'Scarred' Pumpkins & Jack-o-Lanterns

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Introduction: 'Scarred' Pumpkins & Jack-o-Lanterns

About: There are some things you should just NEVER do.....

'Scarred' Pumpkins & Jack-o-Lanterns

What could be more fun than growing your own pumpkins for Halloween Jack-o-Lanterns? How about growing your own pumpkins that are 'customized' with natural markings -- Your name or own artwork!

It is simple to do and the results always end up amazing. To get the markings you will make a small cut (incision) in the surface of the pumpkin. As it grows the cuts will leave scars matching the cuts.

In trying to name this Instructable I was concerned that "Scarred" (having a scar) would be confused with "Scared" (frightened). Trying to find alternatives to "Scarred" we came up with "Lacerated" and "Mutilated" and those just didn't seem appropriate. So I gave up and kept "Scarred".

In any case the results are really neat!

Step 1: Grow Some Pumpkins

Obviously you will need to grow some pumpkins. This technique will not work on pumpkins that have stopped growing. They need to be on-the-vine and actively growing.

So find a pumpkin variety you like and start growing your living "canvas" for your art/monogram. The seeds I found required about 100 days growing to mature. Look for a large unshaded spot to plant your seeds as pumpkin vines grow large and need full sun.

Step 2: Carve Your Art

You want to mark (scar/carve) your pumpkins while they are still green and still growing. But not too early. They should be about 80% of their full size. It is not easy to tell when you have reached 80% except by experience/guess. Sorry I did not keep track of how many days the pumpkins had been growing when I carved them.

Use a sharp knife to cut into the pumpkin only going about 1/8th inch deep. Just use the knife to 'draw' your art or name or whatever you choose. There may be some weeping at the cuts but that is fine.

My oldest daughter wanted her name on the pumpkin and my youngest wanted the pumpkin to look like a Jack-o-Lantern, so I carved accordingly.

Step 3: Wait....For Them to Grow

Care for the pumpkins normally. Let them grow to maturity. As they grow the cuts will heal and leave visible lines.

Step 4: Harvest and Enjoy

Cut your pumpkins from the vine leaving a good length of stem for the traditional 'top knot'.

Then show off your handiwork! Congratulations on the most unique pumpkins/jack-o-lanterns in the neighborhood!

Enjoy!

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    6 Comments

    0
    jacksonriley24
    jacksonriley24

    8 weeks ago

    Cool idea, I'll be sure to try it.

    0
    wannabemadsci
    wannabemadsci

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Thanks for commenting. Make sure you post your results when you try it!

    0
    Little Lightning Bug

    We used to do this to watermelons when I was a kid, just scratching the rind with our fingernails - drove my mom nuts.

    0
    wannabemadsci
    wannabemadsci

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Thanks for your comment. I'll have to try this on a watermelon!

    0
    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    8 weeks ago

    I always loved these growing up :D