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Free Pattern
Carving a Pumpkin
How I came to carve this pumpkin is a tale in itself;
click the pumpkin for the rest of the story.
How I began carving this pumpkin

Now....., my memory is nowhere as good as my looks, but I will try to recollect as best I can.

My Gramps used to start his tales with “Back in ought-two” or “back in ought-three”.

Well, the wheel has come full-circle, with sticky “little people” calling me Poppy, so I feel I have earned the right to use the line.

It was back in late summer of ought-three; I spent more time carving back then. Ya see, times were a tad slower in them days; a body had time to sit in the shade of the big tree and whittle with friends while enjoying tall glasses of iced tea or lemonade.

Ya know, the old days really were better; I miss 2003 and the good times we had back then.

It don’t take much to throw me off the track. Let’s see, where was I going with this?

Oh yes, well like I was a sayin, it was early fall back in ought-three when I took a phone call from a serious-sounding young lady. Seems she was working for the “Elect Al Gore” committee. Her question was, could I produce 2500 small carved wood pumpkins in less than two weeks to be used as table settings at a big fund-raising dinner.

I asked "fer a bit to do some cipherin and chew on the prospect a spell". She replied; “what the H - - L are you talking about?” So in my best English, I asked for some time to “crunch the numbers and determine if the timeline was feasible.”

Once I hung up the phone (and she couldn’t make anymore nasty comments on my speech impairment), I got down to some serious ciphering with carrying an all. The final price was 23 dollars each; actually 21.57, but I figured she owed me a little for her insensitivity to my (country bumkin) way of talkin.

The next morning I phoned and submitted my bid; an hour later she returned my call and said "the price exceeded the two-dollars and fifty-cents she had budgeted for each of the wood carved pumpkins."

(I figured 23 dollars was the bare minimum for a captive "thousand-dollar-a-plate dinner guest”  being forced to hear Mr. Gore speak for an hour.)

I explained that each pumpkin would be hand carved and crafted by a local artistsan and each would be signed, dated, and of presentation quality.

I was nearly speechless when she asked: “can’t you get them made in China?”

I replied;

"Yes Ma'am, but the price will be a might steeper, if I go there and whittle 'em."


Simply by turning a basswood apple upside down and adding a stem, it becomes a pumpkin.
This has become my most popular one-hour carving class.
Start with a basswood apple turning

With a pencil, draw three equally spaced lines around the turning. It should look as if you were cutting an apple into six wedges
Use a V-tool or knife to cut along each line

On this turning, I carved the entire outside surface because the turning was in poor condition.

Click Picture for closeup
The eyes, nose, and teeth are made with three cornered chips as in chip carving.

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Painting the eyes, nose, and mouth is what makes this carving stand out.

Paint inside each with black paint.

When that has dried, paint the outside of the pumpkin orange.

When dry, paint a light orange or dark yellow inside each opening; try to maintain a constant depth to create the illusion of an empty pumpkin.

I hope you enjoy carving my pumpkin project
Click Picture to Enlarge it
The mouth is layed out as two smile lines and then the teeth are drawn in between them.

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From basswood scrap, carve a stem and glue it to the top of the pumpkin.

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