In this project, a smaller pumpkin is nested inside a larger one, so you'll need two sizes. Choose pumpkins with flat bottoms to ensure a steady display.
Tools and Materials
- Large oblong pumpkin
- Medium-size oblong pumpkin
- Cage and Vulture templates
- Keyhole saw
- Fleshing tool
- Masking tape
- Miniature saw
- Linoleum cutter set
- Paper towels
- Black acrylic paint
- Petroleum jelly
- T pins (optional)
- Votive candle
- Glass tumbler
- Vintage-style key
Vulture's Cage How-To
1. Prepare templates: size templates as needed so that the cage fits on the large pumpkin and the vulture fits on the medium one. Print 1 copy of each, and trim excess paper around templates.
2. Cut a hole at the top of each pumpkin with keyhole saw. (The large pumpkin's hole will need to be wide enough for the medium pumpkin's base to pass through.)
3. Clean the insides of pumpkins with fleshing tool, removing seeds, pulp, and fibers.
4. Affix templates to the appropriate pumpkin with masking tape. Using awl, transfer designs to each pumpkin by poking holes around blackened areas and along black lines. Remove templates.
5. Carve cage openings with miniature saw. (To prevent buckling, don't make cage slats narrower than indicated.)
Using linoleum cutter fitted with a No. 2 blade, carve an outline around arches (indicated in template by a thin black line), exposing flesh without cutting all the way through.
6. Carve vulture and its branch with miniature saw, keeping pumpkin's base intact so the bird won't tip forward.
Dry vulture and branch with paper towels. Paint them with black acrylic paint. Let dry 10 minutes. Using miniature saw, cut a tiny hole for vulture's eye.
7. Coat exposed and carved portions of pumpkins with petroleum jelly to prevent them from drying out.
8. Set vulture inside cage. (If the medium pumpkin tips forward, secure the base with T pins.)
Place candle inside tumbler. Set it behind vulture.
Tie tassel to key. Insert key into keyhole.