Stuff you need:
- Carving saw – recommend the Pumpkin Masters battery operated “power saw”
- Heavy craft wire (for tail). Could possibly get away with an old coat hanger.
- Wire cutters
- Spoon, aka pumpkin gut scooper
- Tea light & lighter, or battery operated tea lite
- Pen & paper
Step 1: The Idea
Draw your idea on paper. Play with different faces. Remember if you want to have eyeballs, then you need that to be part of the pumpkin, and the light to show through around the eyeball parts.
Step 2: The Top & Guts
Draw the ears onto the pumpkin, connected with the brow line. Then draw down an inch of the of the cat’s head shape on the left and right. Then draw a line around the back of the pumpkin connecting the two stopping points. Cut out the top of the cat’s head and scoop out the guts.
Step 3: The Face
Draw your face on the pumpkin and cut out the pieces.
Tip: if the walls of the pumpkin are thick when you take out the goo, you should thin them out before trying to carve.
Tip 2: The easiest way to carve, for me, is to poke holes here and there and carve from one point to the other.
Cut a half moon shape out of the back of the pumpkin top. Cut this piece into small pieces and string several of them onto the wire.
Fold the top of the wire down and inward so it doesn’t poke anyone.
To pose the tail, either set the pumpkin down on the bottom part of the wire (works if the pumpkin is heavy enough) or jab it into the base of the pumpkin.
Step 5: Light it to test
Pop in a tea light and light it.
If you’re using small pumpkins, I recommend using a battery operated tea light, or else your whole kitchen will quickly smell like cooked pumpkin. (Not as fun as it sounds!)
Step 6: Decide on open top or closed.
Cat-ur-lanters look good without the top. Like this:
Take the top of the pumpkin and *very carefully* carve away 1/8 – ¼ of the outline of the ears and forehead. Set it back on and see how it looks. Use trial and error, cutting away little pieces, until you are able to allow space for the light to come through and still have the top sit well.
It should look something like this:
A friend suggested that spraying the inside of the carved pumpkin with a diluted bleach solution might inhibit mold growth and make your creation last longer. I suspect hydrogen peroxide might work as well.
Step 8 – Post a picture!
I’d love to see what you come up with. Tag me on Instagram or Twitter @geekyCatStories. 🙂
Farfel and Bob’s Halloween