The brand new Decorating Pumpkins & Gourds by Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell is full of projects to turn pumpkins, gourds and squashes into decorative lights and lanterns, proving this versatile veg goes far beyond Halloween Jack-O'-Lanterns. These cute and unique Little Gem nightlights, perfect decoration for summer evenings outdoors and dinner parties, are a great a place to start. For this project you'll need Little Gem pumpkins (or Rolets, usually buttered, seasoned and baked whole) which are super-easy and quick to work with given their size, and will look fantastic once finished and glowing.
You will need
Little gem pumpkins
1. Using the crayon, draw a small circle around the top of the pumpkin, then, using the craft knife, cut out and remove the ‘lid’.
2. Use the teaspoon to scoop out the flesh and seeds. Try to make the walls even and no thicker than about 4mm (3/16 inch).
3. Starting in the middle of one side, begin to cut a spiral with the lino-cutting tool. Hold the tool firmly to create an even line. Remember to cut away from yourself – it helps to turn the pumpkin rather than the blade of the tool. Finish the spiral, leaving 5mm (1/4 inch) undecorated at the top and base.
4. Turn the pumpkin so that you can engrave a spiral on the opposite side, leaving the same margins. Now repeat the spirals, one between each one already cut. Finish with small V shapes between the spirals at the top edge. Place a nightlight inside. Use your imagination to carve different patterns on each pumpkin. If using as a place setting, you could carve each with the guest’s initial.
After use, the pumpkins will become soft with the heat of the candle. They can be revived by immersing them in water for half an hour, then store them in the fridge until you wish to use them again.
This project is from Decorating Pumpkins & Gourds by Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell