Intro: Watermelon Floating Lanterns
Water is magical, fire is magical, when a little bit of fire is floating on the water, it's super magical!
If you are camping by a lake or at a pool gathering, chances are there will be watermelons!
Before taking the melon rinds to the compost bin, why not let them shine one more time, and add some magic to your summer evenings?
Step 1: Marking the Design
Start with a watermelon, we used baby ones. These have really thin rind, and they still held up pretty nicely.
First cut a very small portion of the top off.
Then set it on a bowl so it does not move around, and mark the top flat part by dividing the circle into 8 equal parts. This helps to guide the symmetrical design, but you can create any designs you like, just make sure to keep any hollow design part at least halfway towards the top! (See final step for helpful tips and why)
Use a sharp knife, and cut through the skin about 0.5" to 1" deep, and mark the design details.
Do this before scooping out the inside of the melon, which acts as extra support at this stage!
Step 2: Watermelons to Waterlilies
Once we made all the necessary deep markings, we are ready to scoop out the delicious flesh of the melon!
Save larger chunks for guests, and eat the rest as you work.
When getting closer to the rind, go slowly and be careful not to break the shell.
The carved pieces will fall out easily. If not, just run the knife along the cut lines one more time.
It's really not that hard - only takes 15 to 20 minutes to make a waterlily from a watermelon!
Step 3: Bon Voyage
Water-melon-lily how much I love thee! Ready for the sea?
Before setting them out sailing, test how they float and you may need a little sand on the bottom to level them a bit.
Light a tea candle on the bottom of each lantern, and set them free.
Step 4: Helpful Tips
A few tips to consider before you start -
- you can create any designs you like, but make sure the hollow part are at least half way up, so when the melons float, water won't get into them.
- test how each look by floating them in a big bowl of water, and use a little sand to make them look level if any looks really tilted
- when you are carving, hold the bowl or the sides of the shell, don't push down or it may break
- at the end of the evening, gather the lanterns and keep our lakes / pools clean! =)
Have fun and enjoy the last month of summer!