I know… you are probably thinking ‘I can’t do that!’ Well, let me reassure you, if you can trace a line, you can totally make this absolutely awesome pumpkin carving DIY. It is dremel-carved into a permanent faux pumpkin and will delight you for many many years! Ohhhh, the skeleton is escaping through the zipper… watch out!
I make sure I use my own images, and this scull was a sure bet. You can use whatever image you like, but ideally it should have a variety of light and dark.
This is ‘Photoshopped’ together and some slight adjustments of levels.
Make your image into grayscale. To translate it into areas of light and dark, use the image >adjustments > posterize control. Set it to a few like 3-8 levels. It will look less ‘smooth’, but that is what you want. You can create your own image or download mine for free here:
Transfer to Pumpkin:
Here’s the trick: To transfer the image to a pumpkin; print it on thin paper or tracing paper. You will need some cheap white glue.
Mix up some glue with water to have a thinner, paintable consistency.
Paint it onto the pumpkin with a wide brush.
Spread out the paper over it, making sure to push it into the grooves. Be careful not to rip it, and fold to allow it to cover the ’roundness’ of the pumpkin. This is much better than trying to trace it out.
There you go, hard part is done. Wait til it is dry. Go find your Dremel…
Another tip; go outside. This next part is very dusty so make sure to wear a mask as well.
Print an extra image to be able to look at if you get lost or cut too much off your pumpkin. Look at the areas of light and dark. The darkest will be cut very shallow, and the lighter areas will be cut deeper. That is how the light makes different colours/tones. The black areas stay uncut. It is quite forgiving, you don’t need to be fussy.
This is the best tip to use on a rotary tool, but similar ones (even drill bits) could work. If you cut the hole first you will get an idea of how deep the walls are. Different brands probably vary.
Start by following an area of grey and cutting it a similar depth.
Following around the shape… (remember paint-by-number?!)
Then flatten it out…
The shapes come together.
Work around the image, it will look quite rough. The paper edges won’t matter in the end.
See… that was easy wasn’t it?! Like carving butter. The bright white parts are cut the deepest.
Clean and Paint:
Now he goes into the sink. A soft brush and some warm water will soften the glue and allow it to be cleaned off. The pumpkin does not mind at all!
After drying, I added a bit extra depth by painting black on the ‘hole’.
Aren’t you surprised how easy it is?! And all kinds of ideas are coming to mind now.
Oooh the Zipper:
Cool factor: This pumpkin has a zipper! It is a bit wide so I trimmed it thinner.
Crack out the hot glue gun and glue it along the outside shape and around the skull and boney hands.
It adds great dimension! It can be some old zipper that doesn’t work any more. Can’t wait to see it in the dark? NO CANDLES! A small night light plug-in or battery light will work. The walls are thinner than real pumpkins.
Wowsa! Is that not the ‘bestest’ pumpkin you’ve ever seen?! And I like my dollar store bird skeleton as well. You will look forward to puling this guy out every year and dazzling all the trick-or-treaters. And be proud to say you made it yourself when they ask… Good job!
UPDATE: This tutorial did win me a prize on the Instructables.com site