Carving a foam pumpkin can be something to consider doing this year, or any year, for Halloween! Or for fall in general, it doesn’t have to be a Halloween design. I just chose a Halloween one for this pumpkin!
Carving a foam pumpkin.
Carving a foam pumpkin to keep from year to year is fun and practical, too! They are inexpensive, and will last from year to year.
I used drill bits from Saburrtooth tools and a Dremel tool! If you don’t have these tools, you can also use a sharp clay tool, like an X-ACTO knife. Be sure that it is sharp, and be very careful while doing this. I DON’T recommend doing these with small children, but it would be nice to do their favorite to keep for a Halloween memory for years to come!
Foam pumpkins can be bought at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s, as well as department stores. Keep an eye out for any sales. That way, if it gets messed up, it won’t be such a costly mistake. And make sure that it is actually hollow. I bought one that wasn’t, so I couldn’t use it for this. Well, I guess i could have, but it would have defeated the purpose of lighting it when it was done. I have a light inside mine for illumination. You will need a hole cut in the bottom for the light. I suggest doing it first, since once you start cutting, it will weaken the structure of the pumpkin.
Start with the hole in the bottom, then put what design you want on it. Draw one on free hand, if you can, or buy a pattern book……you know, the ones you see from Pumpkin Masters around this time of year. It can be roughed on, since you will be fine tuning everything when you’re finished.
Start your design
Start carving the design, starting with the outline. Decide if you are cutting the whole way through, or if you are going to let the “guts” of the pumpkin intact.
If you are cutting the whole way through, just proceed the same way you would do a normal pumpkin. Because they are thin, they can break if applying too much pressure. Use a gentle sawing motion, cutting around the entire design. Some light sanding may be needed, just enough to smooth the edges.
Leaving the “guts”
If you are leaving the “guts” intact, use the very tip of the blade on your X-ACTO tool to outline the design. Don’t cut too deep, all you are doing is taking off the top layer. This top layer (the orange, black or white, depending on what color pumpkin you are using) is a very thin, paper-like material, so it won’t need a deep cut. When the design outline is finished, start removing the top layer.
Remove the top layer by using the long side of the blade, running the blade underneath the outer layer, lightly lifting it off. Work through the entire design this way, only removing the outer layer.
If you are using the electric tools and bits, most of the “carving” will be done with this same technique. It just does everything quicker! Be sure to use light pressure when doing this, too.
Highlighting and detail
For detail, like the eyes, go just a little bit deeper. It is a good idea here, to put this over a light, so you can see the differences in depth. Take your time doing this step or you might find that you go the whole way through.
Finish up all details and highlights this way, smoothing all rough edges and straightening out lines.
Sit back and admire your art for the season, without having to worry about it rotting away!
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” -Oscar Wilde