Celebrate America with a watermelon basket embellished with an easy cut-star rim.
Nothing says patriotism like a star-carved watermelon filled with fresh blueberries, kiwi, strawberries, and other star-cut fruit.
Add melon shooting stars and top it off with a wire handle threaded with blueberries.
1. Download the free pattern for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)
2. From the self-stick shelf liner, cut a 1-inch-wide strip that is long enough to reach around the center or "equator" of the watermelon, piecing several strips together if necessary to fit.
3. Trace the star shapes from the pattern section (or trace around the star-shaped cookie cutters) onto self-stick shelf liner and cut the shapes out. Continue tracing and cutting out stars until you have enough to fit around the center of the melon. Place the star cutouts on the centerline of the melon as shown in the pattern. Alternate large and small stars and adjust the spacing between the stars as necessary.
4. Using a sharp knife, cut an oval opening in the top of the melon. Using a flat-edge ice cream scoop or large spoon, remove the pulp from the melon; place the pulp in a large container and set it aside.
5. Using a pumpkin carving saw and starting at the top opening of the watermelon, cut down to the star cutouts; carefully cut around each star and along the top of the centerline. Tip: Hold each star shape securely as you cut around it to prevent the star from breaking off. If one accidentally breaks, simply put the piece back on, securing it with toothpicks. Remove the star and centerline cutouts from the melon.
6. Use a melon baller or slice the reserved watermelon pulp to make small pieces. Repeat to make small pieces of honeydew melon and cantaloupe, as desired, until the watermelon bowl is almost full. Slice strawberries, kiwi, and star fruit, adding the pieces to the bowl.
7. Cut several lengths of blue and red wire long enough to create the basket "handle." Thread blueberries onto the wires and insert the cut ends into the sides of the basket.
8. Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut stars out of thick slices of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Place the melon stars on wooden skewers, adding blueberries between the pieces of fruit inside the watermelon.