Each fall season, we allow our children to pick out a pumpkin. This year, they both chose tiny ones. When it came time to carve them, I figured we would do the same thing we always do and have the children pick a simple silly face for each one. Bubby decided on the Goofy Pumpkin Face because he liked the silly eyes, but Lalo is getting to that age where she is noticing things with more detail. She chose a Mare in the Moon template. I've always been willing to try just about anything artsy at least once, but I never thought I'd try detailed pumpkin carving.
I recruited some muscle to help out with this project, especially since I just so happened to live with the perfect man for the job. He ended up doing a lot of the cutting, especially after we found out that the exterior of Lalo's pumpkin was so hard it was like cutting through wood! I also recruited two cutie pies to help with the messy part, and they didn't mind of course.
First, I printed out the designs, cut them into stencils, and traced the designs on the pumpkins with a ballpoint pen. I used a pen because I didn't care too much about whether the ink came off after the fact. If you don't want to see writing on your pumpkin, you might try a dry erase marker or something that will come off easily. Then, my husband cut the tops off so that we could later insert a candle.
Lalo's design required the moon to be cut out completely, then just the "skin" removed around the mare. After my husband cut out the moon, I went to work on the "skin" removal. I absolutely could not shave that tough exterior with a sharp knife. Well, I probably could have, but might have cut off a finger or stabbed myself in the process. And, I didn't have any other pumpkin carving tools, so I got this crazy idea of using my husband's Black & Decker Cordless Drill. I used a flat head screwdriver bit to scratch away at the orange part of the skin, and quickly realized that there was about a quarter inch of hard white skin under the orange skin. Once the orange skin was removed, I used the biggest drill bit to make holes all over in the "skin removal" section of the design, all the while being careful to not drill all the way through the pumpkin. After the holes were made, my husband held it up to the light and we noticed that the mare design wasn't really standing out, thus the holes would need to be smoothed out a bit and the mare would need more definition. At this point, there was hardly any tough skin left, so it was much easier to define the mare by taking a sharp knife around the outline. Then, I took the drill, with flat head screwdriver bit, and evened out the "skin removal" section the best I could. After a bit more work with the knife, we finally had a finished pumpkin. I don't think it would have been so tedious if the pumpkin had a softer exterior and we had the right pumpkin carving tools. I'll have to remember that for next year. :)
I hope this gives you some ideas and/or inspiration for detailing a pumpkin of your own!
Disclosure: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links. For more information, please see my full Disclosure Policy. I am no expert on the use of any tools mentioned here, so please use caution and seek manuals or professional guidance before trying this at home. Our children were not allowed to use sharp or dangerous items during this process. We urge readers to please use caution when children are present and any items mentioned are being used.