To complete her front-door Halloween display, Martha assembles a row of pumpkins, mimicking the twists of a slithering snake. The first and largest pumpkin forms the serpent's head, and the rest make up its long, scaly body. Each "body" pumpkin is drilled with holes of various sizes, then lined up with the others so the snake curves and slithers. Christmas lights are strung through the line of pumpkins; these lights illuminate the carvings and are not a fire hazard. After dark, this glowing snake will light the path to your front door.
Tools and Materials
Small utility saw
Large-bulb white Christmas lights
Plastic pumpkin-carving scoop, drill with borer tool and 3/4-inch and 1-inch bits
Felt-tip pen; utility knife
Pumpkin Snake How-To
Decide how long you want your pumpkin snake to be, and choose pumpkins in a variety of sizes, from large to small, to simulate the body of a snake. Choose a big, elongated pumpkin for the head.
Using the utility saw, cut a hole in the top and bottom of the first "body" pumpkin. One hole should be about fist-size, in order for you to reach your hand in and remove the seeds, and the other just big enough for a string of lights to pass through.
Hollow out the insides of the pumpkin with the scoop.
Drill a series of holes into the sides of the pumpkin, varying the size of the bits. When drilling the larger holes, you don't have to puncture all the way through the flesh; the light will glow through partly drilled holes. Repeat with all pumpkins except for the head.
Set the pumpkin head on its side, so that the elongated shape can form the jaw of the snake. Draw a serpent face with long fangs around the stem of the pumpkin (which you should remove when you cut out the mouth), using a felt-tip marker. Cut out the eyes and mouth with the small saw. With a fine-tip utility knife, carve out other snake features, such as nostrils.
Once you have cleaned and drilled all your pumpkins, arrange them in a snaking line.
Starting with the head (which should be farthest from the house), pass the string of lights through the holes at each end of the pumpkins (the larger pumpkins may require two to three lights; the smaller pumpkins near the tail, just one). You may need an extension cord to reach an electrical outlet.