think of his face on a pumpkin?
I turned off the lights in the hallway and set it up to show him. He's is only 2 and I was very happy for him to immediately know that it was him! He just said, "It's me daddy!"
blazinmt5 years ago
I am now gonna do the whole family since this one turned out so nice! Thank you again! This site is bangin'!
Chromatica5 years ago
Gotta do Steve Carell also... I mean Micheal Scott
and Dunder Mifflin Logo!
Smalfrii5 years ago
yay first coment!

Any ways... you could use the fake flickering tea lights their about $2.99 for 1
heheheheehehehehehehhehehehhehehehhe dwight hehehehehehehehhehehehheh pumpkin hehehehheheheheh...................................
ilovecraft6 years ago
excellent work! Can the carving be done on a flat board/surface; say on a box enclosing a lamp? Will it give an equally good 3D effect?
cainunable (author)  ilovecraft6 years ago
Depending on your material, it should absolutely work. One thing to look out for though: can an outer layer be shaved off to allow some light through? You will need to be able to make the thin layer of the material so that shading is possible (Therefore things like metal, and wood would probably be out of the question.) Of course, if you are going for just a black-white effect, any material should work fine. Side note: if you really wanted to do it with sheet metal, you could possibly use some screen as a second layer for the shading. Might take a little extra work, but I'm sure there are cool things that could be done with it.
Maureclaire6 years ago
What a riot ! I'll HAVE to do one of my husband !
V-Man7376 years ago
Fact: Dwight pumpkins are the best pumpkins.
fact:bears eat beets,no wait i mean pumpkins.
Battlestar Gallatica!
Isn't that the movie where Dumbledore has to take a magical ring to a volcano?
no..... that was harry potter's excellent adventure.
Party on, Muggles!
Harry Potter's Excellent Adventure.JPG
ha ha, nice one
Yay! And wait until you see Ron and Ginny's Bogus Journey!
Attention Everybody: X-mas is canceled. PD: Fact: This affirmation is False.
um... I'm pretty sure it's five days after christmas at the time of your post.
question. can you use something other than a heated knife on a craft pumpkin?
cainunable (author)  Cheesecake6 years ago
You can use a regular knife for cutting pieces out, but it is much more difficult to do the shaded regions. It is possible, but more more labor intensive, and the finished product won't be quite as good. If you want to try, I would recommend doing as little of the shaded area as possible. You can attempt this by making a single layer, and then adding further details on additional layers similar to how I did the glasses in my example.
that's the best picture ever.
landline6 years ago
I've been doing it this way for years -- nice to finally see an instructable on it. Good job. Last year was Gordon Ramsay... This year will probably be McCain-Stein, and Obama-cula.
Obama Blackula, i cant find the fusion between names....
cre814me6 years ago
Ok, this looks really cool. However, to this point, I have never had any desire to use any photo tools, and am completely unfamiliar with it. I downloaded Gimp, per your suggestion. I can't get past the layering. What am I trying to accomplish? I click on it, and it just throws things in another window. What am I layering? Foreground? Background? White? Transparency? Is it to be chained together? Do I need alpha channeling? I tried to help myself, didn't work. Any easy explanations? Thanks!
cainunable (author)  cre814me6 years ago
OK, I'll try to guide you in the right direction for GIMP use. I'll assume you have the Layers window open. Select and copy your photo from the source. Click on the new layer button. I used the default setting of Transparency and it seemed to work fine. At this point, did it create another new layer called "Floating Selecting (Pasted Layer)"? If so, with one of your selection tools, click outside of the selected region and it should drop into your New Layer. Hopefully this will get you moving again with your pattern. (For a quick heads up, In Tools>Color Tools> Brightness Contrast your contrast will need to be set to 127 instead of the 100 as I said for photoshop.)
Also, GIMP has a handy "Posterize" command that reduces a full-color or grayscale image down to X colors in each channel. I main idea of this instructable without reading all the details... so what I did was take a full-color image of Kim Jong Il, convert it to grayscale, posterize it to 3 shades of gray, touch-up the image, and print it out. Commands: Image>Mode>Grayscale Colors>Posterize
The results...
err, i only have 1 thing to say about the first picture: HI THAR!
cainunable (author)  tarsius46 years ago
Nice. What is the second pumpkin?
xACIDITYx6 years ago
Thank you very much for the Instructable! I did a House, MD one (see the middle) 5 Stars and faved!
House looks like a zombie Evil, evil good doctor-bad person ZOMBIE LOLOLOL
cainunable (author)  xACIDITYx6 years ago
Looks great. Love that show too.
Oh, and you can count on my vote when voting states.
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