Halloween is one of the best holidays, second only to Christmas. I get to dress up in costumes that are completely geek related. This year I even got to make the costumes which made it that much better. But another thing that is awesome about this holiday is pumpkin carving. I have done some cool stuff in the past, but this year I wanted to try a new technique.
Mr Dremel to the rescue! Last year I used clay carving tools to carve out and do different depths in the pumpkin hide. While it wasn't too bad, I wanted to try my trusty old dremel with the small router attachment.
Step 1: Source Material/Tools
First thing you need is all the materials and tools. Pumpkin, spoon, knife, marker and Dremel w/ router bit and attachment are obvious, but other things that I used were an Exacto Knife, Modeling Pin Tool, and Clay Loop tools of various sizes.
So I went on the net and found an image of Mega Man that I liked, and could easily cut out the head in photoshop. Turned black and white, then printed.
Step 2: Trace Template
Tape the print off to the pumpkin in a spot where it would look good. The paper is going to have to form around the round surface a little, just try to keep the lines smooth when you crease the paper.
I think took the modeling pin tool (you could use any pin or probably even a toothpick) and poked holes around all the lines on the template. I left space for line thickness too. The reason I did this over free handing it, is because I am lazy, and not that good at free handing on a pumpkin.
Step 3: Trace the Pin Wholes
Trace the pin holes with a marker, I used a sharpie, since I was going to get rid of the lines that I drew.
If you are going to freehand I would use a ball point pen that has a watery ink in it (don't know how to better explain it). It draws really easy on the pumpkin, and wipes off easy too. That way you can sketch on the pumpkin, then use a sharpie once you have what you want, then clean up the pen marks with a wet paper towel.
Step 4: Cut the Lines Out
This is a step you could probably skip with using the Dremel, but I did it anyways. I cut out all the lines with an Exacto Knife. I do this because the skin is the hardest part to break through, and also can give you the worst looking lines, so I like to take something really sharp to get a nice clean edge on everything. I used to do this because using the clay loop tools the get a smooth line is next to impossible. The reason that I still did it with using a Dremel is I wanted to know where to stop, and it gave me a little bit of a buffer. The downfall is it offers less resistance when getting close to the edge causing possible mistakes... so, its up to you.
Step 5: Time to Dremel
With the router accessory and bit attached, you can set your depth to give the image different lighting. If you free hand the Dremel and are adventurous/good you could add shading to your work.
The deeper you go the more light that will shine through. I am not sure which is better... I think starting shallow, then slowly working deeper into the hide is the best. The most important thing to do is to check your depth. Make a test mark, then shine a flash light down the hole, it should give you an idea of how much is left. Also, you can always use the clay tools to carve out some of the hide from the inside (did this with the other pumpkin).
I started at the top, and worked my way down. In area's that are large where you won't be able to support the router attachment, just keep the edge facing you flush against the pumpkin... its not an exact science, so that should be good enough.
Step 6: Mistakes
So, I didn't check my depth, and the eye fell out. I was devastated... There was just not enough pumpkin there to hold it.
I walked away for a bit, then came back to try and fix it. You can usually fix these types of mistakes with toothpicks stuck into a more solid piece. So here you can see the two toothpicks sticking into the part with more meat, and then into the eye.
We will just say that I did that on purpose for these instructions.
Step 7: Clean Up
So once you are done with all the work, test it out and see how it lights up. I tend to put 3 candles in the pumpkins that aren't cut all the way through. If it doesn't light up enough, used the clay loop tools to dig out some of the pumpkin on the inside to make the light brighter.
After my repairs, and finishing off all the work, this is what I ended up with. I am very pleased with the results, even with the mistake.
Here are a couple other pumpkins as well... yes I am a video game geek.
Finalist in the
DIY Halloween Contest