How to Carve Fruit for a Centerpiece





Introduction: How to Carve Fruit for a Centerpiece

About: I am passionate about my career as a math teacher, enjoy anything outdoors, love to travel, and enjoy putting a smile on others faces through my creations.

This instructable will guide you through some of the basics to creating fruit centerpieces.  All you will need is a good knife, a few toothpicks, some fresh fruit, and your imagination.  I am self taught and have made a few centerpieces for various summer occasions (when fruit is in season!).  

I have included photos of some of my carvings including a watermelon rose, parrot, various flowers and more. Some of these are a bit more advanced, but a cantaloupe swan is a perfect starting point. Here I will guide you through constructing a beautiful and tasty swan. 

Step 1: What You Will Need

It is best to work with fruit that will not brown when left out for extended periods of time.  I try to refrain away from using apples, bananas, etc since those fruits will oxidize.  Your best friend to prevent oxidation is lemon juice and cold water.

Here are some of the common fruits and veggies I use to sculpt with:
honeydew melon
green onions
many, many more

Step 2: Making a Swan

For a swan you will need to use a rounded fruit and the only materials needed are toothpicks and a knife.  Before cutting into the melon practice the technique on an apple, it works just as well.

To begin we cut off one side (about two inches worth) of the melon to make a flat bottom.  Do not throw this piece away as this will be used to carve the head.

Step 3: Carve the Swans Head

Using the extra piece from the bottom level the curved side and cut off the rind to make a one inch thick piece of melon and carve it into a basic swan shape.  Essentially this is a hook shape with a larger head and pointed beak. Place this aside until the body is curved.

Step 4: Carve the Wings

Carving the wings is easy. 
Make cuts on the top and sides of the melon to make the feathers.  We cut nested 45 degree cuts in sets of 4 or 5.  This is best explained by looking at the photos and viewing the attached video.  Make sure not to cut in too far, otherwise the wings will lose their structures.

Watch me carve the wings: 

You can make a more complex swan (as I have done in the front page photo) by adding more sets of wings to add interest.  You be the judge of this as it may depend on the size of your melon.

Step 5: Assemble and Finish

Attach the head to the body with two toothpicks, skewers, etc (whatever you have in the house).  
Fan out the wings and display your masterpiece.  Use your imagination, make flowers, reeds, etc with various other fruits and veggies.  I particularly like this to be the center of a beautiful and colorful fruit tray.

Note: this can be made in advance a few days before the party, just be sure to collapse the wings and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. 

Play With Your Food Challenge

Finalist in the
Play With Your Food Challenge



    • Backpack Challenge

      Backpack Challenge
    • BBQ Showdown Challenge

      BBQ Showdown Challenge
    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest

    24 Discussions

    Cool! I love making things like fancy centerpieces and I had no idea it was that easy! I would love to know how to make the roses.

    Your comments are very rude and upsetting, instructables is a place for sharing ideas not attacking others projects. My intent was to give a basic demo that any beginner could try and wanted to showcase other projects I had made in the past. I did not have step by step photos for the older pieces so I carved the new one. I'm not sure why you seem to be out to attack my project. I made this as a fun idea in hopes that other members would try it out and see how fun and easy it is.

    I'm sorry for hurting you feelings, that wasn't my intent. If you wanted to showcase some of you other projects, I think it would only be fair for you to do that at the end of your instructable. The first photo is kinda like a book cover. If I picked up a book in hope to learn how to do what was on the cover, then I found out that that project wasn't even in the book I would want my money back. I'm not in competition with you. I just want this to be a fair playing ground. If and when I post an instructable up. I would only add other works at the end for inspiration. not on the cover.

    Proof is in the pudding they say, where is the pudding!

    To me the picture shown on the cover is a different artist than the one show in the demo. I really appreciate you sharing you instructable, but i don't understand why you would make the second one not as nice. It would be as simple as changing the angle that you carved the tail feathers. You also changed the neck from the original. If you are the artist I do apologize for showing concern, I just don't see any resemblance in the two pieces.

    2 replies

    I made all of the pieces shown using two different methods. The demo shown used a different technique based on the size and ripeness of the fruit. Due to smaller and a more ripe melon I was unable to carve a more detailed piece for the demo. I also wanted to keep the instructions more basic for the beginner carver to attempt. I appreciate the concern and encourage you to try the more difficult carvings using the process shown in my instructable.

    In that case why would you change the angle that you carved the tail feathers. The cover picture doesn't look any harder to carve than what you did in the demo. The only difference is the change in angle of the the tail feathers. This is what drew me to my statement. Besides that, even the demo bird is a nice instructable. I'm glad you shared, it just makes me wonder. Please when you get the time make another explaining the different technique used in the first picture, if there are any! I will give it a try, but I'm not much of an artist myself.

    I hope you follow up with some more advanced carving techniques. I'm looking forward to the next one. Great job at breaking it down.

    1 reply

    I plan on it, I just need to find some time, things are pretty busy as i have just started student teaching... Perhaps i will make a centerpiece come thanksgiving or christmas. Stay tuned!

    This is beautiful!! I want to see how you make the roses in the mind is officially blown!

    1 reply

    stay tuned, i hope to show how to carve the watermelon rose in an upcoming instructable. I just started student teaching so if I find some free time eventually i'll be making one up :)

    Wow! Wow! and Wow! I want to do this! So beautiful! Thanks for sharing and have a splendorous day! Sunshiine

    Copy of Hot air baloons 008.jpg
    1 reply