Thursday, 30 October 2014

30. Jack O'lanterns pumpkin style.

Hello all, its sad to think Halloween is nearly here and over, its been such a joy to participate and have an excuse to make so many projects, its been fantastic.Although for me the best is still yet to come with the pumpkin carving.  

When I was young growing up in the UK we didn't really have pumpkins so the best we could come up with was turnips, you used to get out the hand drill to put holes in it, try and carve it the best you could, and use birthday candles for the middle (when did tea lights become popular?)

You were really lucky if this is what you ended up with and still had all your fingers attached.
So much has changed with the mass invasion of carving pumpkins and what a joy carving has become.
Bobbing along, some of the already cut pumpkins soaking in their bleach solution
To start buy your gourd/s, picking a size and shape that will roughly go with what you plan to do with it, now there is nothing wrong with a good scary face, The fun bit, lop off the top in  a funky shape so you know how to put it back on easily and gut with abandon. Use an ice cream scoop to scrape away the side of the pumpkin your design will go on, the thinner and smoother it is before you start the easier it is to cut out fiddly designs.

Next your picture, normally I make these designs myself using a method very similar to our guest poster Sarah's method for creating stencils, stopping after step 7 the printing.  This year due to timing issues I went with pre-designed pumpkin stencils, of which there are many available on the net.

Print them out and stick them to your pumpkin using masking tape, as your fruit is round but your printing is flat you may need to add little folds into your design, its best if you do this as you're taping so the paper fits as snug as possible. try not to distort your image where possible.

You can see where the grey isn't going to be cut out, you make 
sure your kinks and folds only effect those bits.  

If you have image transfer paper (like the carbon paper you used to get for typewriting) you can put that in between your image and draw around, alternatively, use a pokey tool, and put holes all around your image then join up with pen if you cant make out where the correct cut line is.

Next start cutting, depending on how delicate your design either use the little hand saw from a pack or use a scalpel, chose what you are happiest with. Cut carefully.  Once fully complete, empty the cutting waste, spray with a light bleach solution to clean it off and to help preserve it, wait until dark, light a candle and see your pattern come to life.

Again this year I went with the big block buster films 13-14. Starting with Rocket raccoon and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, Maleficent, Lego movies Batman (just cause if you can do Batman, always do Batman) finally Olaf from frozen and a goodbye to Robin William's Genie from Aladdin.

If carving a pumpkin of your own doesn't float your boat, why not create a pumpkin inspired layout?, dig out any photos of your own trick or treaters, and embellish with lots of pumpkins. or have a tootle about your neighbourhood and take photos of your favourite carvings.

Celebrate the Jack-o'-lantern and HAPPY HALLOWEEN for tomorrow.

I have entered this into the Left of Center Challenge for Halloween, Ooh La La for the witching hour (for Maleficent) and the Artistic Inspirations for spooky.

Jas x 


  1. Never heard of putting them in a bleaching solution - interesting, we too used to use swede when I was younger and I can still remember the smell of the lid as it started to heart up and sometimes char with the candle - yuch!

  2. It definitely is a smell from my youth I dont miss :)

  3. Gosh!!!! I'm very impressed with your cutting of such intricate shapes. Ummmmmm frying turnip funny how smells remain with you isn't it?!!!!! xx

  4. Wonderful creation.....very scary!!!! Thank you for the tutorial too. Wynn DT OLL Challenges

  5. Great love what you have doe here Thanks for joining us at ooh la la Creations Susan DT xx

  6. Love your pumpkin carving!! Thanks for sharing with LOC!!

  7. Thanks for sharing your spooky carving at OLLB.
    LYNN X

  8. Great carving Thanks for joining our Witching hour challenge at Ooh La La Creations
    Alli x