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Etched Fox and Bunny Pumpkins

Step into our fairy-tale realm, where all woodland critters get along. The secret to these sweet (and impressive) creations is our bunny and fox templates.

etched woodland animal pumpkins fox rabbit halloween decorations

Photography: Ngoc Minh Ngo

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2018

Introduction

Before you begin, learn how we created these textured effects using a carve-by-color technique. Opt for a pale Lumina pumpkin: When lit from within, the exterior surface becomes multicolored. Get our helpful tips for picking a pumpkin that will last through October.

 

This project calls for two essential pumpkin carving tools: a keyhole saw and linoleum cutter. The first is used for its sharp teeth, which can slice through a pumpkin's tough shell and its flexible blade, which allows for curved cuts. The second is used to carve detail into the surface of a pumpkin (like whiskers and bushy tails) with great accuracy. Both pumpkins picture here are cut out from the bottom and hollowed out, then cast aglow with a battery-powered candle. Get our editor's tricks on how to safely light a pumpkin.

 

For more ideas, scroll through our best collection of pumpkin carving and decorating ideas

materials

  • Pumpkins

  • Keyhole saw

  • Linoleum cutter (Pictured: Speedball lino-cutter set, $19, michaels.com.)

  • Needle tool

  • Scissors

  • Battery-powered candles

steps

  1. Place pumpkin on its side on a flat, stable work surface. Use keyhole saw to cut a circle through the base of the pumpkin. Scoop out seeds, stringy pulp, and a thin layer of flesh from inside of pumpkin wall until it's about 1/4 inch thick. (A clean, smooth interior reflects light best.) Turn the pumpkin right side up.

  2. Download and print template. With scissors, cut away white part of template. Tape template onto pumpkin, using a needle tool to prick every 1/8 to 1/4 inch along outlines of template. (Tip: You may need to cut slits around the template and overlap so it conforms to the pumpkin's roundness.)

  3. Remove the paper and connect the dots with a linoleum cutter, scraping the surface just deeply enough for light to shine through. Scrape in the same direction in each section to keep the lines uniform.

  4. Insert a battery-powered candle, and watch your etchings come to life. Once the pumpkin is lit, you may want to do a few touch-ups: If the light shines unevenly, the flesh may be thicker in some spots; simply scrape away a little more wherever it appears darker.

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