Each year my husband does an incredible job carving beautiful pumpkins for our kids. We ask the kids what they would like carved on their pumpkins and he sets out to make that dream a reality. In 2020, we had a Little Mermaid pumpkin, a Rebel Alliance pumpkin and a Darth Vader pumpkin.
In 2018, we had a Tinker Bell pumpkin and a Storm Trooper pumpkin.
In 2017, it was an Elsa pumpkin and a Lightning McQueen pumpkin.
Making these pumpkins is not incredibly difficult. What it really requires is time. Time to clean out the pumpkin and then the time to do all the small details required in carving out the image. There are a few tools that get used every year:
Knife. To cut open the top of the pumpkin and to cut out the large portion of the carving.
Spoons. To clean out the pumpkin.
Pumpkin Carving Tools. You can buy these kits at a lot of different places during Halloween season. We bought ours at our local grocery store and they’ve surprisingly have lasted three years now. These help make the small little details.
Writing Utensil. For tracing the image.
Drill. My husband always uses a drill for the finishing touch of our daughter’s pumpkin. For the fairy dust of Tinker Bell, the snow for Elsa, the bubbles around Elsa. These details look stunning when lit up.
This year our kids decided to choose two pumpkins they’ve actually had done before: a Storm Trooper pumpkin and an Elsa pumpkin. Even though these pumpkins have been done in the past we still did the same steps we do each and every Halloween.
- Pick an image
- Google the Picture. After the kids have picked out which image they want on their pumpkin we google the image. If you select pictures there should be a black and white picture that comes up. This is what we use for the pumpkins.
- Print out the Picture. Print the image out on one piece of paper. Make sure the image is the proper size for your pumpkin. Our daughter’s pumpkin was smaller this year, so we made sure to shrink the size of the picture to make it the appropriate size.
- Cut out the picture. Cut out the picture in the way that the image needs to be carved. As you see above, the Lightning McQueen picture would have been cut out around the main image and then in the parts that would make the tires, the eyes and so on.
- Trace the picture. Grab a sharpie and trace the parts of the pumpkin that are going to need to be carved.
- Clean out the pumpkin. Make sure the pumpkin is really cleaned out. Scoop out a bit of the edging of the pumpkin to make the pumpkin easier to carve. Also flatten out the bottom to create a good surface for the candle.
- Carve the pumpkin. Carve the main image. Use a big knife for this part of the carving.
- Add extra details. For the smaller details, use the pumpkin carving tools. At this point we normally light up the pumpkin from the inside to see where things need to be changed and adjusted.
This is a really fun tradition that we really looked forward to as a family. As the kids get older, they’re able to contribute and help more and more. Next year, we’ll let them do part of the carving, which means we’ll likely pick up a couple extra pumpkins.