Fun With Pumpkins

One of the things about Levi that twitterpates me most is that it takes next-to-no prompting to get him to go on silly adventures with me.  So when he came up for a visit last weekend, we immediately hopped in the car and drove out to the country for a good ol’ fashioned pumpkin hunt.  In Snohomish, Washington (40 minutes north of Seattle) is a wonderland of autumnal delights: The Farm at Swan’s Trail.  They have a 12-acre corn maze, stables of furred and feathered farm friends, hot cider, hand pies….and, of course, a sprawling field of pumpkins ready for the pick.  Levi and I strolled around, discussing the merits of various orangy gourds until we saw it: our pumpkin.  Reasonably sized and smooth as a baby’s behind.  A perfect canvas for a papercut design.  We swaddled it safe in the trunk and drove our prize home.

Pumpkin Quest!

Once back Levi lopped off the pumpkin’s top and scooped out the innards.  Then, using spray mount I affixed Levi’s design to the surface.

Pair of pumpkins

For papercutting I prefer cardstock or a thicker paper, but I used plain printer paper for this project to minimize the amount of material I’d have to cut through.

Pumpkin Pre-Op

Using my X-Acto knife, I traced all the lines of the design onto the skin of the pumpkin.  Breaking the pumpkin skin with the X-Acto blade had the added benefit of helping the lines stay clean once the heavy carving began.

Sharp Tracing

I removed the paper and, although the blade-traced lines were faint, they were visible enough to work as a guide.


Next, I set to work with a new favorite tool (yay new tools!).  Levi and I had done some art store shopping prior to the big carve day and he made the excellent suggestion of using a linoleum cutter.  I purchased a Speedball, which came with an assortment of gouges and cutters to play with.  I began by tracing over my X-Acto lines with the No. 1 cutter (the narrowest) and then cutting away the negative space in the smaller detailed areas.

Do the eye gouge.

Finally, I finished the larger areas and feathered out the edges of the design with the No. 3 gouge. The moon we cut completely through with the X-Acto knife.


And that’s it!  It took some time, and patience, but I love how our little owl glows.


If you want to go the extra mile and have a treat waiting for you after carving up your pumpkin, here’s a simple little recipe for roasting your pumpkin’s seeds.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Pick out pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin guts.  Rinse and dry off as much water as you can with a towel.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Toss seeds with a splash of oil (I used walnut) and some Tamari.  Enough to lightly coat the seeds.
  • Spread them out on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for around 45 minutes.  The seeds should be nice and goldeny.