I've never thought of myself as a very good pumpkin carver so this little project requires little skill but gives a nice end result. LEDs make clear marbles glow in the sockets of an anatomical human skull embedded in the guts of a pumpkin.
Any mention of this project must provide a link to www.zieak.com with credit to Ryan McFarland.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Gather the materials you'll need:
A rather large pumpkin
An anatomical skull
A battery powered string of LEDs or some other light source
2 large clear glass marbles
Hot glue gun and glue
Drill and bits
Carving tools - knife and spoon
I purchased the skull on Ebay last year in a lot of three seconds.
Step 2: Carve and Gut the Pumpkin
Use a knife to carefully cut a hole in the pumpkin. Use the spoon to scrape the insides free of the walls of the pumpkin. I did not cut the traditional opening in the top of the pumpkin - i knew that it would be placed on my kitchen counter with the lights dimmed. Think of where you'll display the pumpkin so that you position the skull so that it will be seen and noticed. Keep all of the pieces and the guts.
Step 3: Prep the Skull
There wasn't a large opening between the eye socket and the brain cavity for me to string the lights. I used a 1/2 inch bit to provide plenty of space for 4 or 5 LEDs. Be very careful when drilling into plastic. I suggest putting the drill into reverse and pressing into the spot until it matches the tip of the bit. Then switch beck to forward and carefully take a little bit away. If the bit digs in hard then the whole skull might start spinning and could easily injure you. Remember that LEDs project light best from the end so your hole should align to illuminate the marble from behind. Remove the hardware - the springs and screws if you want the skull mouth to be open.
Step 4: Mount the LEDs
My LED string had four different colored lights so i only selected the red and blue ones to light the eyes. To give space for the marble they had to be tucked fairly far back in the socket. I hot glued the front and back of them to secure them in place. Putting the skull in the pumpkin bumps it around a bit - so this hopefully avoided me getting the skull set and then knocking the lights out of the socket.
Step 5: Insert the Skull and Dress It Up With Pumpkin Guts
I had to enlarge the opening a few times to get the right fit for the skull and the jaw. You could shape the opening to look like a splatter or starburst or something fancy - but like i said, i'm not a sculptor. I used pieces of the pumpkin to help position the skull and then also used toothpicks to keep the jaw open. Use some pumpkin entrails to embed the marbles. Maybe place a few pumpkin seeds for effect.
See my smoked salmon skull for another idea for these anatomical skulls.