Pumpkin carving is a favorite Halloween tradition that children will want to participate in from an early age. Thomas the Train is a perfect beginner pumpkin because it does not have a lot of details and is made up mainly of straight lines. Add a sparkle to your Thomas the Train pumpkin by illuminating it with a votive candle.
Things You'll Need
- Knife and spoon or a pumpkin carving kit
- Thomas the Train picture printed on a piece of paper
- Paper (any kind)
- Potato peeler
- Votive candle
- Barbecue lighter or matches
Start by laying down the newspaper on the floor or table where you will carve the pumpkin. Carving is a messy process and newspaper will expedite the cleanup. Place your pumpkin in the middle of the newspaper. Holding your knife at an angle, cut around the top stem of the pumpkin. This "lid" should be big enough so that you can fit your hand into the pumpkin comfortably. The angle of the knife must create a lid that has a bigger outside orange skin and a smaller inside fleshy skin. This will prevent the lid from falling into the pumpkin. Remove the lid and use the spoon to clean the pumpkin pulp from the bottom.
Use your hands or the spoon to remove the seeds and pulp from inside the pumpkin. Lay the pumpkin innards on the newspaper. When you have cleaned it out, choose a side to carve your Thomas the Train. Use the spoon to scrape the inside of the wall on the side that will be carved until it is about 2 inches thick. Thin walls are easier to carve.
Print out the Thomas the Train picture on a piece of paper. Download one from a website like www.dltk-kids.com or use one from a coloring book. Cut away unnecessary paper and tape the picture to the side of the pumpkin. Use the knife tip to make small holes in the pumpkin along the outlines of your Thomas the Train picture. Remove the picture when you are done.
Rub flour into the surface of the pumpkin so that it gets stuck in the small holes. This will help you to see where to cut. Cut along each side of the floured holes. Make the lines thicker for the outline of the engine, and thinner for Thomas' eyes, nose and mouth. It is difficult to cut round shapes into the pumpkin so use lots of small straight lines when going around Thomas' eyes and the round circles at the top and bottom of the engine.
Dig out the pumpkin between the cut lines. Dig all the way through the pumpkin skin or just remove the orange outer layer of skin. Removing only the outer layer is easier for novice carvers and it also gives the pumpkin a softer glow when it is illuminated by the votive candle. Once all the lines are carved, your pumpkin is ready for display.
Place the votive candle into the cavity of the pumpkin and light it using a barbecue lighter; or light it through the design to avoid burning your hand if you prefer to use matches.
Tips & Warnings
- Clean the seeds, roast them and season for a healthy snack.
- Use glow sticks or battery-operated pumpkin lights if you don't want to use candles.
- Always supervise children when they are using a knife or a potato peeler.
- Do not leave lit candles unattended.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images