Artificial Pumpkin "Funkin" Carving Instructions
The pumpkin patterns on this site are cut out using a shading technique. This is achieved by cutting holes into part of the pumpkin, cutting away the "skin" and part of the "flesh" in other areas, and leaving the third areas natural. Though this technique sounds difficult, it can be quite easy if you are careful and plan ahead.
What you will need:
1. A pumpkin carving pattern (2 copies recommended).
2. An artificial pumpkin (Funkin) that has a front surface at least 8 1/2 by 11 inches, the flatter the better...
3. A precision pumpkin carving saw.
4. Tape for attaching the pattern to the pumpkin.
5. Tracing or carbon paper and a pen to trace the pattern onto the pumpkin.
6. A Dremmel tool, Black & Decker "Wizard", or similar rotary tool with a selection of bits.
7. A dust mask and goggles to wear when using the Dremmel tool.
For the sake of brevity, I'll refer to the artificial pumpkins in general as Funkins....
To begin carving your Funkin, first make sure there is a hole in the bottom. If there isn't, use your saw to cut a hole in the bottom large enough to put an electric light into later. NEVER use a candle or open flame in a Funkin! See this link on how to make an inexpensive electric pumpkin light.
Examine the inside of the Funkin. If it is too thick (over 1.5"), then use some coarse sandpaper or improvise with your Dremmel tool to remove the excess from the inside. This also applies the to "Black Ring" of extra foam inside "Michaels" atrificial pumpkins.
Attach the tracing paper to the back of the pattern. Be sure that the part of the tracing paper that does the transferring is facing away from the pattern and toward the pumpkin.
Proceed to tape the pattern onto the pumpkin. Tape top and bottom first, then the sides next. It usually is necessary to crease the pattern a little to tape the corners. Be sure to put your creases in a place where the pattern will be distorted the least.
Next, trace the pattern on the pumpkin using your pen. Be sure to press really hard with the pen to trace the lines. This will ensure that your pattern is transferred good and dark onto your pumpkin.
Be sure to trace around the outsides of both the black areas (holes), and the grey areas (peels), in the pattern. Double check your work to make sure you've traced all the lines before taking the pattern off.
Remove the pattern and check your lines carefully. You may re-trace the lines using a pen to keep the lines from smearing during the carving process. I use a black pen around the "holes" and a red pen around the "peel" sections to tell them apart. Refer to your second pattern if you get confused.
Cut out all the black "holes" first, smallest to largest, using the precision saw. Leave the larger cut out parts in the holes until all the holes have been cut out. This aids in stability during the sawing. Carefully remove all the cut out pieces from the holes.
Next comes the really dusty part... Put on your mask and goggles!
I recommend using three different Dremmel tool bits, pictured below. The larger "router" type bit is used for larger areas, the "pointy" tool for medium lines and outlines, and the "detail" tool for fine details. Click on the thumbnails for a detailed picture of of each bit.
Using the pointy tool, go around the outlines of all of the gray areas that you can. Some areas may be too small to use the pointy tool, so save those for the detail tool later. You should only need to go about 1/4 inch seep to get the glowing effect you're after with the Funkin.
After doing the outlines, do the remaining larger areas of the gray parts with the router tool. Go about 1/4 inch deep throughout the gray areas. Try to keep the carved out surface of the Funkin as smooth as possible to keep the glow effect even.
Use the detail tool to finish all the fine detailed areas that you couldn't reach with the other two tools. You can also use this tool to carve through very small holes if necessary.
Carve the finishing touches on the pumpkin in the dark with the light inside. This helps you see the final effect while touching up areas that were not done cleanly during the previous steps.
Put the light in the pumpkin, turn out the lights, and Enjoy!
Good luck and Happy Carving!