It’s officially fall, and while it’s still in the 80’s during the day here in Georgia, at least it’s cool in the mornings and evenings now. Something that I really wanted to do this year was to carve pumpkins for our house- craft pumpkins.
Last year, I saw that on of my friends, Megan, had the cutest carved craft pumpkins. She told me that her mom made them for her and her hubby, Ed. She could do monograms, school mascots, anything you could do on a regular pumpkin. I thought it was such a great idea since you can use them year after year, and since they are a lot less messy than a real pumpkin.
So, I set out to find and buy the pumpkins and something to carve them with. Most craft stores have them, so I headed to Michael’s. I asked the lady at the checkout if she thought an X-Acto knife would be enough to carve them. She said that it probably would but that they sell a thing that you plug in, allow to heat up, and then it just cuts through the craft pumpkins like butter.
I wanted it.
“How much is it?” I asked. “About $20, I think,” replied the kind lady.
Darn it. The X-Acto knife and extra blades together were less than half that when I used my coupon. So I decided to stick with elbow grease. Maybe next year I’ll get the more fun tool for this. But I wanted you to know about it in case you decide you would rather do that.
So, here’s how I did my carving.
First, I took inventory of my pumpkins. (ps- I love how the craft pumpkins are imperfect, making them look more realistic.)
I decided to carve up the big, white pumpkin for now.
Then, I found a font I liked of the letter “M” for McFarlin (and “L” because I’m doing this for a friend of mine also), and I printed it in two different sizes to compare.
Then I prayed that I wouldn’t slice my hand open with the knife. It was a very sharp blade, and I’m in no hurry to repeat history.
Then, I forgot to take anymore pictures of the actual process. But what I did was pick the font size I liked, taped that piece of paper to the pumpkin, and traced the outline with the knife. The paper ripped up as I cut,so I might actually cut out the letter and tape just it to the pumpkin for my next one.
I broke off pieces that were coming off anyway a bit at a time, as I went along. When I got done, I thought it looked pretty rough. I decided to go back over the rough parts with the knife, carving off any rough bits and smoothing it out. This helped a lot.
I decided to leave the pumpkin inside for now, since it was late, and I didn’t have time to play with arrangements outside. To put the candle in, I cut a hole out of the bottom (I didn’t want to cut up the top). I actually found it easier to leave the hole there with the candle just sitting on the table instead of trying to put that piece back on with the candle on top of it.
Here it is in our foyer.
And here it is with the lights off.
Two things to consider if you choose a cursive-like font: 1) it might look like it’s a bit lopsided because of the italicized font so if that bothers you, don’t go for a cursive type of font, and 2) make sure you pick a font with no loops since the middle of the loop will also get cut out, leaving a huge hole instead of a pretty loop.
Also, if you’re the kind of person who has to have everything JUST SO…well, you might just need to spring for the heated tool that was made for this. My “m” is not exactly like the one I printed. Specifically, the far right of it is way thicker than it should have been. But I can live with that.
I didn’t cut myself. Not even a nick, Thank the Lord. So I’m happy, even if my pumpkin is slightly different than planned.
ps- Craft pumpkins ARE flammable. So, even though I used a candle here, I went out and bought a battery operated “flameless” candle later, and that’s what’s in my craft pumpkin now. Don’t burn your house down!