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Carve a Fun Faux Pumpkin

Here’s a no-mess alternative to disposable real pumpkins with their icky innards. Carve designs in these pumpkin look-alikes and display them year after year.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Dremel rotary tool
  • Engraving bit
  • Multipurpose cutting bit
  • Aluminum oxide grinding bit
  • Painter’s tape
  • Tweezers


  • 9-in white faux pumpkin
  • 9-in orange faux pumpkin
  • LED candle

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Step 1

Pattern taped to pumpkin.

Download and print the carving pattern of your choice. Make two copies -- one to use as a pattern and another for reference while you cut. Then trim the paper to within 1 inch of the design. Use painter’s tape to attach the pattern to the pumpkin.

Good to Know

Cutting away the surplus paper makes the design easier to wrap tight against the curved side of the pumpkin.

Step 2

Scoring pumpkin surface.

Unplug the rotary tool and insert a fine-tip engraving bit. Plug in the tool and turn it to a low setting. As you press the paper tight against the pumpkin, cut through the paper to lightly score the pumpkin surface. After you trace the entire design, remove the pattern. If bits of the paper become lodged in the pumpkin, remove them with tweezers before continuing.

Good to Know

Another way to transfer a design before using a Dremel rotary tool to carve the design is to pass the point of a pin through the paper around the pattern.

Step 3

Removing the skin on a faux pumpkin.

If you plan to cut away just the surface of the pumpkin, unplug the tool and insert a grinding bit. Set the tool to turn at a medium speed and grind away only the surface inside the waste areas of the pattern. Cut just deep enough to remove the surface layer.

Step 4

Etched faux pumpkin with an owl pattern.

Continue grinding away the waste areas between the score marks until you complete the design, in this case the owl from the patterns provided. Smooth any rough areas with a grinding bit as needed.

Step 5

Carved pumpkin with a flower design.

If you plan to cut completely through the pumpkin, unplug the tool and install a multipurpose cutting bit. Leave at least 5/8 inch of the bit exposed. With the tool set to a medium speed and the bit perpendicular to the pumpkin surface, follow the score lines to cut through the entire thickness. Continue cutting until the waste material comes free. You may need cutting tools of different diameters for fine details.

Good to Know

Always cut on the waste side of the score marks to keep any cutting errors from showing.

Step 6

Unplug the tool and insert the grinding bit. Working at medium speed, smooth any frayed edges left by the cutting tool.

Step 7

Cut out the pumpkin bottom.

On the bottom of the pumpkin, cut a hole large enough to insert the LED candle of your choice. Vacuum and wipe away the carving dust.

Good to Know

Never use any candle with an open flame inside any faux pumpkin.

Step 8

Carving a faux pumpkin lets you update and reuse it indoors or out each year. --Lowe’s Creative Ideas

Insert an LED candle in the base and display your completed pumpkin. Because these use battery-powered candles, they’re safe to light indoors.