Looking for some kid friendly ways to make easy pumpkin carvings? Here’s what I did this year with my granddaughter.
My 8 year old granddaughter was coming over after school to carve pumpkins. In the morning, I experimented with a few ideas. I wanted to be prepared with ideas for pumpkin carvings easy enough for her to do without having to use sharp knives. I also wanted it to be fast enough to make. Kids aren’t known for having long attention spans. Right?
Using a melon baller would be easy for her to do. So I came up with a couple of ideas. Here’s a flower pattern made with a mini-melon baller. No knives needed.
I first roughly drew the shape of 6 flower petals with red dry erase marker that I could easily run off when done. See the free video I made showing the advantages of using dry erase marker for drawing patterns on your pumpkins. Then I used the melon baller around each petal. Using the melons baller, I scooped out each ball, then turned the ball and put it back the the hole so that the inside shows on the outside. You end up with a contrasting color ball.
Between the melon balls and in the center of each petal, I added some smaller circles made with the smallest u-cutter in the Smooth U-V tool set. Then I added some smaller dots that went all the way thought the pumpkins so that they would light up when lit from inside. Here’s how it looks like from outside and from within. Just wait 2 seconds and the photo should change.
In this next photo, I used the same melon ball idea to make a pumpkin with my granddaughter’s name. This took less than 15 minutes for me to make. Ella ooohed when she saw it later that afternoon.
Then I experimented with something that some would consider cheating. But really, if the goal is to come up with some quick, relatively easy, pumpkin decorations, there are no rules to “cheat”. Are there?
I printed a black and white image of this “Day of the Dead” skull onto Pattern Transfer Paper and transferred it to the pumpkin. Then I carved out only the flowers in the eyes, the nose and the teeth. I left the rest of the black art of the Pattern Transfer Paper in place.
Here’s how it looked when lit from the inside.
The eyes and flowers were not something simple enough for an 8 year old. But, I wanted to experiment with the idea of a partially carved pumpkin. An easier pattern would be easy enough for a child.
When my granddaughter got to my house, she oohed over the pumpkins I had made. I asked her which type she wanted to make. What did she want? She wanted to carve with a knife like me. As soon as she said that, I remembered that last year she wanted to carve with a knife rather than a pumpkin saw. I told her that I would show her how next year. This was next year. I had forgotten.
Sooo, we picked an easy bat pattern, printed it on Pattern Transfer Fabric, and I proceeded to teach her how carve with a knife… like Grandma.
Ella did surprisingly well. She was patient, listened well, and handled the knife carefully. With my full supervision, she carved most of the outlines herself, except the tiny details of the bats ears and the wing tips. She removed about 3/4 of the light areas of the moon. She smoothed out some of the moon. When we were about clsoe to being done, she wanted me to finish it up. This is how it turned out. Ella was proud of how well she did and was happy to take it home.
I don’t recommend that you do this type of carving with an 8 year old. But, despite my plans to make pumpkin carvings easy enough for Ella, this is what we ended up doing. What’s that saying about best laid plans…? (Something like, “the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray”.) We had fun anyway.
It’s always a pleasure to spend time with grandkids. Ella and I manage to have fun no matter what we do. I just wish she wouldn’t grow up so fast.
Planning Pumpkin Carvings Easy Enough for your grandkids and/or kids
You know the patience level and attention span of your grandchildren and/or children. If you are going to make pumpkin carvings easy enough for them, I recommend that you keep that in mind when planning what you’ll carve. Then be ready for changes. ; ) You’ll be making fond memories together.
It certainly helps to have the right tools on hand. the ring that I use to hold the pumpkin steady made it safer and easier for Ella to carve. The pattern transfer fabric made the pattern easy to follow. You can learn more about the ring in one of my 6 quick pumpkin carving tips videos . You can see how the Pattern Transfer Fabric works here. You can get all the tools mentioned on this page in our online shop.