Four Vegetarian Pumpkins

Whether the atmosphere you aim for is goofy or ghostly, silly or scary, a trip to the farmer's market or produce aisle in your local market will yield all the ingredients to create these organic designs.

How to Make the Curly Locks Pumpkin

  1. Download the free stencil in the link below. (You'll need to log in or register first.) Transfer the design to the pumpkin (prick the stencil outlines with a pin), then carve the face.
  2. The simply carved features on this pumpkin are perfect for an amateur carver. A quarter-moon mouth is studded with garlic-clove teeth. Use florist's pins or toothpicks to attach the teeth. (No garlic? Use marshmallows or even white cardboard.)
  3. Fill each arched eye with a red radish cut in half. Attach the radishes with a toothpick or florist's pins.
  4. Use an apple corer or an electric drill to create holes for hair and ears. Fill these holes with broccoli stalks for hair and small artichokes for ears.
  5. Choose a yellow gourd to use for a nose and hold it in place with toothpicks.

PDF pattern for Curly Locks

How to Make the Bird Haven Pumpkin

  1. This funny fellow is all ears! Download the free stencil in the link below and carve the facial features.
  2. To make these elephant-size examples, saw a large gourd in half from stem to stern; securely attach each ear to the head with long, T-shaped florist's pins.
  3. For the eyes, pin a radish into the top of each egg-shape eye.
  4. Hot-glue or pin a coiled-moss-nest "hat" to the top of the pumpkin. Positioned at a rakish angle, the next makes a soft spot for a bird to perch on jumbo garlic-clove eggs.
  5. Purchase an artificial bird at a craft store, or make your own from a gourd with clove-studded eyes and a green onion tail (drill a small hole in the back end of the gourd and insert the head of the onion).
  6. To form the nose, dab red glass paint on a clear glass marble or florist's glass bubble. Let dry. Cut a hole the right size to fit the marble and insert it. When the pumpkin is lit, the nose will glow red. (NOTE: No marble? If using an electric light instead of a candle, try pinning a piece of red cellophane inside the pumpkin.)

PDF pattern for this pumpkin stencil

How to Make the Crack 'em Up Pumpkin

  1. Download the free stencil in the link below.
  2. Carve a face with simple features -- eyes, nose, and mouth.
  3. Next, use an X-Acto knife or a V-shaped wood chisel to cut the face with jagged cracks, as many or as few as you wish. The cuts give the face an aged, wrinkled appearance.
  4. Insert branches into the top of the pumpkin for "hair." We used curly willow from a craft store, but any type of twig will work. NOTE: Small holes drilled into the head allow for easy insertion of the branches.
  5. As a finishing touch, set a plastic spider, bat, or rat atop the pumpkin. Glue with hot glue or hold in place with short pieces of twig inserted into the pumpkin.

PDF pattern for Crack 'em Up

Tips for the Are You My Mummy Pumpkin

  1. To make a pumpkin "mummy," locate two areas, one for an eye and one for a mouth; then work the "wrappings" around these two places.
  2. To begin the pattern, cut and place sections of masking tape onto the pumpkin, leaving a narrow uncovered strip between the tape sections, until you've covered the pumpkin.
  3. Use a pencil to mark along the edges of the tape. Assemble your tools, including X-Acto knives, wood chiseling tools, a thin-bladed sharp kitchen knife, and a spoon.
  4. One section at a time, remove the tape and use a V-shape gouge to remove the skin. Use assorted gouges to remove all skin where the tape was, between the gouges. Work one section at a time. NOTE: Leave pumpkin skin visible at all crossings of the wrapped sections.
  5. Use flat-bladed chisels to smooth each flat area, or scrape smooth using the edge of a spoon.
  6. When all the mummy wrapping are carved, cut out the mouth and the eye openings.
  7. Choose an eye for the pumpkin. Use a craft-store eye, or use paint pens to turn a glass marble or landscape bubble into an eye. Insert the eye into an eye-shaped opening.
  8. Pin a few garlic cloves inside the mouth opening to act as teeth.


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