Pumpkin Geode

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Introduction: Pumpkin Geode

About: Creative Design Enthusiast

By definition, Geodes are rocks containing a cavity lined with crystals or other mineral matter.

Geodes are not so easy to find as they are mostly indistinguishable from the surrounding rocks. Once the rock has been broke open, the vibrant inner core and naturally formed crystals come to life - a real treasure !! They are ordinary looking the outside yet extraordinary on the inside and everyone just seems to be obsessed with it.

Current Geode-Resin Trend

Artists have come up with ways to replicate these naturally occurring geodes to make beautiful décor pieces. Trend is to use resin, glitter, decorative stones and even real crystals and minerals to create enchanting resin geodes. Using Resin definitely needs some experience and that I something I look forward to working with.

My Inspiration

I take inspiration from the colors and the crystals and see how these patterns can be incorporated in different art media or objects. The final result is to resemble an actual geode found in nature .While Geode art stays on my radar, I visited a pumpkin patch and from distance, the pumpkins are pretty much appear as giant rocks in various shapes, colors and textures. And that's how I decided to smash open a pumpkin, add some bling and make it into a Geode.

I was not sure how I was going to execute this Pumpkin-Geode idea, but eventually found my way as I was determined to do something different with the pumpkins than the usual carving.

Project Summary

Below are some of the aspects of the project that I had to plan

Pumpkin Rock - I chose to stack the pumpkin on top of each other, that was it is giant geode and there is more room for design and patterns. I cut opened with a hollow cavity which resembles an broken rock.

Lighting - I was surprised to learn that some geode geodes contain fluorescent minerals and produce a spectacular display under UV light. So I wanted to add light source inside the pumpkin so the geode can light up. With that being the case, my geode base needs to be transparent/ translucent in order to achieve the best illumination.

Geode Core - This is the part where I had to get creative. I ended up using transparent Vinyl Sheet. Its flexible and I could draw my pattern on top, layers after layer and and apply the crystals easily on it. Once the crystals were added, this geode core could be affixed within the pumpkin cavity. The transparency allows the light to pass beautifully, so win win. This Geode core in itself was a great décor piece.

Lets get to the steps, materials used, some tips on how to make this project

Supplies

    1. Handheld saw/Knife
    2. Pen
    3. Chisel
    4. Hammer
    5. Metal Scoopers/Large Metal Spoon
    6. Bleach
    7. Water
    8. Measuring Spoon
    9. Spray Bottle
    10. Wooden Sticks
    11. Cling Wrap
    12. 200 Lumen LED Super Bright Flip Light - 2
    13. Spray Paint - Colors: Gold and Hammered Brass and Deep Blue Ink
    14. Aluminum Foil
    15. Drop Cloth
    16. Masks
    17. Gloves
    18. Transparent Plastic Vinyl Sheet
    19. Measuring Tape/ Ruler
    20. Scissors
    21. Glass beads - I used several shades of blue and amber and also some colorless ones
    22. Pan with a lid
    23. Bowl
    24. Ice Cubes
    25. Ziploc Bags
    26. Elmer's Glue
    27. Glue Gun
    28. Clear Glue Sticks
    29. Glitter - I used various shades of gold shaker glitter and gold fine glitter
    30. Glass Beads Crystals - I used colorless, Iridescent Light Blue, Iridescent Ice Blue, Iridescent Purple and Iridescent Amber
    31. Acrylic Crystals - I used Brilliant Blue and Dull Lavender. It can be found here https://www.paperlanternstore.com/pages/search-re...
    32. Paints - I used Orange, Navy Blue, Pear, Deep Red and Metallic Gold
    33. Paint Brush
    34. Nails

    Step 1: Carving Pumpkin Rock

    For this project, I needed 3 Pumpkins - Small, Medium and Large. I had planned to stack them. As I had planned to cut out a lot of portion of the pumpkin, I needed pumpkins with a wide base t enough to support the geode core and bear the weight of the other pumpkins on top. The wider the pumpkin, more room for display. The color didn't necessarily matter as I was going to spray paint them eventually.

    Supplies used in this step

    1. Handheld saw/Knife
    2. Pen
    3. Chisel
    4. Hammer
    5. Metal Scoopers/Large Metal Spoon
    6. Bleach
    7. Water
    8. Measuring Spoon
    9. Spray Bottle

    Steps

    1. I bought one large faced pumpkin (large), one hybrid pumpkin ( medium) and one grizzly white pumpkin (small).
    2. Cleaned them with some soap and water, scrubbing away excess dirt and wiped them with a clean cloth
    3. Cut stems on the large and the medium pumpkin using a handheld saw (I believe its called a compass saw)
    4. Next, I made small circular markings on the top and bottom side of the large and medium pumpkins to cut out them For the small pumpkin, a cut out was made only on its bottom side. Note: Had to make sure the cut outs weren't too large - the pumpkin stacked on top needs a base to sit on the pumpkin beneath it.
    5. Using a chisel, and a hammer, I was able to make the cut outs.
    6. Using a scooper and a metal spoon, I cleaned the insides of the pumpkin. Note: Made sure the pumpkin layers weren't shaved off too thin. I needed them to be thick in order to pass nails and bamboo stick to connect them.
    7. Next, I roughly drew an outline on all three pumpkins on the front side - which appear more like cracks in a rock
    8. Using a chisel, I cut the front side of the pumpkins. Note: This shape might change eventually depending how my geode core fits into it.

    Just to make sure the pumpkins last longer, I made a mixture of Bleach (2 spoons) and water (gallon) and added it to spray bottle. Applied the diluted bleach spray on the pumpkins to keep away from rotting.

    Step 2: Stacking Pumpkins

    In this step, I stacked the pumpkins starting with:

    • Largest Pumpkin - Bottom
    • Medium Pumpkin - Middle
    • Small Pumpkin - Top

    Supplies used in this Step:

    1. Hammer
    2. Wooden Sticks - Used Hershey's Marshmallow Sticks as they were pretty strong.

    Steps

    1. Placed the medium pumpkin on the large pumpkin, making sure the center cut outs are aligned but there is still enough space for the pumpkin to rest.
    2. I roughly broke wooden sticks into 5-6". Using a hammer, I gently pushed the bamboo sticks (pointy side in) in the base of the medium pumpkin all the way in to the top layer of the large pumpkin underneath it - connecting them.
    3. Repeated the above steps in a total of 2 spots. This allowed for the pumpkins to stay connected and not move.
    4. Repeated the above steps (1-2) with the medium and the small pumpkin.

    Step 3: Lighting

    I decided to illuminate the geode pumpkin. Bright white light would go more with the colors I will be using. I will be using 2 LED Flip Lights, they are battery operated. Next I had to cut out an opening in the pumpkin in order to be able to fit the light source.

    Supplies used in this step

    1. Pen
    2. Chisel
    3. Hammer
    4. Cling Wrap
    5. 200 Lumen LED Super Bright Flip Light

    Steps

    1. Using a Pen, marked a rough outline at the back of the large pumpkin at the bottom. Note: Had to make sure the opening was large enough to let my hand pass through.
    2. Using a Chisel and a Hammer, I cut the opening out.
    3. I saved the cut out piece to close the opening once the lights were placed inside the pumpkin.
    4. Spread some cling wrap on the insides of the pumpkin and placed the light on it and tested its brightness. I decided to use 2 of those lights in the final display for added brightness.

    Step 4: Spray Paint Pumkins

    Next step was to spray paint the pumpkins. I wanted more of a metallic look on the outside.

    Materials Needed in this step:

    1. Spray Paint - Colors: Gold and Hammered Brass and Deep Blue Ink
    2. Aluminum Foil
    3. Drop Cloth
    4. Masks
    5. Gloves

    Steps

    1. Set up drop cloth and wore protective layers (gloves and mask).
    2. I used Aluminum Foil to cover the area where I did not want any paint.
    3. I Started with Deep Blue Ink Color - Spray Painted per instructions, keeping the nozzle least 10-14" away to get a light coat. Sorry I didn't take a picture of spray paint bottle before throwing it away.
    4. Added a second coat 15 minutes later.
    5. Repeated steps 3 and 4 with Gold nd Hammered Copper Color. Note: I tried experimenting with different colors. I had some left over Deep Blue Ink Color which I used a bit to create a blue hue. Once it dried, I sprayed on some hammer and some gold on it creating a smooth metallic finish.
    6. Let everything dry overnight.

    Step 5: Geode Base

    I chose transparent plastic vinyl sheet as the geode base for this project. I will be adding crystals and making layers on this vinyl sheet.

    Id like to share that I had brainstormed some ideas to create the geode core with other materials that didn't necessarily work for my project which I will share in the steps later. but I I have as listed them below.

    1. Option 1 - Fill the hollow pumpkin cavity with cement and add crystals/glitter on top. But that would have resulted in an opaque geode base which I didn't want.
    2. Option 2 - Next, I thought I could use translucent clay and cut in shape of the cavity. Bake the clay and fit it in the mold. I would have achieved some level of translucency and could have added crystals/glitter on top. But to me, this would be like lumping crystals on top without any definition/layers. Also but that would have resulted in an opaque geode base which I didn't want.
    3. Option 3 - Next option was using resin, but creating patterns and adding layers within the pumpkin would be a bit complicated due to the depth of the pumpkin tower. Doing it within on pumpkin at a time would not have resulted in a smooth flowing pattern.

    Supplies used in this step

    1. Transparent Plastic Vinyl Sheet
    2. Pen
    3. Measuring Tape/Ruler
    4. Scissors

    Steps

    1. I had brought a large cut of sheet of the Transparent Plastic Vinyl Sheet
    2. In order to cut it out for the pumpkin geode, I roughly measured the length and width of the pumpkin cavity (2' x 1') using measuring tape
    3. I decided to marked out measurements on the vinyl sheet as 2.5' x 1.5' instead. Note: I will be creating geode core design within the 2'x1' but the extra few inches on all sides would allow for insertion of the geode core within the pumpkin.
    4. Using scissors, I cut the vinyl sheet.

    Now our base is ready, time to build the geode core.

    Step 6: Making Crytals

    While I will be using an assortment of crystals. I had already brought some store brought acrylic crystals. But I needed more than that. There were several glass beads available and I decided to make crystals with them, something I used to do when I worked with broken stained glass art.

    Supplies used in this step

    1. Glass beads - I used several shades of blue and amber and also some colorless ones
    2. Pan with a lid
    3. Bowl
    4. Ice Cubes
    5. Ziploc Bags
    6. Hammer

    Steps

    1. First I washed some glass beads and took some dirt off.
    2. Next I placed them on a pan and heated them for 5 minutes.
    3. Placed hot beads in a bowl of ice cold water allowing them to naturally crack.
    4. I wiped them and placed them in a Ziploc bac.
    5. Using a hammer, I shattered them into tiny irregular pieces that appear like crystals.
    6. Repeated steps 1-7 for all the other colors of crystals.

    Step 7: Building Geode Core

    This is the fun part. I decided to design the geode core layer by layer - adding glitter, crystals and painting it. I decided to do this instead of a pour over paint because this allowed me to create more definitions of my own.

    Supplies used in this step:

    1. Elmer's Glue
    2. Glue Gun
    3. Clear Glue Sticks
    4. Glitter - I used various shades of gold shaker glitter and gold fine glitter
    5. Broken Glass Beads Crystals - I used colorless, Iridescent Light Blue, Iridescent Ice Blue, Iridescent Purple and Iridescent Amber
    6. Acrylic Crystals - I used Brilliant Blue and Dull Lavender. It can be found here https://www.paperlanternstore.com/pages/search-res
    7. Acrylic Paints - I used Orange, Navy Blue, Pear, Deep Red and Metallic Gold
    8. Paint Brush

    Steps

    First I drew a rough outline/design that resembled the cavity in the pumpkin. Note: This doesn't have to be perfect. More like a free form. Next, I worked on the design of the geode starting from the center

    Center (Gold Glitter) - I drew a smaller outline in the center (free form) and applied some Elmer's Glue in the center and added shaker gold glitter. Let it dry.

    Layer 1 (Amber Crystal) - Using hot glue gun, I placed Broken Glass Beads Crystals - Color - Iridescent Amber. I placed crystals around the glitter center in 2 tight layers.

    Layer 2 (Navy Blue Line) - Using a paint brush, I painted a navy blue line line around the amber crystals. Just made a irregular creamy line around.

    Layer 3 (Pearl Line) - Using a paint brush, I painted a Pearl line around the Navy Blue Line. Just made a irregular creamy line around.

    Layer 4 (Light Blue Crystal) - Using hot glue gun, I placed Broken Glass Beads Crystals - Color - Iridescent Light Blue. I placed crystals around the Peral Line in 2 tight layers.

    Layer 5 (Metallic Gold Line)- Using a paint brush, I painted a metallic gold line line around the light blue crystals. Just made a irregular creamy line around, slightly thicker.

    Layer 6 (Colorless Crystal) - Using hot glue gun, I placed Broken Glass Beads Crystals - Color - Colorless. I placed crystals around the glitter center in 2 layers

    Layer 7 (Amber Crystal) - Using hot glue gun, I placed Broken Glass Beads Crystals - Color - Iridescent Amber.. I placed crystals around the glitter center in 2 layers, but this time it was only on the top and bottom and not all around. See image.

    Layer 8 (Acrylic Blue Crystal) - Using hot glue gun, I placed Acrylic Crystal - Color - Brilliant Blue. I placed crystals all around but a little away from the colorless crystal leaving some room between. See image.

    Layer 9 (Deep Orange Line) - Using a paint brush, I painted a deep orange (mixed orange + deep red) line line around the between the colorless crystal and the acrylic blue crystal. Made an irregular thick layer.

    Layer 10 (Purple Crystal) - Using hot glue gun, I placed Broken Glass Beads Crystals - Color - Iridescent Purple I placed crystals around the acrylic Blue crystals in 2 tight layers. These were not placed throughout but on some sides.

    Layer 9 (Pearl Line) - Using a paint brush, I painted a pearl line line around the outer side. Made an irregular line.

    Filling Up Space - In the remaining spaces, I used a hot glue gun, I placed Broken Glass Beads Crystals - Color - Iridescent Amber. I placed crystals around the glitter center in 2 tight layers. Next, applied some Elmer's Glue in the and added fine gold glitter. Let it dry.

    Note:

    1. I had to make sure the vinyl sheet was thick and of good quality as it could withstand the heat from the glue gun. I was more than pleased its quality as there were no signs of the sheet curling/melting down. No impact at all.
    2. Also using clear glue stick was really important to achieve translucency on the base.
    3. Also when painting, when I am making lines around crystals, I had to be title carefully, making sure it doesn't blotch the crystals.

    Step 8: Placement of Geode Core in the Pumpkin

    Once the geode center is all dried up, I tried to hold it vertical and noticed that the center not as flexible, as I had imagined. But I did have plain vinyl sheet on the sides that would help seat this geode within the pumpkin.

    Supplies used in this step:

    1. Nail
    2. Hammer
    3. Scissors
    4. Glue Gun
    5. Clear Glue Sticks
    6. Acrylic Crystals - I used Brilliant Blue and Dull Lavender.

    Steps:

    1. Carefully placed the geode code vinyl sheet in the pumpkin to see if it would fit in as is.
    2. I realized I had to cut the pumpkin on the front side to make it wider, so I carved some layers out on all 3 pumpkins
    3. I was able to place the geode in and using nails, I was able to secure it within the pumpkin.
    4. Using Scissors, I trimmed off the excess vinyl sheet.
    5. Once the geode core was placed, I had to fill up some gaps on the vinyl sheet and the pumpkin around its rims.
    6. I decided to use the acrylic crystals - Color - Brilliant Blue and Dull Lavender to fill up the space.
    7. Using a hot glue gun, I was able to secure the crystals in the gap.
    8. I placed the flip light through the opening at the back and there, the geode came to life.

    Step 9: Final Set-up

    The set up is quite easy - the Pumpkin were easy to move. The crystals are holding off pretty well. I sometimes use the lights and sometimes I don't, it looks good either way. I had fun making this million dollar pumpkin gem and it definitely a unique piece sitting in my house right now.

    I cant wait to do this project on a faux pumpkin. The colors, patterns are endless. I do want to make on a bunch of smaller pumpkins and instead of a pumpkin patch, there can be a geode bed. Creative juices keep flowing.

    I am entering this instructable for the Pumpkin Contest, Please give me vote if you like it. I hope you enjoyed this instructable and let me know if you tried it :)

    Happy Halloween !!

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      17 Comments

      0
      26sdailey
      26sdailey

      6 months ago

      How long did it take you?

      0
      Karishma Kumar
      Karishma Kumar

      Reply 6 months ago

      4 days, every day after work LOL.

      0
      Karishma Kumar
      Karishma Kumar

      Tip 9 months ago

      This project can be with just one pumpkin and it can be cut in different shapes
      The crystals can just be placed in the center without adding them is layers
      Lighting is optional, but that really bring out the geode

      0
      Karishma Kumar
      Karishma Kumar

      Reply 9 months ago

      Thank you :)

      0
      pndelgrosso01
      pndelgrosso01

      9 months ago

      seems VERY complex!

      0
      Karishma Kumar
      Karishma Kumar

      Reply 9 months ago

      Yes. I did stack the pumpkins and that did add a bit of work. Also with the geode itself, I wanted more definition rather than just clumping crystals in the center. Like to challenge myself, so yes :)

      0
      Marve48
      Marve48

      9 months ago

      Very inventive.

      0
      Karishma Kumar
      Karishma Kumar

      Reply 9 months ago

      Thank you so much :)

      0
      AnandM54
      AnandM54

      9 months ago

      Wow... Brilliant idea friend!!! Great instructables also!!👏👏👏👏

      0
      Karishma Kumar
      Karishma Kumar

      Reply 9 months ago

      Thank you for your kind words :)

      0
      tooharsh
      tooharsh

      9 months ago

      Great job incorporating a popular trend into a holiday decoration.

      0
      Karishma Kumar
      Karishma Kumar

      Reply 9 months ago

      Thank you. I tiried :)

      0
      jessyratfink
      jessyratfink

      9 months ago

      Ohhhh what a neat idea :D

      0
      Karishma Kumar
      Karishma Kumar

      Reply 9 months ago

      Thank you !! Glad it worked out :D