Personalized Pumpkins With Names

This project requires a great deal of planning as it must be done early in a pumpkins growing cycle. However once done it looks great and the recipients love them. Who wouldn't enjoy seeing their name grown onto a pumpkin. I use the mini jack-be-little pumpkins, but it works on larger ones as well.

Supplies:

-Pumpkins that are still growing

-Scrimshaw tool (sharp pointy thing)

-Time

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Step 1: Step 1: Grow Some Pumpkins

I like growing the little Jack-Be-Little pumpkins as I use them for gifts and decorations and I can often grow a large number of them in small space. This same process will work with other varieties of pumpkins though. As long as you have some locations that get good sun and don't get overgrown you can pop them in many various locations. The vines will run a good distance, so keep that in mind before you plant, as they grow you can do some training of the vines to encourage them to go where you want, I've even taught them to climb before to keep them from getting in the way.

Step 2: Step 2: Scratch

Timing is important with this step. You want to do this well before the growing season ends while the flesh of the pumpkin is soft and there is still plenty of warm weather left. I find that once the nighttime temperatures start dropping under 50 degrees regularly at night (mid-September in Northern NY) you will not get good growth of the scratched area even though you may still have new pumpkins coming. I do my scratching late August for best results.

Using a scrimshaw tool, or just a nail or some other sharp pointy object you want to scratch into the flesh of the pumpkin about 1/8"-1/4" deep (larger pumpkins may require deeper cuts) the pattern or words you would like to have grown over.

Be careful not to crack stems while your doing this.

Step 3: Step 3: Grow and Harvest!

Now it's just a matter of patience. It will take a few weeks for a good scab to develop and grow. The more remaining good growing season that's left the better the scab growth will be. As you check them be careful not to damage the stems prior to their completion.

I give these as gifts to my students. Generally around Halloween I do a Breakout Box as a class activities with these inside as a prize. I like the Jack-Be-Little's because I get a large number of pumpkins in a limited amount to space and I don't need to lug around a bunch of large pumpkins when I take them places to give away.

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    2 Discussions

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    Penolopy Bulnick

    10 days ago

    I thought this was like twine or something glued on the pumpkin, that is really neat that you are able to force the pumpkin to scab the way you want it!

    1 reply

    Thanks! I do mostly the names of my students, however someone could do all kinds of patterns, faces etc. The key is to make sure to do it early enough in the growing season.