Introduction: Watermelon Carving Basics: Sunflowers!

So I have this recently new hobby of mine, watermelon carving, that I am just having a blast with. So much so that I've purchased myself a fancy set to carve with. But before the set, I was having fun experimenting and creating carvings with nothing but a paring knife and a watermelon. I noticed that Instructables lacked Instructables on watermelon carving centerpieces, finding only a couple. So I decided to show some things I learned and create one for anyone looking to wow some of their friends and families at the next BBQ or party! This Instructable will center around showing you how to carve sunflowers into a watermelon. Hope you enjoy!

Step 1: Supplies!

You'll need:
One watermelon
Paring knife
Medium circle cookie cutter

Step 2: Let's Begin!

Start by using your paring knife to trace a circle on the side of the watermelon you want to carve. Once you have cut out a circle template to follow, use the paring knife to peel away the green part of the watermelon rind, leaving the white fleshy part exposed.

Note: Save some of the bigger pieces of green that you peel off. Those will be needed down the line!

Step 3: Clean It Up!

After peeling away the green bits, you'll see that there are darker parts of the rind that you might have missed due to uneven cutting. No problem, just grab the paring knife and clean it up by peeling away as much of the greenish coloring as possible until only white rind is showing. It doesn't have to be perfect though so don't spend hours on it or you'll end up carving away all the white part and hit the fruit instead!

Step 4: Make Some Leaves!

So remember those green parts I had you save! Grab those and cut out a few leaves. (I made 4 total) Then carve out some detail and put those aside again for later. At this point you can dispose of all the rest of the unwanted rind.

Step 5: Making a Plaque for Text! (Optional)

Now this part is optional. I did this for the fun of adding text later, but you can leave this out and just carve a bunch of flowers on your watermelon instead.
I traced out the shape with the paring knife. Then I went back and dug out the outline of the shape to make it pop out more.

Step 6: Starting the Flowers!

To start the sunflower, grab your circle cookie cutter and press it gently into the watermelon, no more than 1/3 of the cookie cutter in. You aren't cutting out shapes, just making an outline to follow.
After you cut the circle, use the paring knife to cut a ring around the circle and carve out some of the watermelon around it, making it appear more 3D.

Step 7: Crosshatching!

Trim some of the edge of the circle off to round it. Then use your paring knife to make diagonal and horizontal cuts, giving the circle crosshatching.

Step 8: Petals!

After you have finished the crosshatching, cut a row of petals out around the circle.

Step 9: Depth!

Next, cut into the gap between each petal at an angle and pull the piece of that gap out. This will open up a bit of the watermelon flesh giving it color and depth. Repeat this with each gap between the petals.

Step 10: Petal Detail!

Use the tip of the paring knife to cut out little triangles from each petal, giving it a more detailed, colorful look.

Step 11: Flower Growth!

After your first row of petals is compete, begin a second row by cutting new petals out in between each of the petals of the first row. Use both the previous steps to cut the gaps out as well as the triangles in each petal. Continue adding rows of petals until you are satisfied with the size of the flower you are working on.

Step 12: Finishing the Flower!

When you have made the flower as big as you want it, finish it by cutting a small circle around the flower at an angle. This will give the flower a finished look that will pop!

Continue making multiple flowers all over the watermelon using this method.

Step 13: Text! (Optional)

With all the flowers completed, move to the plaque you have made for the text. (If you chose to!)
First use the tip of the paring knife to lightly sketch out the lettering.
Then go back over it and cut deeper into the flesh, carving bits out.

Step 14: Adding the Leaves!

When you have completed carving the watermelon to your liking, take your knife and cut slits into the side of the watermelon where you want the leaves to be placed.
Take the finished leaves from earlier and simply slide them into the slits you cut for them.

Step 15: All Done!

With the leaves added to your watermelon, you are now done! Show it off to friends and family, then the sad, but yummy ending: Slice it up and eat it! Mmmm, delicious artwork.

I also included a few photos of other watermelons I have carved. If this Instructables hits it off well and there is interest for it, I will be happy to create more showing other methods such as how to carve the roses seen in my other photos and other things!
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