This year i carved my best pumpkin yet, and I thought i'd document it.
This method took about three hours, but looks pretty good in my opinion.
Step 1: Materials
- Serrated knife
- Pin/ needle/ sharp point
- Computer, Printer, Paper
- Speedball Carving kit (or something similar)
- Marker/ felt tip pen
- Lightbulb (testing how it looks)
Step 2: The Guts
The usual pumpkin carving stuff.
- carve a circle around the stem, with the blade slanted inward so that the top doesn't fall into the pumpkin.
- use a spoon to scoop out the guts and put them into a bowl. I saved my seeds.
- Keep scraping out the inside with a spoon until it is relatively smooth.
- If you aren't going to carve all of the way through the pumpkin make sure to carve a big enough hole in the back or top that the candles still get oxygen.
Step 3: Prepare the Image
Find a cool picture online of what you want to carve. I got the picture of Yoda from google images.
- Open the photo with a picture editor of your choice. I used ColorSync Utility, a program that comes free with Mac OS X.
- Turn the saturation all the way down, turn the contrast all the way up.
- Adjust the brightness and exposure until to get the clearest image.
- Crop the photo and check the scale using a piece of printer paper
- print it out
Step 4: Transpumpfer the Image Onto the Pumpkin
- Find a smooth side of the pumpkin to carve.
- Tape the four corners of the paper onto the pumpkin, making sure the paper is tight against the pumpkin. Put tape on the middle of each side of the paper, and finally put a piece of tape between all of the previous ones. Try to space out the wrinkles and creases in the paper evenly around the piece of paper.
- Next take a pin or needle and poke holes through the important lines of the image. This means any lines that you will use to carve, like the line between light and dark. This will take a long time.
- When you are finished take the paper off of the pumpkin. Wipe off any moisture and dirt off of the surface where the image will be. Connect all of the little pin holes with a marker to recreate the picture on the pumpkin.
Step 5: Time to Start Carving!
- Carve the outlines of all of the bright parts of the image. These cuts should be very shallow I only cut about 1/16 to 1/8 inches deep. First carve a thin line around the image right on the border of the image. Basically you want to cut around all of the parts that are bright in the image. Start carving slowly, making sure that you are cutting on the line where you should be and cutting around the line where you should be (like the wrinkles on Yoda).
- Next cut out some of the big sections, like Yoda's forehead and ears.
- Cut out the smallest details last. Consult you paper frequently to make sure you know where to cut.
- When all of the detail are cut out use a lightbulb or flashlight to check the thickness of the cuts. If the doesn't come through enough in small spots try scraping at them with the side of a hobby knife.
- Finally scrape away at the inside of the pumpkin with a spoon so that light comes through better. Be careful not to scrape through the shell!
- You can use some petroleum jelly on all of the exposed pumpkin flesh if you want it to last longer. I did last year because i carved my pumpkin a week before halloween, but this year i carved it the day before, so there was no need.
Step 6: Light It Up
I used three little candles to light it. If the pumpkins design is not bright enough try scraping out the inside more or add more candles.