DIYdiy projectsHalloweenholidays

diy project: janice’s illustrated + carved pumpkins

by Kate Pruitt

A lifelong crafter, I have always loved Halloween. However, as I grow older, I find myself conflicted about how much enthusiasm I can display for this kid-centric holiday. Is it weird to dress up and walk around your neighborhood at 28? The answer is yes. This year, I gave in a little and decided to host a pumpkin-carving party for my friends. I provided hot cider and donuts as an incentive. Giving in to our inner ten-year-olds turned out to be incredibly fun. I highly recommend it!

Whether you have parties to attend, trick-or-treaters to feed, kids to outfit or not, I hope you’ll pick up a pumpkin and try out these lovely carved designs from Janice Nadeau. Her designs are sophisticated and lovely, and they look great in the day and spectacular at night. While the intricacy may seem intimidating, Janice’s instructions are very straightforward and she’s even included the templates for us, making the project easy as pie. Thank you for sharing Janice, and Happy Halloween everyone! — Kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

I participated in my first pumpkin-carving contest at the very beginning of my career as an illustrator. My work integrates a strong interest for illustration and pattern, and the carving projects I’ve done since then fully reflect this passion. With my latest pumpkin, I created patterns inspired by nature, and tried to evoke the magical effect often seen in the way light is softly diffused by lanterns.Janice Nadeau



1. Using a knife, cut a hole at the bottom of the pumpkin big enough to allow you to scoop out the seeds and pulp. Smooth down the inner walls of the pumpkin.

2. Choose the pattern you would like to carve out, print it and tape it on the pumpkin. Since pumpkins vary in size and shape, you may have to enlarge or reduce the size of your pattern to fit the pumpkin.

3. Using a nail, trace the pattern on the pumpkin by punching holes along the lines so your pattern is printed directly onto the pumpkin once you remove the paper.

4. With the linoleum cutter, draw your pattern by linking all the dots made with the nail. Do not carve completely through the pumpkin meat.

5. Following the outline just cut, remove the outer layer of the pumpkin while remaining inside the pattern’s lines. Do not carve completely through the pumpkin; leave a portion of the meat to give a frosted glow to your pumpkin once it is lit.

6. Drill holes wherever you want the light to shine through.

7. Place a tea light inside. If you did not carve through the skin of the pumpkin at any point, it is necessary to cut a hole at the back of the pumpkin for safety and ventilation.

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