Intro: Pumpkin Wine Cooler
Carve your pumpkin into a wine cooler this year! Put it on display in your house or at your halloween party and enjoy a glass of wine. Functional and fun, this festive decoration is sure to please the eye and the palate.
Follow along to make your own Hallowine Pumpkin this Halloween.
Step 1: Things You'll Need
Gather the following:
- Pumpkin (large enough to hold a bag of wine)
- Box of Wine
- Permanent Marker
- Variety of knives or pumpkin carving tools
- Twisty Tie
- Large Spoon
- Newspaper or Brown Paper Bags to cover your workspace
Step 2: Prep Work
Cover your workspace to avoid sticky pumpkin getting everywhere. I used brown paper grocery bags. Vinyl table cloths and old newspapers are also optional. Get creative!
Step 3: Planning Your Pumpkin
Punch out the circular cover on your boxed wine. This circle of cardboard can serve as your template/stencil for the circle that you will be cutting out of the base of your pumpkin to push the wine spout through.
This rest of this step is optional. I like to plan ahead and draw a design on my pumpkin. This allows for me to simply follow the lines while I'm carving. It also gives you a preview of what your pumpkin might look like. To write out Hallowine, I began with the "O", drawing it directly above the spout hole at the base of the pumpkin. This will center your word above the wine spout.
Step 4: Pop the Top
Insert your cutting tool into the top of your pumpkin. Continue to cut in a circle around the stem of your pumpkin. Try to keep your knife at a slight angle with the handle tilting out from the pumpkin and the blade tilting inside toward the center of your pumpkin. This will allow the top of your pumpkin to be tapered and to wedge itself into the pumpkin rather than fall inside.
Step 5: Clean Up
Using your hands and/or a large metal spoon remove the seeds and inner pumpkin strands. Scrape the inside of the pumpkin with the metal spoon to ensure that all of the pumpkin strands have been removed.
Save the seeds for roasting or make sure to compost them.
Step 6: Carve On
Begin carving! Use a variety of tools to cut along the lines you've already drawn, gently pushing out the pumpkin pieces as you go.
When you carve the hole for your wine spout, start by carving along your previously drawn lines. Once carved, go back and carve another circle around your spout hole about 1-2 cm larger. This will allow for you to easily push the spout through.
A tip, I like to insert a nail or a a small rounded tip (usually come in pumpkin carving kits) at the corners of my letters. This allows for easy insertion of your carving tool, and it makes it so you don't have to make any sharp turns with your carving tool.
Please be careful in this step. You are handling sharp tools and knives that can harm young hands or skin just like they cut through pumpkin. Take your time and be careful.
Step 7: Spout
Holding your bag of wine at the base of the spout, place your bag of wine inside your pumpkin and push the spout through your hole at the base. If your hole is not big enough, it will be readily apparent. If this is the case, remove the bag of wine, and enlarge the hole using your carving tools. Try to insert the bag of wine and the spout again.
Pull the spout through using your thumb and forefinger on the outside of the pumpkin. Wipe off any pumpkin pieces that have stuck to the spout.
Step 8: Secure the Bag
Now that your spout is firmly in place, you can secure the top of the wine bag. This will allow all of the wine to pool at the bottom of the bag towards the spout, easier for pouring!
Poke a hole in the center of the top of the bag and thread a zip tie through. Push the ends of the zip tie into the base of the pumpkin top. Push them in as far as they can go. Since the bag is sitting on the bottom of the pumpkin, it is not exerting any great force on the zip tie so you shouldn't have any problems with it pulling out of the pumpkin top.
Step 9: Light Up and Pour Away
Replace the pumpkin top. Raise your pumpkin up (I used the wine box) or place at the edge of a counter or table for easy access.
I lit mine up using an electric candle but it doesn't need to be lit up. You'll want to make sure that whatever you place inside your pumpkin with your wine doesn't give off too much heat.