How to Carve a Skull Pumpkin

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 32,653
    Believe it or not, this is a pumpkin! Try this unique pumpkin carving for your porch on Halloween night. Tom Nardone of will show you how.

    Tom Nardone: Hi! I am Tom from extremepumpkins.

    com, and I am going to show you how to make a skull pumpkin.

    Why would you want to skull, let's face it. Something is needed to be kicked up a couple more notches. So instead of just a Jack-o-lantern, we are going to turn the pumpkin upside down and make it into a giant skull. I am going to give you an overview of what we are going to do. First, we are going to choose the right pumpkin. Next we are going to assemble the right tools. With those tools, we are going to design the pumpkin, then we are going to carve it out and then we are going to shave off all its skin, add a few finishing details, and before you know it, you are going to have an awesome skull made from the pumpkin for your front porch.

    First, let's talk about pumpkins. Now to you this pumpkin may just like a pear-shaped pumpkin, but to me it looks like a skull. Why? Because I think upside down sometimes. See, like that. So we are going to carve this thing into a pretty mean looking skull but it's going to take some work and some tools. Let's review what those are going to be.

    One, before I carve the pumpkin, I like to mark on it with a dry-erase marker. I use dry-erase marker because if I mess up, I can erase it, it'll rub right off the pumpkin skin. And then also after I have carved it, I can get rid of any remnants in marker. Next I am going to use this bad boy. It's called the Drywall Saw. It's a big saw that electrician's use to put outlet holes in drywall. You can find them in a home center, they are about $6, and they are real handy when you cut and open the tough flesh of the pumpkin. For example, when you want to gut it.

    Next I use a pumpkin carving tool, sort of like this one. You get these in the kits that you buy at the store in October. I use a professional model, it's just a little more expensive, but it's sort of the same thing. You might recognize this one, yup, it's an ice-cream scoop. Yours mainly scoop ice-cream but mine does double duty. I use it to scoop out the gunk and the seeds from inside the pumpkin. I usually wash it first before I go back to the fridge with it though.

    Here is a big tool that we are going to use, big and dangerous. This is called an Angle Grinder and this wheel will help me scrape off all of the pumpkin skin in no time at all. You can use anything else you want as long as it will take the skin. A vegetable peeler does a kind of poor job, a file or plain from a wood-working set does a better job.

    I use some other detail carving tools. This is called the Dremel and has a pumpkin carving bit on it. I've got two more materials I use for special effects. One a piece of aluminum foil, you can probably even use a gum-wrapper if you had one. I am going to use that to make a metal tooth.

    Two, I use bathroom-cleaner with bleach, I use this as a pumpkin preservative and I am going to spray it all over the pumpkin when it's done. That should keep the animals, bugs and mold off of it. And when we are using those tools, we want to be safe.

    So at certain places you won't want to put your fingers and you want to wear safety glasses as well. What qualifies me to teach you how to make a skull pumpkin? Well, I've written three bestselling books on pumpkin carving, Extreme Pumpkins I, II and Extreme Halloween. Also I have appeared on National TV, Carving Pumpkins. I have been on Good Morning America, Regis and Kelly, even Conan O'Brien.

    So stick around and you're going to learn from the master, my friends. Next step, we are going to gut this pumpkin, get rid of the seeds and get ready for carving.