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Movie and Cartoon Themed Pumpkin Carvings

Perhaps you are hunting for ideas for pumpkin carvings for Halloween. Or maybe you are having an Autumn party and are looking for some cool pumpkin lantern ideas.

Pumpkin Carvings Like These Are Sure To Impress!

Iron Man Pumpkin Carving

Iron Man Movie Themed Pumpkin Carving

You will get some of fun ideas from these photos of cartoon and movie themed pumpkin carvings in this article.

These are just a fraction of the pumpkin carvings made for the annual Halloween celebration in Encinitas, California. Members of the Self Realization Fellowship carve all of these lovely pumpkins. Then all of these great pumpkin carvings  are displayed throughout old downtown Encinitas along Highway 101.

I wish I could give individual credit to each person who made these lovely pumpkin carvings but I don’t know who they are and who carved what. I do know that many to these pumpkin carvings were carved by the brothers (monks) who live at the Self Realization Fellowship.

How You CAN Make Pumpkin Carvings Like These if You Can’t Draw

You might wonder how they they make such accurate likenesses of these cartoon and movie characters in their pumpkin carvings. You might think that they must be really good artists.

Well, it’s easier than you may think to make these pumpkin carvings. I’ll tell you how they do it.

Using a projector, they shine the image onto the pumpkin that they plan to carve. Then they trace the images onto the pumpkin skin using black permanent marker pens. They then carve away the skin and rind to get the varying shades of lightness and darkness.

Lion King Pumpkin CArving

This pumpkin carving is inspired by the movie, The Lion King

The variations of light and dark in all of these pumpkin carvings are accomplished in the following way. The areas that look black are colored with markers. The next dark area of the designs that are dark but not black are areas are where the skin remains intact but is not colored with marker. The next lighter shade is where the skin had been removed. The next lighter shade is where the skin and some of the fruit is removed.  (What you might think of as the rind is actually the fruit). The thinner the rind, the lighter the area will be when lit from inside. The very brightest areas are those that are carved all the way through so that the light inside shines through unimpeded as seen in the hands, eyes and chest of the Iron Man pumpkin carving at the top of this page. To get more light showing through the areas that are not carved all the way through, you can always shave off fruit from the inside of the pumpkin.

Roadrunner and Bugs Bunny Cartoon Carved Pumpkin

Roadrunner and Bugs Bunny Cartoon Carved Pumpkin can be easy if you trace the projected image, mark in dark areas and carve to reveal lighter areas.

Notice that many of these pumpkins carvings with movie and cartoon themes are not carved all the way through. The carving designs are closer to the surface. There is good reason for that.

Pumpkin carvings will last a longer when they are not pierced all the way through.

At the Self Realization Fellowship, they have lots of pumpkins to carve and so will do carving over several days. The carving on the outside of the pumpkins is done in advance. Then, the morning and day of Halloween, volunteers gather to cut out the backs or bottoms of each pumpkin, gut them all, and remove the seeds.

Strong lighting is important for showing off these pumpkin carvings at their best.You may notice that these pumpkins are well lit which really shows off the carving designs well.

They are so well lit because each pumpkin has a 40 – 60 watt light bulb inside. Each hollowed out pumpkin had a  ‘trap door’ carved into it’s back or bottom making is easy to slip a corded light bulb into each pumpkin. In this case, there are strings of light that run from one pumpkin to the next. You can light yours with a single bulb on a cord like the ones sold to light the inside of Chinese paper lanterns. You should be able to one buy at places like Cost Plus or World Market or even at your local hardware store.

To view larger images of the pumpkin carving photos below click on any photo.

When you look at all of these pumpkin carvings when on display, it’s a marvelous thing to see. Bales of had are set up in various parts of downtown Encinitas and are filled with lots of carved pumpkins. Families can walk up and down the whole downtown to view all of these lovely pumpkin carvings on Halloween. Shops along the way give out candy and goodies to the children and everyone has a good time.

Families in Encinitas enjoying the Halloween pumpkin carvings.

Families in Encinitas enjoying the Halloween pumpkin carvings.

I’ll  be sharing some other great photos with you soon.

Want to learn to make 3-D Pumpkin Carvings?

In the meantime, if you want some really great 3-D pumpkin carving instructions on DVD check out Ray Villafane’s brand new DVD set.

To see some inspiring Pumpkin Carving on TV, check out my other blog post with pumpkin carving TV show listing times.

I hope that these movie and cartoon themed pumpkins give you some ideas for making your own fabulous pumpkin carvings.

Learn to carve like a pro

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  1. How to Make Carved Pumpkin Lanterns | Fruit & Vegetable Carving Blog - October 18, 2011

    […] recently posted an article about carved pumpkin lanterns for celebrating Halloween. In it, I show a bunch of carved pumpkins with movie and cartoon themes. […]

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