These famous faces will prove your pumpkin carving prowess. The patterns are free, but the results are priceless!
Ready for a challenge?
Set aside a lot of time for these, and not just for carving. Just tracing the pattern on the pumpkin may take you a few hours! And it will take you a few hours to carve, too! On average, a portrait pattern from start to finish will take 4-5 hours, though some have been known to take longer!
Here are some general Pro Tips to help you along the way.
1. While you don’t need a monster-sized pumpkin, you will still want a large one, preferably one that is tall. These patterns are detailed, and almost impossible to do on a small pumpkin. Not including a stem, try to find one at least 15” high from the bottom to the top. If the pumpkin looks to big for your pattern, that’s great! Enlarge the pattern to fit, even if you have to tape two pattern pieces together to make it work!
2. The thickness of the pumpkin’s shell will make or break these designs. Once you’ve scraped away all the gooey strings and seeds, keep scraping! Once you chosen where you will tape your pattern on to for tracing, scrape the inside of that area even more! When you begin carving, carefully slide in your saw and feel where it is from the inside. If the saw sticks all the way through, at least a quarter of an inch, that’s great! If not, remove the saw and scrape away a lot more! Do this now before you start fully carving your design or you will break it later if you try to scrape it again!
3. Always buy a few pumpkins to try. Some pumpkins are rock hard…you don’t want those as they will break your saw. Some have so many strings you can never pull them all off…you don’t want those either or you won’t have the clean lines you’ll need. Knock on the pumpkin shell. If the shell has a little bit of a give to it, get that one. If it hurts your knuckles when you tap on it, put it back!
4. Portrait carvings have a very short shelf life! The lines of the face will fall within the hour it’s done, which means a portrait of a 20 year old person will look like she’s aged 60 years within the hour! Don’t carve it until the day you need it!
5. These carvings take a lot of time, so you may want to think about using an artificial pumpkin instead, then you can carve it once, but use it every year! You will still need a carving saw, but you will use a Dremel tool and jeweler’s bits to carve the shadows into it.
I can’t wait to see what you make…happy carving!