Halloween Pumpkin Carving: what an owly idea!

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Tired of the same old Jack o’Lantern? We have the perfect solution to make your Halloween so very special, with our Halloween pumpkin carving tutorial!

It’s Halloween again!

Last year – remember? – we created the very first illuminated pumpkin you’ve ever seen: medievalists went crazy for it and it ended up in a museum!

And once again, we have a little something for you…

A multi-layer torch-powered super-cool Athena-shaped carved pumpkin!

Carved pumpkin for Halloween: end result
The end result of our Halloween pumpkin carving

How to create your carved pumpkin

First, you’ll need some stuff to get ready:

  1. A large pumpkin
  2. The usual super-sharp knife and a large spoon
  3. Safety glasses
  4. A dremel tool
  5. Groggy (what!?)
  6. The stencil of the picture you want to carve: we printed our lovely Little Owl on a A4 paper (approx. 21 x 30 cm) + tape
Tools used to carve a Halloween pumpkin
Some useful tools to carve an awesome pumpkin: don’t forget the goggles!

A welcome addition to all this might have been a dust sheet to cover the table we’ve worked on. We didn’t get it and we SO regret it: pumpkin pulp is very sticky and it took a while to clean the surrounding – walls included! – once we were done.

Let’s start!

First, make sure to kill the pumpkin. Push the knife through the top, close to the stem, and cut a hole to get access to the internal part. If you keep the blade with an angle, it’ll be easier to refit the “hat” later.

How to cut the top of your Halloween pumpkin
Step 1: cutting off the top

Once you get access to the content, use the spoon to scrape the inner part of the pumpkin and empty it. To be honest, we’re not really sure of the reason for this step: a chiseled pumpkin is not see-through! Anyway, every tutorial out there suggests it, so don’t ask questions and follow the rules!

How to hollow out your Halloween pumpkin
Step 2: emptying the pumpkin

Now, take your stencil and carefully tape it to the pumpkin on the side that you feel more appropriate.

How to tape the stencil on your Halloween pumpkin
Step 3: carefully tape the stencil on the pumpkin

When done, use a very pointy thing (either a knife or some tool… We used Groggy) to mark the outline of your stencil. Make small holes all along the lines BUT don’t push too much. You don’t want to cut through the wall of the pumpkin: you just need to replicate the design on the surface.

How to mark the outline to carve your Halloween pumpkin
Step 4: mark the outline and get ready to carve!

This is how your pumpkin will look, ready to be dremelized. For those who don’t know, a dremel is a rotary tool that comes with a number of accessories. Among them, it’s the engraver/cutter tool, that happens to be perfect for messing around with pumpkins! Start with following the lines and peel off the outer skin. Don’t push too much!

Your marked Halloween pumpkin, ready to be carved
This is how your pumpkin should look after the marking

At this point you should be wearing your goggles: if you don’t, you’re probably rushing to the closest hospital to get your eyes cleaned, and we’ll wait patiently here until you’re back, with your glasses ON.

Now it’s time to pick the areas to be carved and decide the depth.

How to carve your Halloween pumpkin using a dremel tool
Step 5: carve your design using the dremel tool

In our case, pupils, beak and wings are very deeply carved (leaving just a thing layer of pulp), the monocle and the lower part of the body are halfway and the outlines are just scraped. Both eyeballs and the main body are left untouched. To work properly, you might want to have a light inside the pumpkin and low lights around you.

At this point, we’ve decided to install the illuminating system, so we opened a hole on the opposite side of the chiseled owl and fit a torch there. The same torch work also to enlighten the pumpkin once finished.

How to carve a hole for the torchlight at the back of your Halloween pumpkin
Step 6: fit a torchlight at the back, to illuminate the chiseled design

Once done with the carving (good luck with cleaning up that mess!), the finished product might not look so appealing…

A carved Halloween pumpkin
Final result: the design looks nice, but wait until it’s illuminated!

Until you light it up!

An illuminated carved pumpkin for your Halloween
Do you like our Halloween pumpkin?

Happy Halloween to you all!