I love Halloween and I love to carve pumpkins! Mid-September I start picking up pumpkins for fall decorations around my home. Because carved pumpkins will only last a short time, I wait to carve them until a few days before Halloween.
This year I am trying something new! I am etching my pumpkins with a design and leaving them whole – at least for the time being! I have etched pumpkins before, but then my process was to “gut” the pumpkin, thin the wall, and light a candle inside to see the etching glow! It is very cool.
This year I am doing my etchings early, leaving the pumpkins whole and later I can “gut” them if I wish.
The tools I used for this project were purchased from Williams Sonoma. They are excellent quality and should last for years! Currently, they have a similar product – the Pumpkin Carving Tools 3-piece Set. Included in this set is an etching tool, which is what I used here. The etching tool is also called a linoleum cutter and if you happen to have wood carving tools, they may work as well. For whatever tool you use, the goal is to remove the top layer of skin from the pumpkin!
Before I began the etching process, I drew an image on my pumpkin. Here I show a roughly drawn simple vine. It was not necessary for it to be perfect since it is just a guideline.
Then, using my etching tool, I carved out the vine.
When I finished etching, I used a Magic Eraser to remove any visible ink. The Magic Erasers are a fabulous product so if you have never tried them – you must test them out for yourself!
My next pumpkin I etched with maple leaves. I went to my backyard, picked a couple of different sized leaves and roughly traced them onto my pumpkin.
I etched out the edge of the leaves then added the veining detail. If you are not sure how to add the veining, just examine the leaf in front of you. Of course, I had to simplify the detail – I am not as good as mother nature!
If you are unsure how to lay out a vine or leaves to make them look natural, just google drawings of the images you want to replicate and you will get wonderful guidance from the many fabulous artist whose images are on the web!
Have a Happy Fall!