I love Halloween! It seems to be tailor made for geekery. No other holiday celebrates make-believe nor grants the all-out permission to be whatever or whomever we desire quite the way Halloween does. That said, posting anything at all “Halloween” seems pretty geeky already. But I couldn’t resist upping the geek ante by trying my hand at these Marvel pumpkins. This is my very first attempt at using stencils to carve pumpkins, so I thought I’d also give you the blow-by-blow on stencil carving, including all the tears, all the frustrations, and all the triumphs. (Just kidding about the tears, but the delicate lines of the Avengers “A” did give me plenty of frustrations…) So here we go:
Naturally, the first step is to pick a pumpkin and a stencil you’d like to attempt. This Avengers stencil came from CartoonJr.com.
Grab a REALLY BIG knife (ha ha – now you’re getting in the Halloween spirit!), and cut off the top of your pumpkin. (You could also cut off the bottom, and then merely place the finished, carved pumpkin over your candle/light source, but I prefer to cut off the top the old fashioned way.)
Then, proceed to scoop out the guts. It’s a messy job, but somebody’s gotta do it… (Don’t forget to save the seeds for roasting – my favorite part of pumpkin carving. Yumm!)
Cut your stencil into a vague approximation of a circle. (This doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you trim off the excess paper, it’ll give you a better idea of your design placement.) Then tape your stencil to your pumpkin.
Now, “trace” along your stencil by using a push pin to poke little dots all around the edges of your design.
Once you’re finished tracing your design, remove the paper.
Next, use a pumpkin carving tool to cut out your design. (You want to cut out the shaded parts of the stencil.)
Tip #1: If you’ve got some tiny pieces hanging onto your pumpkin by a mere thread (as are around the arrow part of the A), it’s best to work from the outside of the design toward the inside. If you instead work from the center out, you’ll have a lot of wiggling going on with those delicate pieces and they might break off. (Yep, this actually happened to me…) Which brings me to…
Tip #2: Toothpicks are our friends! If you end up with pieces that do break off, not to despair. Grab some toothpicks, and “pin” those babies back in. Your design with still turn out wonderful and no one will notice. (Yes, this did indeed also happen to me.)
VERY gently wiggle out your cut pieces, and – voila! – you have a finished pumpkin!
Here are my pumpkins sitting on the front porch:
And the view at night:
To round out my Avengers theme, I also did a Captain America pumpkin and a S.H.I.E.L.D. pumpkin. The Captain America stencil came from PumpkinPile.com and the S.H.I.E.L.D. stencil is from PinkRaygun.com. Be sure to check out all three of these sites, as they all have some awesome geeky stencils to choose from. You are sure to be able to find just the thing to suit your geek fancy!
P.S. Check out our Pinterest Halloween board for even more geeky Halloween ideas!