I finally got a chance to carve a pumpkin using a pattern. I didn't do a Wizard of Oz character this year. I choose Scooby-Doo. I went to www.carvingpumpkins.com and downloaded a pattern. I then printed the pattern. You might need to resize the image before printing so that it will fit on your pumpkin. I had a large pumpkin so the full scale pattern fit. First cut open the top of the pumpkin and scoop the insides out. I then used scotch tape to hold the pattern onto the pumpkin. I then got a thumb tack and poked hundreds of little dots tracing every line on the pattern poking the tiny holes in the pumpkin surface. After I completely traced every line (by poking holes in surface with a tack kind of like a tattoo) I then carefully removed the pattern. Just a small note; it might seem real easy to just poke a bunch of holes but after you poke about 150 and see your only half done it really becomes tedious. The reason I carefully removed the pattern is so I could use it for reference. You also could just print out another copy, but after all it is just for reference.
Now this is the part I had the hardest time with, I couldn't see the little dots too well after I took off the pattern. I had all my kitchen lights on and still had a hard time. So I grabbed a flashlight, then I was able to see them quite well. Because I didn't want to sit there with a flashlight the whole time I took a fine point Sharpie marker and traced over the dots.
Now for the carving part. Well I had absolutely no pumpkin carving kits or special knives so I just used some basic stuff I had in my kitchen and tool box. I had both a flat head screw driver and a philips screw driver a filet knife and a small kind of sharp knife. Now with using the pattern as a reference I decided to do all the black area first. The black areas get completely cut all the way through. Some of them were small holes and hard to use a knife with so I used the philips screw driver to carefully poke holes. After I had done the black area I went to the gray areas of the pattern which get scraped. You kind of remove the surface. Well this was a bit difficult at first. I found with my short handle flat head screw driver that if I used just one side of the flat head that it worked incredibly well and quite accurate. When I got towards the edge of a line I didn't want the screw driver to make it jagged. So I got and exacto knife and down just a small bit tracing the pattern. It took some time because the exacto knife only wanted to cut straight. So I had to do a little at a time. The exacto knife worked perfectly as the screwdriver scraped towards the edge near the exacto knife cuts it came off in a perfect line.
* Note: If you see some of the Wizard Of Oz patterns here you will notice that dorthy for example when they scrape the gray areas that they scape deeper as they approach an open area (black area on pattern). That gives it more of a 3D look. I didn't have the right tools and I'm not that good, but mine still came out fine.
Now for lighting. I went to a store called the "Dollar Tree" where everything in the store was only $1.00. They had a light with a bulb the cord a switch and a fused plug on the end. It even had a thick plastic protector on it, which was great because it won't let the bulb lay down in the pumpkin. Also this light can be used on those little Christmas ceramics that people often display because it has the metal clips. Not bad for only $1.00. So in the back of the pumpkin I cut a square large enough for the plug to fit through. After I got the light in place I pushed the square back in the hole which sealed it nice and tight. I tried the Paper clip idea to hold the light in place but the paper clips don't stay in. So I took them out, the light stays put any ways. Below are the pictures. My digital camera is terrible in the dark so the lights off picture isn't the greatest. If you have any questions or comments let me know. -Jim
Scooby-Doo pumpkin lights on.
Scooby-Doo lights off