Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Fun

Project "Acquire a Real Pumpkin" was a critical success, thanks to John's quick thinking in detouring to a Winn Dixie (because Publix was closed) to find a certain cider (which they didn't have) and overall tolerance of my squealing like a toddler and insisting we get "this one, 'cuz it speaks to me." (I meant metaphorically.)

And now... [rubbing hands together] ...I'll just surf the 'net for a while to figure out what I'm going to carve.

Care to join me? :D

See, I have all these great links and photos that you guys have been sending in, and naturally I can't choose what I'm going to do until I explore ALL of them.

First, I should mention that Pumpkin Wizard has a great tutorial on how to turn a photograph into a pumpkin template. Although I don't really have a photo I want to carve, so... Next!

I can't remember who the first person was to send me the link to 100+ Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas, but naturally this was the one that caught my eye:

Although he's not technically carved. Heh.

Ok, Catherine in Nova Scotia officially has the coolest co-workers in the world. Just look at these pics she sent in:

The created their own pumpkin Sesame Street!

Again, not carved (well, mostly not carved) but I'm amazed at how much these look like the characters:

I think Gonzo is my favorite:

All he needs is a tiny squash Camilla-the-chicken.

And, naturally, Catherine and her cronies had to dress up to match their display:

EPIC, I tell you. EPIC.

Ok, getting back to the pumpkins...

Since I've never seen an intricate pumpkin carve in person, I love that Rachel H. sent me pics of her Beetlejuice design lit both ways:

How amazing is the difference when the lights go out?! So cool.

And I love the Jack Skellington that Barbara did:

She tells me you should carve him from a white pumpkin, too, for extra authenticity. Brilliant.

I also love Barbara's & Hope's suggestion to carve a hidden design on the back of the pumpkin, so there's a cool shadow on the wall behind it. Also brilliant.

Rissykay99's "Vampire Cupcake" is hilarious and adorable:

And here's an actual carved Stay Puft by Elise:

A strong contender for my pumpkin, this.

Not a pumpkin (yet), but Darla linked to this *amazing* Harry Potter template:

By Mike Laughead

I am seriously tempted to do this one.
(John is a contender for World's Biggest Potter Fan.)

Darla also linked me to this awesome Mario:

via Super Mario Games

Ruth found this greatness:

via GeekStir

Hint: That's no moon.

MasterpieceLost shared some sweet tips for partial depth cutting/carving, and shared this gooorgeous example that she made:

It looks like porcelain!
Wow. Yeah, I don't think my carves are going to be this good quite yet. :)

I'm also pretty sure nothing I carve will be *nearly* as sweet as the one Cyndi P.'s then-boyfriend carved for her:

D'awwwwww. I love it!

Oooh, and then there's an entire gallery of sci-fi pumpkins over on Flickr. Lots of goodies, but I think this Yoda by sage_82 is my favorite of the bunch:

Most excellent, this is.

A lot of you have recommended I carve the CW Carrot Jockey. I'm not sure I could ever beat Henry F.'s version from last year, though:

This makes me gleeful in ways I can't even describe.

Oh, and you know all those tricks to make a jack-o-lantern last, like Vaseline or bleach? Well, Gemma linked to a fantastic post where some guys tested them all, and then compared the results. Shockingly, doing nothing to the pumpkin actually tied with a special "Pumpkin Fresh" spray as most effective. Yay for laziness!

Stay tuned for updates on my impending pumpkin adventures. ("John? Where's the reciprocating saw?") Hee. Ahee. Hee.


  1. that vampire cupcake made me squeal like a piggy with glee! i love it!!!
    and if you do the HP pumpkin, i will SQUEAL AGAIN! i just bought 3 pumpkin carving books because i a S O excited to get my carve on!!!!! :D

  2. Glad to hear laziness wins when it comes to keeping pumpkins fresh! I had a suspicion that vaseline wasn't doing much....

    Here's my favorite pumpkin I've carved. I think you might enjoy it. :)

  3. Those carvings are spectacular. That takes some seriously steady hands.

    I did notice a Disney pattern book at Target last week. Since I seem to have heard you *might* like Disney. We did an adorable Heffalump and Piglet from patterns included on the "Heffalump Halloween" DVD a few years ago.

  4. I simply can't believe you put Harry Potter and Mario in the same post, I'm literally sitting here grinning like a fat kid with cake! I was content with just painting a pumpkin this year, but now I totally have to carve HP. Fitting, since my husband and I are gonna be Harry and Luna for Halloween! (Ughhhh I know Harry ends up with Ginny, but as far as costumes go Luna is way more fun, so there.)


  5. Seriously, you should TOTALLY do the Epbot robot as your punkin' design. How epic would that be?

  6. Finding a pumpkin that speaks to you is very important. I <3 pumpkins. It may have something to do with my bday being 10/28.

  7. OMG!!! I love the Death Star!

  8. Wow! I think we're going to need to buy a few more pumpkins! Every year we have our standards, like the vomiting pumpkin and the one my husband does where the big toothy pumpkin has a little alarmed acorn squash in its teeth, but we may have to add a Jack Skellington to our line up.
    Thanks, these are some great ideas!

  9. Death Star! Death Star!!! I've been debating what to carve this year and you've supplied me with the answer!

  10. I bet that "fresh spray" was water.

  11. Aw, thanks for posting Jack. I heart the Pumpkin King! I found my Cinderella/castle pumpkin. The shadow is here - it was my first shadow pumpkin so the castle is pretty simple (and backwards, oops).

    That site for comparing preservation methods was gross and awesome. Personally, I found that wrapping the pumpkin in Saran Wrap and keeping it in the fridge during the day or when it's not on display helped keep it fresh looking (it helps if you have a second fridge, just move your honey's beer). Otherwise, lucky us, here in IL, it isn't a real Halloween if you don't have to wear a big old winter coat over your costume, and that cold air also helps with preserving carved pumpkins that are kept outside (as long as those pesky teens don't come visiting after hours).

    I'm sure whatever you carve will be adorable, I can't wait to see the results!

  12. I vote Mario!
    Unless, of course, you find a good Doctor Who template. ;)

  13. These are great! I love carving, but I also enjoyed Real Simple's suggestions for no-carve pumpkins. Two words (and gratuitous exclamation marks): Chalkboard paint!!! http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/halloween/easy-no-carve-pumpkins-00000000043701/page3.html

  14. What kind of cider were you trying to find?

    I've been looking for the Woodchuck Fall cider in Orlando, and it's not available. It might be in the variety pack as the summer cider was, but I can't find the variety pack at Publix.

    I've actually spoken to the good people of Woodchuck, and they've said that the local distributor won't order the seasonal varieties.

    If you're looking for something else, Total Wine has a few brands... Strongbow, Magners, Woodchuck, and Ace, I know (not Woodchuck seasonals). They may also have Woodpecker, and some others.

  15. I'm moderately partial to #4 and 9 at
    Kotaku from last year, but that could just be because I'm Mrs. Gyophry, and he worked really hard on those bad boys. For the record - totally not 'shopped.

  16. Then there is this web site.


    Check out the Dalek pumpkin.

    Ohhhh yaaaaaaaah!

  17. You do know that people use their Dremels to carve those intricate pumpkins, don't you??? Ooooohhhhhhh, Dremel. Just sayin'.

  18. I love that Yip Yip Alien costume. That is totally what I am going to be for Halloween!

  19. these are all epic!!
    I cant imagine have to quest for real pumpkins... here in the original home of the pumpkin festival you can get them anywhere and everywhere.
    We even get piles of them dropped off at school. Some awesome teachers even let us carve them in class the day before p-fest.

    Last year I carved some nice stargate pumpkins...
    Ive got some other sufficiently geek ideas planned for this year....

    Excited to see yours!

  20. Cannot wait to see what you make! I wasn't planning on doing pumpkins this year (after doing 4 portraits last year) but i think you just sparked something inside of meee! Why not do the Epbot robot? eh?

  21. I was going to leave a comment about the wonderfully geeky pumpkins my friends and I carved for Pumpkin Fest last year, but I see Lily already did! Anyhow, those are all *fabulous* templates and I might just try out the HP one! Just to give Pumpkin Fest a little more geek =] ((YThe Pumpkin Festival is a town tradition where EVERYONE from all over carve pumpkins and try to set a new world record for most jack-o-lanterns in one area. it happens every year and was our town's claim-to-fame until Boston stole the record from us a few years ago. The view is *incredible* at night. Imagine tens of thousands of jack o' lanterns lighting up a cutesy downtown. It's awesome.))

  22. Hi Jen! Mike Laughead is the artist of the Harry Potter template. I found it through his flickr photostream.

    Love all of the other ideas!! Yoda=A-MA-ZING!

  23. Love the Muppets and the Yoda is incredible!

  24. @Meghan: You could explain that Harry went to Slughorn's Christmas party, and you were simply honoring that!!! Any excuse to dress as Luna is valid!

    Jen, hope you decide to do something awesome with your pumpkin. As creative and fun as you guys are, I'm sure it will be epic!

    I should be nowhere near sharp objects, so I guess I'll just buy a jack o'lantern and set him on my porch. No danger of cutting off limbs that way.

    P.S. The WV are not showing up when I try to post my comment. I had to refresh twice to get a WV to come up.

  25. tiny purple elephantOctober 12, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    love the sesame street and muppets!!!! no matter how old i get, they still make me smile.

    ps have you seen the grover/old spice clip?

  26. I always do an intricate carving every year and the thing I found that best preserved it is putting plastic wrap over the entire area that is carved and refridgerate your pumpkin if you live in an area that is routinely above 50 degrees. I live in So-Cal so it's always above 50 at Halloween.

  27. I spotted Kermit! You always know how to brighten a muppet geek's day! Love all the pumpkins! I tried doing a intricate design on a pumpkin once but I carved too much and I had to hold the pieces together with straight pins. lol. Now I stick to regular jack o'lanterns. But all these designs are inspiring me. Maybe I will do something fancy this year!

  28. If you do the Harry Potter one, you should totally carve the symbol of the Deathly Hallows into the back so it will cast a creepy shadow. ;)

  29. Personally, I'm loving this design:

    Radioactive Pumpkin

    I think I might attempt it this year as I've never carved a pumpkin before.

  30. My vote is for the Death Star!

  31. While that Yoda jack-o-lantern is nice, this awesome Yoda pumpkin is far superior, imho.

    My daughter would love the Jack Skellington one, though. That would make her skwee.

  32. You should do an EPBOT robot pumpkin!!! Imagine all of the "squees!"

  33. That's it! I'm on a mission to find a white pumpkin so I can do Jack from The Nightmare Before Christmas - my hubby has to be in the running for biggest fan of that movie and he'll love it.

    Oh, and my favorite use of power tools with pumpkins is to get a power drill, several different sizes of paddle bits and go to town and creating a 'polka dot' pumpkin. I've done it a few times and always get tons of compliments on them!

  34. OMG. I am totally doing that Harry Potter one. And I will run John over (and possibly punch him in the face) in order to be the World's Biggest Harry Potter fan. (jk!!!)

  35. I vote for the HARRY POTTER one!

    I, like John, am an avid Harry Potter fan and also (supposedly) an adult...I get taunted because I even make Harry Potter themed jewelry for my (otherwise more "grown up") Etsy shop - and wear it, too!

    Most popular bracelet

    Lightning Necklace

    A.K.A. the "gross one

    I TOTALLY want to see the HP pumpkin! If you don't do it (or even if you do!), I might have to do it myself!

    WV: sneut - yet another creature Luna has hunted for (and mysteriously, never found!)

  36. Well Boyfriend and I were both going to do Donnie Darko pumpkins, but I'm pretty sure I wanna do the Mario one if I can find a template. Thanks so much!

  37. I'm thrilled you put my Forest Cottage pumpkin in the blog :) thanks!

    I think my favs here are either the deathstar or Jack. Just can't beat the beautiful simplicity of Jack's face for a pumpkin :) Makes me want to revisit the halloween town pumpkin I made years ago, now THAT was fun. Before I knew how to take good photos though, alas. That is the one drawback to such a perishable medium.

  38. [quote] (John is a contender for World's Biggest Potter Fan.) [/quote]

    Yea... He's gonna have to get in line behind me. :P

  39. Have fun! I've decided this year to buy some of those foam carve-able pumpkins from the craft store so I can do something really intricate and enjoy it for more than a week.

  40. Hey, thanks for posting my vampire cupcake! That totally made my day.

    If I had the time and energy I'd carve like six pumpkins. I'm still trying to decide on a design for this year.

    Good luck with yours, and I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  41. I only have a couple of easy tricks picked up for pumpkins . . . cut the bottom of the pumpkin (not the stem) before extracting it's guts. This makes it easier to light the candle, and the lid won't fall in. Also, if you like the smell of pumpkin pie (without all the baking) sprinkle some pumpkin pie spice on the inside of the top of the pumpkin and as the candle flame heats up the pumpkin's interior it will emit that yummy smell. I usually wait until the day of to carve (I really wouldn't do it too far ahead unless you plan to carve more than once).

  42. I sent an email regarding my pumpkin carving project this year because I was so excited but for anyone else who wants to see: First ever non-Jack O'Lantern carving

  43. my friend dressed as one of those 'yup yup' monsters for halloween a couple years ago, while she was fronting her family's band!! the best part was the monster's mouth moved from the inside and she moved it up and down while doing vocals and playing the keyboard.

  44. Hey, Jen! What's your favorite Muppet out of these: Animal, Fozzie, Gonzo, and Miss Piggy?

  45. @ Sarah - Probably Gonzo, although Animal is a close second. ;)

  46. Wow! this is such an amazing collection of pumpkin carving ideas and designs. They are all pretty awesome and detailed. Thanks for sharing!


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