Introduction: Coco-Lanterns

About: My actual name is Ethan Gibson. I currently reside in Spokane, the second largest city in Washington. I recently migrated to this city to follow the "let's move out of the small city" urge that …

Well hello there!  Welcome to my Instructable on how to turn ugly, disgusting coconuts into adorable candle-lit Jack-o-lanterns!  

I originally had this idea a few years ago, during one of the Halloween contests.  Unfortunately, due to time constraints, lack of effort, and lack of coconuts, I could not.

These little guys will last year after year (pumpkins are meant for eating, not rotting on your porch in two weeks).  Just be sure to watch them so they don't catch fire (like most candles).  Because, while he may look friendly, this b**** wants to burn down your house, and will sacrifice his life to do it.  Crafty, evil little things.

Step 1: The Goods

When planning to massacre a coconut, there are a number of things you need:

1.  A victim. (I have three)

2.  A dremel.  (for cutting)

3.  Tea candles.  (for lighting)

4.  Sandpaper.  (for sanding)

5.  Something to scoop out coconut flesh, like a grapefruit spoon, knife, or chisel.  Not pictured.

Step 2: Drain the Coconut of It's Fluids

All of them.

Stick a screwdriver in the eye of the coconut and press.  Mine went in easily, without any need for pounding.  Wriggle it around to open the hole wider, and then repeat it for the other two.

You can also use a drill, or dremel.

Drain into a cup, if you like to drink that nasty swill.

Step 3: Sand 'er Down

Take the whole coconut, and peel off the potentially flammable fibers from the outside.  Get as much off as you can.

Then, take the sandpaper, and sand down the rest of the fibers and shell, leaving it nice and smooth.  Don't sand too much.  Try to leave some of the natural grooves.  They're nice to look at sometimes.  Sometimes.

Step 4: Decapitation

Place a line one inch (or more) (or less) (eyeball it) from the top of your coconut, and go all the way around.

Use the dremel to score the line to the flesh of the coconut, and pop off the top with a spoon/knife/etc.

Step 5: Gut It Out

*warning, this step will cause extreme frustration*

Taking the flesh out of a coconut is hard, even when the coconut is split into halves.  Now try doing that through a very small opening.  It's like liposuction with a spoon.  Difficult, but not impossible.

I used a craft knife, and, with dedication (and thinking about my mother-in-law), I managed to remove all of the coconut residue from the inside. 

Just don't be too rough, otherwise you might break your coconut, and have to start over.

Oh, and do be careful.  I accidentally harmed myself while doing this. 

Step 6: Facial Reconstruction

Now that your coconut shell is fully prepared.  Draw a face on it.  Then use your rotary tool to carve it out.  

This took me quite a while, because I wanted to make sure everything was just how I wanted it.  

My accomplice kept interrupting, and adding details I didn't want.  He thought he was "helping".  Grr.

Just be careful and use eye protection.  If you've never tried to carve something out with a dremel before, take it slow, and read some online guides before continuing.

You may want to consider using a drill and a very small saw if you don't have a rotary tool.

Step 7: Create Base

Use the portion you removed from the top to create the base.  Simply cut a circle inside of it with your rotary tool, and it should work just fine.

The point on the bottom of my coco-lantern was a bit too pointy for the base, so I sanded it down.

Step 8: Insert Tea Candle, Aaaand Finish!

All that's left to do now is to place the tea candle in and light it.  

Have fun!

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    2 years ago

    Great idea,thanks for share


    10 years ago on Introduction

    What a cute pumpkin! A coconut how clever! thanks for sharing! Sunshiine