Decorate A Pumpkin

Posted on: 20 October 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Curious cats are the perfect pumpkin carving project for you and the grandchildren this Halloween.

Cats are universally popular, and they seem to inhabit a friendly domestic world as well as a world of mystery and magic.

Their simple, symmetrical faces with staring eyes make them the perfect image for a small pumpkin lantern designed to glow in the dark. This is a perfect project for Halloween.

Curious Cat - Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell / Cico BooksAll the decoration here is made with the lino-cutting tool, which engraves the surface. As the flesh has been removed and the wall thinned substantially, the light will penetrate these engraved lines. To create a dramatic effect, the only areas cut through entirely are the slits in the cats' eyes.

Any small, soft-fleshed pumpkin can be used for this project.

You Will Need

  • Small field pumpkins or similar
  • Water-soluble crayon
  • Craft knife
  • Kitchen knife
  • Pumpkin scoop or small spoon
  • Lino-cutting tool
  • Small glass jars and slow-burning candles

Curious Cats 1 - Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell / Cico Books1. Using crayon, draw a circle at the top of your pumpkin just large enough for you to be able to remove all the flesh and seeds. Cut along this line with the craft knife. If necessary, insert the kitchen knife to help detach the 'lid'. Scoop out the insides, reducing the wall of the pumpkin to a thickness of approximately 8mm (3/8in).

Curious Cats 2 - Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell / Cico Books2. Draw a cat's face onto the front of the pumpkin in crayon, using the illustration as a guide. You can wipe away the crayon line and redraw them until you are satisfied with the face.

The advantage of drawing freehand means that you can draw a different cat face on each pumpkin.

Curious Cats 3 - Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell / Cico Books3. Cut away the drawn lines with the lino-cutting tool - begin with the outline, then work on the nose, eyes, mouth and whiskers. Add the collar and cut away small nicks at the base of the whiskers.

Curious Cats 4 - Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell / Cico Books4. Finally, use the craft knife to cut right through the slits in the centre of each eye. Insert a small candle in a jar to illuminate.

This friendly feline brings a touch of fun to the garden when displayed on an old gate post.

By Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell

Decorating Pumpkins And GourdsDecorating Pumpkins And Gourds by Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell, published by Cico Books, is available at all good bookshops priced £9.99, or you can purchase it online at Amazon for £6.49.

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