Introduction: Skull & Crossbones Watermelon Carving

I'm finally back with another Watermelon Carving Basics Instructable. The Rose and Sunflower ones both went over well so I figure why not continue and share the carving fun, and what better time to jump back into it then with Halloween! So here it is, Skull and Crossbones, watermelon carving made easy!

And if you have any suggestions on carvings you may want to see in future Instructables just leave them in the comments!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials!

You will need:


Paring Knife



Skull Template (Fit to your watermelon size)

You can print or sketch a skull template depending on your personal artistic abilities.
Good free templates here.

Step 2: Picking and Printing or Drawing Your Template!

So you will need to find or make yourself a skull template to print out to help you sketch your skull outline on your watermelon and make it easy to carve. Of course if you are more artistically gifted, you can feel free to use your sharpie to freehand an outline on there instead.
You can also find plenty of free printables or skull cliparts to use. I provided a link in step one.
Once you have a template chosen, print it out and cut it out so that you can place it on the watermelon.
After you place the template on the watermelon, use your sharpie to trace the outline of the skull.
Don't worry about the sharpie bleeding through or anything, its only on the rind and you will be cutting it off shortly!

Step 3: Peeling the Rind!

After your outline is drawn onto the watermelon, use your paring knife and stab about 1/2 inch deep into your watermelon and cut all along the traced outline.
This will help to free up the rind cleanly, along the outline when you use your paring knife to peel it away.
Next up, begin peeling away the rind inside of your outline to give your skull that white coloring. Careful not to go too deep with this part as you'll want plenty of the white part of the rind to carve the skull details and depth into.
Just think of it as peeling a potato, just that top skin needs to come off.

Step 4: Making Your Skull Pop Out of the Watermelon!

This next part will help give a better 3D effect to make the skull pop out more from the watermelon.
Take your paring knife and go about 1/2 outside of your skull outline and cut around it following the entire outline at a 45 degree angle cut into the watermelon, going the direction towards your skull.

Then make the same 45 degree cut from the inside part of your skull outline the direction of the rind, and your first cut.

This sounds more complicated than it really is, which is why I provided plenty of photos. If you look at the pieces I'm pulling out they are triangle shaped wedges.

Angled cuts are important for adding that 3D effect because it will give you that gradient of colors to see, verses just straight up and down cuts.

Step 5: Softening the Edges!

After you have your 3D skull shape, time to round off the edges to make it look smoother a more natural and less choppy and squared. Just use your paring knife to go around the edges shaving off the corners to soften them.

Step 6: Cheek Bones!

Use the paring knife to cut out little wedges on either side that will become your skulls cheek bones.

Step 7: Jawline and Jawline Details!

Next, draw yourself a nice jawline between the two cheek bones. Keeping your original print as reference will help you better visualize where these parts should go if you need the extra help.
After you have a line made for the jaw, you will go along the base of your jaw and create little indentations following that line you placed. These are not the teeth themselves, but where they will connect to the jaw.
Repeat the same steps of creating little indentations but now coming down from the top of the mouth just below your cheekbone carvings.

Lots of pictures for references again since describing this can get a bit wordy and sound more complicated than it really is!

Step 8: Nostrils!

For the next couple parts it comes in handy to cut out the eye sockets and nostril holes from your original sketch or print so that you can place them where you most like on the watermelon and help guide your design.

I also used them to trace outlines of the parts themselves onto my watermelon with my paring knife before cutting them into the melon permanently.

These nostril holes don't have to be at that 45 degree angle and can be more straight up and down cuts giving that darker deeper look.

Step 9: Eye Sockets!

Using the eye socket cutouts from my print, I also used my paring knife to trace these onto the melon before making the cuts permanent as I did in the previous step with the nostrils.

Go back to using that 45 degree angle cut for these because you'll want that added color gradient depth! Makes it more realistic and creepy.
You'll also want to round out the edges of the sockets by shaving off any sharp corners.

Step 10: Teeth and Mouth Detailing!

Time to detail the teeth! First you'll want to create a deep wedge cut separating the top row of teeth from the bottom row. Essentially the opening to the mouth!
Next, cut out little gaps and create teeth. As you can see, the owner of my skull did not keep good dental hygiene.

After you have the teeth all cut out, go back to the sides of the mouth and cut out another deep wedge to add more depth to where the your rows of teeth connect to the sides of your jaw.
At this point I also widened the cap under the cheek bones too and made it deeper because I liked the more defined look it gave.

Step 11: Adding Cracks!

This is a fun little optional step to give your skull some unique detail.
Just create some cracking to your skull by cutting tiny slivers of watermelon out and splintering out from the cuts with smaller slivers.

Step 12: Show Some Brain!

Another optional step I thought I'd show you is adding bits of brain peeking through.

Decide where you want the brain to be popping out and use your paring knife to make a cut straight down at a 90 Degree angle.
Then you will shave off just enough of the white part of the rind so that you are beginning to see some pink and light red colors show through. If you go too far down into the red fruit part you will lose the different color gradients that act as shading. So careful! I just cut a little at a time each shaving to be on the safe side so that I wouldn't go to deep.
Then I made all kinds of zig zag cuts and pulled out some small wedge pieces to give it that brain texture.
As you cut your wedges out and get deeper into the red some watermelon juice will make its way out and give your brain a shiny wet look which worked out nicely for the effect.
I added some more cracks into the skull around the brain opening to make it more dramatic as well.

Step 13: Bones!

For the crossbones, create an outline of the bone shape where you would like the placement of the bone to be.
Then use your paring knife to make a cut along the outline going straight up and down at a 90 degree angle.

Next, peel away the green skin to reveal the white part of the rind.

Add depth by taking your paring knife and going about 1/2 outside of your bone outline
and cut around it following the entire outline at a 45 degree angle cut into the watermelon, going the direction towards your bone. Then make the same 45 degree cut from the inside part of your bone outline the direction of the rind, and your first cut.
This is same process we used in step 4 with the skull.

After the bone is given that 3D effect, round the edges by shaving off any sharp corners. Then give the bones some unique detail with cracking.

I repeated this 3 more times around the skull to give it the Skull and Crossbones look but you can do whatever you'd like for yours!

Step 14: Finish and Store! or Eat!

With that your carving should be done! Yay!
I included a picture of most of the scrap pile to give you an idea of what all comes out of the carving. As you can see its not very wasteful, mostly stuff you wouldn't eat anyway. So after you display your carving you can immediately cut it and eat it and not waste the melon at all!

To store your carving short term, cover it in wet paper towels and cling wrap to keep it from drying out. This will allow you to make the carvings a few days ahead of time and still have them look as good as the day you made them!

Hope you enjoy this Instructable as much as I enjoyed making it, and remember if you'd like, leave any special requests for my next watermelon carving Instructable in the comments below and I'll see what I can do! Thanks!

Halloween Contest 2018

Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2018