This year my 7 year old daughter and I collaborated together to combine our annual Halloween pumpkin carving with some of the things that she loves. We ultimately decided to incorporate her love for animals and her Shleich figurine collection.
We kept the carving simple so that she could be involved with the design of our pumpkin from start to finish. The way we carved our pumpkin (like a woodland house) could be used in any type of theme that interests your child. Easy carving for young children but endless fun choices for decorating!
Materials That Will Be Used
* the cutest pumpkin you can find
* as many figurines as you'd like. We used a lighted Fairy Cat Ornament as our centerpiece inside the pumpkin. And several Shleich figures for our outside woodland area: Playing Baby Rabbits, Eating Squirrel, Red Fox, White-Tailed Fawn, and Sheep/Lamb Family Set.
* 2 pieces of scrap cardboard
* Fake Ivy
* Solar LED light (scrapped from a yard light on clearance at your local department store)
* small twigs gathered from your yard
* pine cones (we found ours in the backyard)
Tools That Will Be Used
* knife for carving the pumpkin
* hot glue
* large spoon or ice cream scoop
Step 1: Create Your Outdoor Autumn Playland
You will need a scrap piece of cardboard for your outdoor area. I found that the bottom of a used shipping box worked just fine. I cut away just the bottom of the box.
I then cut the leaves from a vine of ivy (picture 2).
Then I put a small dab of hot glue to the underside of the vine leaves and glued them to my cardboard piece. I did the same with my fake autumn leaves and went back and forth between the two to create a "layered" effect.
Step 2: Open Up Your Pumpkin & Hollow It Out!
I marked around the rim of the pumpkin to help give my daughter a cutting guideline. We used one of those cheap safety knives. It worked okay, but her hands got tired fairly quickly and I had to finish up for her.
We then scraped out the inside with a large serving spoon. Alternatively any kind of large kitchen spoon or ice cream scoop would work just fine. This was however a bit time consuming. Honestly scooping all of this out was probably the most time consuming out of everything we did in this project.
And don't forget to have fun! The fourth image is my daughter playing with her figurines while she was waiting for mommy to finish scooping everything out.
Step 3: Cut Out the Doorway
To create the arched doorway I used a cup and traced around it with a pencil 1/2 way. I then just hand drew the rest of the doorway. We then cut this away.
There was a lot of mess and unevenness. I went around the rim of the doorway and smoothed everything out.
Step 4: No Home Is Complete Without Windows
I used a smaller cup to trace round windows with my pencil on each side of the pumpkin.
Those were a bit of a mess too so I went back around them with the carving knife to clean up the mess to make them look nice and clean.
Step 5: Window Frames
We decided we'd give our windows an extra special touch by creating a framed window look. We just cut our twigs to fit inside the windows nice and snug and slide them into rim of the windows.
Step 6: Adding Lights
I absolutely love solar power! I decided to use the top of an old garden light to light up the inside of our pumpkin. This way it will auto light up at night without having to worry about fire or putting anything else inside the pumpkin that's not 7 year old authorized!
I cut a hole out of the backside of the lid of the pumpkin to the shape of the solar light and rounded everything off until it fit snug inside.
Step 7: Add a Floor Inside Your Pumpkin House
We decided to add an autumn floor to the inside of our pumpkin. We used a second piece of cardboard, cut it to size for the inside, and folded it in half so that it would fit through the doorway. We then decorated it the same way we decorated our outdoor cardboard area in step one.
Step 8: Add Details
My daughter decided she'd like to have a leaf flower at the doorway and leaf shutters for the windows. We used small dabs of hot glue to add these to the pumpkin.
Step 9: Assemble to Your Hearts Delight!
We decided to experiment with winding a length of vines around the bottom of our pumpkin.
And as an afterthought we also decided to add stairs with the leftover twigs we had. We cut two long lengths, then cut several pieces to fit across and hot glued them in place.
Our fairy kitten has wings that glow different colors from green, to blue, to red! It looks stunning at night-time! I wish I had a better camera. Despite many tries between both myself and my husband we just couldn't quiet capture how wonderful this pumpkin looked once lit up!