Who ya’ gonna call?
First published this post 13 years ago, in 2009 – whoa Nelly! But, still the expert in all things miniature and gardening – so there’s that. :o)
And it’s STILL a very cute idea for Hallowe’en. Take one or three to work for your cubical or create individual ones for coworker gifts. Make them as party favors or place setting gifts for your Halloween party. Several carved miniature pumpkins can be grouped to make a nice table arrangement or centerpiece. This is a fun idea for a teenage DIY party too. AND they can make a really cute hostess gifts or teacher gifts too!
Don’t just sit there, get a mini pumpkin already!!
The beauty of this project, besides the fact that it is so stinkin’ cute, is that there is very little mess to contend with afterwards, AND you might not mind spending a whole three minutes sorting out the pumpkin seeds to roast either. ;o)
For this experiment, I worked with a miniature Cinderella pumpkin (because it looks short and squat like her chariot) and a wee sugar pumpkin which is more round in shape.
Here’s what you will need:
– A miniature pumpkin
– A sharp knife
– A serrated grapefruit knife
– An Exacto knife or similar
– Thin marker
– A teaspoon
– A tealight, battery operated preferably
Carving a miniature pumpkin it almost like carving a big one – but different. ;o) There is little room for error (literally), because the only way to grip the pumpkin is to hold the pumpkin in your hand and brace it against your body. You need total control over the sharp knife while carving – or it will be a real-life Halloween horror! Read through all the directions first.
*This project is not for young kids. Please be careful with any sharp knife.*
First: A Caution About Carving Small
I wrecked my new jeans the first day of woodshop, the first day at art college by NOT paying attention. I was carving on my lap and didn’t realize that I was nicking my jeans with my carving knife until the fabric started to fray later. Thankfully, I was in art college and I could still wear them proudly…. Don’t be a Janit! Here’s what to look out for if you’ve never carved “small” before.
Hold the pumpkin firmly at all times. Brace it against your body for more control but wear a heavy apron, a thick garden jacket or a several layered rags because if the knife slips, you will cut yourself and/or your clothes.
When carving the tiny pumpkins, the blade will get “stuck” in the pumpkin’s flesh and you may have to apply more pressure to move it forward. When the pumpkin suddenly releases the blade after enough pressure is applied, it will move fast and this is where you can get hurt.
Get the Leather
Use a leather glove on the hand that is holding the pumpkin to help protect yourself. You can also make sure the hand that is holding the “stuck” knife is firmly on the table, and move the pumpkin to free the knife instead – because pumpkins can’t cut you except in horror movies.
Always, always be mindful of the “line of cut” when using any sharp tool.
The “line of cut” is the line where the blade is going to go.
Always, always be mindful of the “line of cut” when using any sharp tool. Whether it is huge and moving, like a chainsaw, or small and sharp, like an Exacto knife, you still can do some serious damage if you are not paying attention to where the blade might end up. The “line of cut” is the line where the blade is going to go, but also beware where the blade may go when it slips by accident. Keep your hands and fingers of the opposite hand on the backside of the pumpkin, away from the line of cut.
Just the Instructions Ma’am:
1. Cut the top lid from the pumpkin. Make the angle of the cut slope toward the center so the lid doesn’t fall down inside. Trim around the inside edge to make it easier to get the seeds out.
2. Empty the guts with the teaspoon. Clean up the inside of the pumpkin a bit with your spoon so it’s nicer to handle.
3. Outline your face with a marker or just wing it. It’s a small area so keep the design simple for more impact. Watch out for your “line of cut” – that’s where the knife is going, AND watch out for the tip of the knife when you’re holding it with your other hand because it may slip and poke out of the other side of the pumpkin suddenly. (A leather glove on the hand that is holding the pumpkin will prevent accidents.)
4. Get your tea light, whether it’s electric or not, and hold the tea light and the pumpkin bottom to bottom, and trace around it onto the bottom of the pumpkin. Cut out the hole and try not to make it any bigger than it needs to be. The pumpkin will shrink once it starts to dry out and, depending upon the pumpkin, it may or may not be able to hold the tea light.
5. Depending upon the size of the pumpkin, the tea light can be raised or lowered to get the maximum light through the face. Be sure to leave the tealight in it when it’s not lit too, as the pumpkin starts to dry out, it’ll keep the hole intact.
6. The whole pumpkin can sit up, on the tea light but if you’re placing it on any kind of wood or porous surface, be sure to use a small ceramic saucer or plastic lid to protect your table from the moisture in the pumpkin.
7. Have a Happy Hallowe’en!!
Like this? We specialize in all things miniature garden. We’ve been building and teaching this new Gardening in Miniature hobby since 2001. Quite frankly, you’ll find no one else doing what we do. If you enjoy all things garden and miniature too, then you’ll love our newsletter – it’s a dose of inspiration delivered straight to your inbox almost every week. Join us for your FREE Mini Garden Gazette here.
Visit Your Miniature Garden Center Store here for more fun in the garden with Halloween and beyond!