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Pumpkin Chandeliers

Martha Stewart Living, October 2000

Nothing against jack-o'-lanterns: Those quirky grinning faces -- all crooked teeth and gleaming eyes -- will always have their place on the front stoop come late October. But if you want your autumn decorating to have more grown-up appeal, you might set your sights a little higher.

Autumn Wreath
Hanging Orbs
Cranberry Chandelier
Tiffany Lamp
Wall Sconces

Something happens to a lighted pumpkin when suspended in midair: When it no longer has to balance on its slightly lopsided bottom, its imperfections fade away, and it takes on an unexpected grace. Pumpkins made into temporary light fixtures can spread a charming glow over your autumn celebration or create an eerie but sophisticated welcome for Halloween callers.

The chandeliers, lamps, and sconces on the following pages mimic the designs of classic light fixtures and show how well pumpkins lend themselves to that task. The smallest ones make snug, sturdy holders for tea lights, and any size pumpkin will glimmer with the diffused warmth of an opaque-glass lamp when skillfully carved and lighted.

Though the fixtures look intricate, they are easy to re-create with the proper tools and a bit of patience. Just allow time to do the project shortly before your celebration, since a carved pumpkin looks its best for only a day or two.

With our techniques as a starting point, you can get as creative as you like with your designs -- and have as much fun as you usually do making jack-o'-lanterns. No matter how elegant your carving is, it will still feel like child's play when you're elbow deep in pumpkin.

Comments (6)

  • lolaandjeff 21 Oct, 2012

    That should have read, "for directions," although, where I come from, it sounds like, "fir." Gotta love the backwoods!

  • lolaandjeff 21 Oct, 2012

    See this address fir directions! Martha, you rock!

  • craftfrog 1 Oct, 2010

    copy n paste the pumpkin chandilier in the search'll get the how-to

  • Tushy 22 Sep, 2010

    I am also dissapointed that there is no directions, but I do have an idea to get it started: go buy a cheap artificial green wreah and use the wire branches and wires to attach all sorts of fall stuff or use a grapevine wreath and use hotglue or your own wire, though I think the first option would be easier. Then hang it with raffia, rope or anything you think would go with the theme and look cool...anyway, just a thought

  • budsnbloom 7 Sep, 2010

    I see no directions for this craft.

  • JavaGurl 10 Sep, 2009

    how do we make this?