I like pumpkin carving but I know it’s not everybody’s fall crafty jam. I completely agree that pumpkin guts are NASTY but homemade pumpkin seeds are oh, so good! Just thinking about the strings and goop stuck onto my arms all itchy like drives me nuts. Yuck.
In recent years I’ve started to carve funkin fakes instead of real pumpkins. My hard work lasts forever and I don’t get an itchy rash to deal with the entire next day. Ooh, and I don’t have to clean that weird goop off of my porch from where the pumpkins started to suddenly and inexplicably rot in a way totally hidden behind and beneath the thing. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. But somehow that business gets so incredibly disgusting so fast. One day it’s great! They next day you’re chucking the thing while gagging. Another upvote for fake pumpkins, huzzah!
I must admit I typically buy up my fake pumpkins without any idea of what I’m going to do with them. This year, this pumpkin, however had a very specific reason for being tossed into my cart… it was going to be turned into a light for my living room table. Boom!
Now, this project isn’t perfect and that’s largely because you can see the ribs inside of the fake pumpkin from how it is manufactured. Womp. Womp. BUT it is far more noticeable in photographs than in real life, I think, so I’ve still got that thing a’ goin’ on my table like nobody’s business. Now, as it goes with anything that gets hot, like light-bulbs, please don’t use this sucker unattended.
For this project you will need:
- Electric drill + bits
- Craft knife
- Fake pumpkin (or real if you please)
- Candelabra lamp kit (if you craft a lot buying 6 makes them around $3 apiece at current prices on Amazon, which are subject to change)
- Low wattage candelabra bulb
- Masking tape
Now I have a theory on all things DIY and symmetry… if you try to make things perfectly symmetrical your business is going to look wonky and handmade ugly the vast majority of the time. THAT is why when I’m feeling less than a total perfectionist I go for purposeful asymmetry.
Whether you decide to try for a pattern or if you just wanna go nuts, get after that pumpkin with your drill and either one or several different sized bits. I wanted pinholes of light so I went with a small-ish bit, kept to that one size and, again, followed no particular rhyme or reason.
We’ll need to make a hole in the bottom to insert our candelabra lighting kit. Since you already have your drill out anyway I’d suggest starting the hole using a bit that is large enough to get you going, but smaller than the actual socket part of the light kit.
Create your pilot hole.
And insert your light and trace around it with a pen or marker.
Use an x-acto or craft knife to help cut that shape out so that your socket fits inside. Add your lightbulb and push into the bottom, keeping the clips within the foam outer part of the pumpkin. You want the pumpkin to sit flush on the table so it can’t stick out like crazy, but push it all of the way in and you can’t control whether or not the light is within the pumpkin or resting on the foam (I think near but not on the foam is a better call safety-wise!)
To keep my cord running through the back of the pumpkin, which is now a lamp, I used a small piece of duct tape to help it stay the course.
Now this guy puts out a good deal of light. It isn’t enough to read by but it is definitely an awesome little lamp that is stronger than a typical nightlight. Its definitely fabulous mood lighting :) All in all I got my pumpkin for 60% off ($12) and my light kit at the hardware store where it was more expensive than online ($6). For less than $20 I’m totally digging my new mood lighting that works for Fall in general, Thanksgiving and Halloween and will last forever so I can use it year after year. Not bad, not bad at all!