Preparing these pumpkins may seem a bit difficult at first. However, it is a rather simple and fun activity once you get the hang of it. Here is a step-by-step tutorial to guide you:
1. Choose a Foam Pumpkin
You are likely to find foam pumpkins in the market by the end of September. Two of the most popular varieties are the generic craft pumpkin and the Funkin.
Craft pumpkins appear like idealized pumpkins but are somewhat thin. On the other hand, Funkins are made from actual pumpkins and have a thicker foam.
A hollow craft pumpkin created from a strong low-density foam is best for beginners as it is easier to carve. First, grab a pencil and draw a circle on the foam pumpkin’s bottom side. Map out a circle large enough for a battery-operated tea light to fit into.
While carving the pumpkin, make sure you wear safety gear, including safety goggles and a dust mask.
2. Choose What to Carve on Your Foam Pumpkins
Deciding what to carve onto your faux pumpkin can be challenging. You can opt for a wide range of images, ranging from a painting to a family portrait. However, make sure you keep the following aspects in mind:
- Your image size needs to be compatible with the pumpkin. For instance, tall and thin subjects are best for tall and thin foam pumpkins.
- An image with greater contrast is better.
- Check for floating pieces. Make sure there are no dark spots on white backgrounds. When you carve out the white area, there will be no material for the dark spots to link to.
- Opt for something within your skill level. For instance, if you are a novice, an animated character may be easier for you to carve than a picture of a crowd.
3. Make Your Pattern
First, decide what you are carving. Secondly, convert it into a pattern. For this purpose, you can either use a simple program like Paint or a more complex one like Photoshop.
In this tutorial, the Photoshop method is discussed. However, don’t worry if you don’t have Photoshop installed. Other software like Pain work just as well.
Here are the major steps involved:
- Import the image onto Photoshop and resize it to fit the pumpkin
- Make the image grayscale
- Get rid of the unnecessary background
- Enhance the contrast
- Convert the image into a cutout
- Make a new layer right behind your subject layer
- Print out the pattern
4. Carving Foam Pumpkins
First, print out the pattern and cut around the boundary of the subject while leaving a half-inch gap. This is to allow room to tape the image to the pumpkin.
Secondly, determine the spot on the foam pumpkin where the image fits best and tape it on. Once it is in place, you are all set to begin carving.
For carving pumpkins, make sure you choose a comfortable chair and a spot in your house which you don’t mind getting dirty. Next, take a sharp object to outline all lines on the pattern with dots. Now, use flour to cover the dots and view your design.
First, carve and cut out all the white areas. Next, use a power tool with a round engraving head to hollow out those areas. Now, reapply the pattern to begin the next layer.
5. Light Up and Finish
Finally, use a paintbrush to dust them away. Next, to display your pumpkin, place it in a way that the bottom fits over a battery-operated tea light.
However, make sure you limit outdoor exposure of your foam pumpkins as they tend to deteriorate. Therefore, choose another place where you can keep your pumpkin for a longer time. For example, you can keep them on the front porch or make them your Halloween centerpiece.
Crafting a foam pumpkin can be time-consuming. Nevertheless, in the end, you will have a stunning piece of art to show off to family and friends. Finally, all you need to do is switch on the light and enjoy.