Friday, October 28, 2011

Black Cat O'Lanterns Tutorial

Finally. A tutorial!

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year.  Mostly because I can get really creative making costumes, decorating the house and carving pumpkins.

I'd been wanting to make these black cat o'lanterns for oh, about 4 or 5 years since I first saw them in Sunset magazine.  I'd been hanging onto the article that I tore out of it ever since.  But what happens every year is that I either run out of time or I don't have all of the supplies by the time Halloween rolls around.  But last year, my creative bones started to grow back, so I decided that year was the year that I was going to make them! 

Here's how I did it. 

    Knife or carving kit
    Stiff felt or paper for ears
    Curved cucumber, zucchinni or skinny gourd for tail
    Mini pumpkins for paws
    Black floral spray
    Wood floral picks (5 or 6 per pumpkin; optional)
    Mallet or hammer for attaching picks to base pumpkin (optional)
    Tea-light candle in flat dish or jar lid

Step 1: Gather some pumpkins.    

Cats come in all shapes and sizes; so do pumpkins, thank goodness, so pick out a few.  Tall, skinny, squat, fat.  I chose some regular pumpkins and some short sugar pumpkins (i.e. Cinderella pumpkins).

Have I mentioned my pumpkin obsession?

Step 2:  Then choose larger and smaller pumpkins for the body and head shapes.  I used zucchinni for the tails, and those tiny pumpkins for the paws. 

Step 3:  Now it's time to gut those pumpkin heads.  No need to hollow out the large body pumpkin; the candle sits inside the head.  And don't you dare throw out those seeds!    

Step 4: Take the "head" pumpkins, flip them over and carve out some curved slits for the ears. The underside of the head pumpkins will be the top of the cat's head.

Step 5: Cut out the ears from stiff felt.  You can find sheets of felt at the craft store.

Step 6: Print out the eye templates (see step 2 in link above), tape to pumpkins and poke along the lines for cutting guidelines. 

Step 7: Spread out some newspaper, and stuff some of it into the heads to keep the spray paint from getting inside, so that the eyes will glow orange when lit! 

Step 8: Using floral spray paint, spray your veggies! 

Step 8: Once dry, rearrange the pumpkins to look like cats.  Add the ears.

Yes, they are sharing a paw.  They are Siamese, you know.

Step 9: Once it's dark, light them up!  

Step 10: Then turn out all the lights!  

Here kitty, kitty! 
Step 11: Enjoy the awesome comments from, friends, family, neighbors and tricker-treaters alike. 

I would love to hear about your best pumpkin carving adventures!  Please include links in your comments if you have them.   


Samantha said...

OH MY GOSH! This is so super cool! I just love it! Thanks for sharing. So cute!!!

Jaimie said...

That is so adorable and creative!

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