With their charming smiles and goofy gourd appendages, these oddball monsters are anything but fearsome. But they ARE cool -- monstrously so! Impress the neighbor kids (and their parents, too) by constructing this colorful trio for your Halloween display.
When choosing pumpkins to shape into these adorable monsters, select large, smooth gourds with interesting stems (look for long and dramatic or short and twisty). To create the pumpkin monster in the middle, we used a large gray Jarrahdale pumpkin; look for this variety at farms or farmers markets.
1. Sign in to BHG.com to download and print the three monster stencil patterns. Resize the patterns with a photocopier to fit your pumpkins, if necessary.
2. Clean out your pumpkins by carving a circle in what will be the bottom of your finished design. Clean out the pumpkins by reaching into the carved opening and pulling out the seeds and fibrous strings.
3. Transfer your printed patterns onto the pumpkins by taping them in place and using a needle tool to create closely spaced holes along the stencil lines. (Hint: Keep holes within 1/8" of each other for best results.)
4. Remove the patterns and use a gouge or power etching tool to remove the pumpkin skin over the monsters' teeth, scraping gently to reveal the light-color rind below.
5. Carve the mouth openings by gently sawing along the pin-hole guidelines with a skinny serrated woodcutting knife. Pop out cutout sections by pushing on them gently from inside the pumpkin.
6. To create monster eyes, divide clear plastic ball ornaments in half and paint the outside of the ornaments with crafts paint in vivid colors. Allow them to dry completely. While they dry, cut large white circles and smaller black circles from crafts foam and assemble them into six eyes by hot-gluing the circles together. Embellish the white circles by sketching on red veins with a felt-tipped marker. Hot-glue the eyes to the center of the painted eyeballs.
7. To create the Sinlge Eye and Mouth Monster, drill two large holes in the pumpkin's top and insert two long-handle gourds for antennae. Cut a hole in the front of the pumpkin and insert an eyeball.
8. To create the Sharp Pointy Teeth Monster, drill a large hole above the carved mouth and insert a decorative gourd, allowing part of the gourd to protrude as a nose. Hot-glue two eyes to the side of the stem.
9. To create the Squiggly Mouth Monster, drill two large holes along the pumpkin's sides and insert long, skinny gourds for arms. Hot-glue three eyes along the top of the pumpkin.