Easy DIY Solar Jack-O-Lantern
Every year I go nuts and carve a ton of pumpkins. One year my sister and I carved ALL NIGHT LONG to have a bazillion as decor for my nephew’s birthday. I remember loading up every space of the car with fresh pumpkins that had gone on clearance at Walmart. I looked like a crazy person driving down there with them shoved up against the hatch of the car and the passenger windows in the back seat.
That little situation gave me blisters and a nasty pumpkin innards rash on my forearms. I wouldn’t change a thing about it though. It was so much fun and so awesome to see all of our creations lit up!
Today I’m going to show you how to make a solar jack-o-lantern out of a fake Funkin style pumpkin that will last forever and you won’t have to worry about lighting every night. I love mine and get so excited when I pull up into the driveway and see that it’s glowing bright on the porch without any effort from me!
For this project you will need:
- Fake pumpkin
- Pumpkin carving pattern
- Hot knife (doubles as a wood burner so you can get lots of use out of it)
- Inexpensive outdoor solar light stake
First you’ll need to carve your pumpkin. I found this fab Cat Got Your Tongue? pumpkin pattern at Zombie Pumpkins. It’s my go to site for awesome patterns every year. There is a small fee to download patterns but it’s super inexpensive and there are different tiers depending on just how many you want to print out.
Carve your pumpkin as you normally would. I applied my stencil with a repositionable spray adhesive and used a safety pin to make the marks through to the pumpkin. A hot knife made quick work of the cuts and soon I was ready to keep on a goin’.
Need help with getting your pattern onto the pumpkin? Check out this old post on using Stick N Carve sheets for pumpkin carving. Need help with the hot knife? Check out this quick project to get the basics on how to carve a foam pumpkin with a hot knife.
In the lawn and garden section of Walmart you can snag up $0.97 solar light stakes that you stick in the ground. They aren’t super powerful but they do a pretty good job lighting up a small amount of space.
Trace the shape of the top onto the back of your pumpkin, up high near the stem.
Remove the top portion of the solar light and pull the tab. Be sure to flip an on switch if necessary.
Using your traced shape carve just inside of that line with your hot knife.
Push the solar light into the back with the light pointing inward. You want your opening to be a tight fit so that the light stays put and doesn’t fall into the pumpkin. Take care not to remove it too many times. I had a kiddo keep messing with this one and it’s constantly falling inside the pumpkin now!
This project was super simple and crazy inexpensive of a hack. I mean, I’ve spent more on little battery operated disco lights and then had to pay to replace the batteries before Halloween even happened! And if you’re already done with Halloween decorating be sure to pin this idea and snag some carve-able foam pumpkins on clearance so you’ll be all set for next year!