SundaySchoolKids: decorate-and-carving-a-pumpkin-instructions page 1 Decorate a Pumpkin Carve a pumpkin or Etching a Pumpkin THIS IS PART II. See part I for preparing your pumpkin Are you Carving a Pumpkin or Etching a Pumpkin? 1. What’s the difference between carving and etching a pumpkin? - Carving means going all the way through the “meat” of the pumpkin to the center--- making a shaped hole in the pumpkin. - Etching or scraping means only removing the tough skin layer of the pumpkin the let the light orange-ish “meat”show through. There is no hole. 2. What is the meat? Some people call it the flesh of the pumpkin- YUK! it is what is under the skin. It is also what is boiled to make pies out of. Sometimes it can be very thick- almost 2 inches; sometimes it can be as thin as an inch. Etched pumpkin SundaySchoolKids: decorate-and-carving-a-pumpkin-instructions Get your stuff together Tiny etching tools 1. Get your pumpkin tools Either a pumpkin carving kit that includes - tiny saw (+ Pointed paring knife –with Parent) - pick or wheel for poking tiny holes - scraper-etcher (tiny loop or scoop) - table covering - red magic marker and pencil - flour or white powder - toothpicks - Tape if you prefer page 2 SundaySchoolKids: decorate-and-carving-a-pumpkin-instructions page 3 Or traditional tools from home with kit parts - paring knife (with parent supervision) - saw from a pumpkin kit - straight pin or 2” safety pin (preferred) - toothpicks - For etching or scraping: cuticle pusher, or pointed nail file, or wood carving gouging tool, or pointed metal letter opener and/or tiny flat computer screwdriver - table covering - red magic marker and pencil - flour or white powder - Tape If it is a beautiful day, maybe you could decorate you pumpkin in the yard on a table? Just be sure to clean up well when you are done. --------------------------------------Our butterfly and cross is an etching pattern, not a carving pattern. --------------------------------------- SundaySchoolKids: decorate-and-carving-a-pumpkin-instructions page 4 2. Get your pattern, design or picture Decide if it is for cutting into completely – carving through or a pattern to scrape/etch the skin off in some places 3. Setup your workspace. Cover the table. Set out your tools. 4. Brace your pumpkin! Some people hold it in their lap. I think this is dangerous if you are using a knife at all. Some people use bricks on a table – with a towel or cloth over them, put them behind the pumpkin and raise the front a little bit on a brick or patio block . Put bricks all around. You don’t want it to roll away while you are carving or etching it. You can try to put it in a shallow baking pan – square or rectangle on a towel or small clean rug so it does not slip. What idea can you come up with to hold it in place? (Ask you mom or dad to hold it?) 5. Get your pattern onto the pumpkin I use toothpicks stuck right through the pattern. You can try tape, but you do not want to pull off the skin or have the pattern fall off part way through the project. SundaySchoolKids: decorate-and-carving-a-pumpkin-instructions page 5 Depending on how fat or round your pumpkin is, you may need to slit the pattern to better fit the shape of your pumpkin. If you slit it, use clear tape over the slit. You may need to move your toothpicks. Use at least 6 toothpicks and put them in spaces you will etch or scrape away. 6. Transfer the pattern to the pumpkin: With a shape pencil, trace the outline of the heart shape or outermost shape if you are using a different patter. Hold the paper to the pumpkin anyway that works for you. Get one or more of your pin hole outline tools. I like to use a straight pin, especially in a smaller space. Some kits come with pokers or tiny wheels with teeth that will poke the pumpkin skin as you roll it along. (It is fine for straight and slight curves, but not so good in sharper curves) SundaySchoolKids: decorate-and-carving-a-pumpkin-instructions page 6 SAFETY PIN WHEEL TOOTHPICK When you think you have it all outlined, pick up an edge of the paper and peek at the line. Start the inside with the cross in our Cross with Butterfly pattern. It is the easiest, straight lines. Get the feel of your tool. SundaySchoolKids: decorate-and-carving-a-pumpkin-instructions page 7 HOW FAR APART DO YOU MAKE THE HOLES? As close together as possible. The closer together you make the holes the easier it will be to see the pattern and cut into it. 1/8th INCH OR LESS APART is good. This takes time! Look at the completed pattern back! SundaySchoolKids: decorate-and-carving-a-pumpkin-instructions page 8 7. Outlining: Remove the pattern carefully. Can you see the holes easily? Here are ways to make the holes sharper. A. Dust the pumpkin with either flour or white powder. and blow or gently brush it off. The pinholes should be white. B. Get your red marker and connect the dots! If you have a complicated design, fill-in any areas you will etch or scrape. If there are some areas that you will carve through entirely, fill those areas in with a different color. 8. Use either a paring knife with parental guidance, or a saw tip- if it has a tip, or nail file point to cut along all the lines. If you are etching, you only need to cut into the pumpkin skin ¼ inch or just enough to get through all the skin. I use the tiny flat screwdriver and make many, many overlapping cuts into the skin to end up with continuous line cuts. SundaySchoolKids: decorate-and-carving-a-pumpkin-instructions page 9 8. Get your etching tools. You have to peel or scrape or gently dig or gouge away the skin. Etch around the easiest part first to get a feeling for it. Some people try to use a paring knife, but I find it dangerous, and not good for small spaces. Use your imagination for other tools that can be adapted for etching. Metal things work best. The tip of an old-fashioned potato peeler may be a good alternative. I like a few smallish flathead screwdrivers to do the job. Dig into the pumpkin at your cut line ¼ inch or SundaySchoolKids: decorate-and-carving-a-pumpkin-instructions page 10 less then tilt the screwdriver into an etch area and push under the skin. Pry up. You usually won’t get an entire area in one try. Be patient. Remove small bits at a time. Be safe. Never put your other hand in front of the screwdriver when pushing. Remove all areas to be etched. 9. Your done with your design! 10. Preserving your pumpkin Here are options to help delay molding or drying: - Coat all surfaces with vegetable oil or - Coat all surfaces with mixture of 1 cup water with lemon juice or - Cover all surfaces with petroleum jelly but what a slippery mess! - To keep squirrels from munching on it, coat all surfaces with mixture of 1 cup water with lemon juice and 2 tbs of Tabasco (hot) sauce in it. Let dry before moving. - Bring it inside if the temperature drops to about or below freezing. SundaySchoolKids: decorate-and-carving-a-pumpkin-instructions page 11 - You can cover it with a damp paper towel and put it in a grocery bag in your fridge if it gets too hot out. Dry it well. - If you are in a dry or arid place, or there’s a constant breeze , lay a damp paper towel over cut areas for a while during the morning to rehydrate it or prevent it from really drying out. If you won’t like the way that looks, turn it to the wall. A plain pumpkin is ok. - Ants enjoy eating pumpkin too. Use whatever you have found satisfactory to protect pets and small children. 11. Lighting a pumpkin: candles need air. If you etched your pumpkin, you will need to have carved a lid and cleaned it out (see part 1). Be sure the inside bottom is as flat as can be so the candle does not tip over. Good candles are tea lights in small tin cups. Other good candles are votives (Small fat ones) in glasses or jars inside the pumpkin. An etched pumpkin will not be very bright unless you scraped the inside “meat” to about ½ inch thick and that is hard to do. Etched pumpkins are best lit with candles outside of them in jars or glasses. --------------------------------------Time: Please note, this detailed pumpkin with cleaning it out took over 2 ½ hours. Other designs we offer do not take as long.
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