Fall has taken over my life. Seriously! Yesterday, I got the ping to carve a pumpkin. So, I decided to make a Harry Potter Jack-O-Lantern.
I used to carve pumpkins with my mom every year.
We would sit together in the kitchen, candles lit, and the entire table covered with old newspapers. Two big pumpkins on top, several carving tools and sometimes even a stencil of what we wanted to carve.
Since I’ve moved away and in with my boyfriend, we rarely find the time for craft nights like that anymore. I also began to deny myself doing things that were not supporting the growth of my company. With the result that I got seriously depressed.
No matter how much you like what you do for work, you always need a little time for yourself to recharge. And this rings especially true for creatives. I now realize that I work way more efficient when I make time for things that delight my heart.
So I made my way to the next grocery store and bought a big pumpkin. As always, I got my inspiration for the carving off Pinterest. I knew I didn’t want to do the usual faces but also had no real idea what to do instead.
As a young teenager, I was the biggest Harry Potter fan. Always fascinated by witches, vampires, and all things supernatural, the story was right up my ally. During my search, I came across an owl carving that immediately reminded me on Hedwig. I also found the pattern for some fall leaves over on Good Housekeeping. Now I knew what I wanted to do for my Jack-O’-Lantern design.
Step-by-step to the perfect pumpkin face
First, I searched the internet for a good owl sketch I could use as a stencil. Then I printed both the owl and the fall leaves and cut out the areas I later wanted to carve. Secondly, I pinned the stencils on the pumpkin with pins. I didn’t have the carving tools my mom and I used, so I helped myself with a small kitchen knife.
When my boyfriend came home, he gave me his cutter, which made everything a little bit easier. Getting the owl to actually look good and be identifiable took some creativity (having some Cinnamon Pumpkin Streusel Cake may also have helped with the creative juices). In the end, I decided to crave some parts. The result was way better than I expected!
I had so much fun with it that I continued my work after yoga class and didn’t stop until 11 pm. Very unusual for me. Normally, I’m always looking forward to some kind of trash TV and a hot tea in my hands. Not so this time. When I was done, I wasn’t even tired yet. It showed me once again, that energy can be inexhaustible when you are doing what lights you up!
I wanted to put the finished Jack-O’-Lantern in front of our apartment door in the hallways where it’s a little cooler but decided to leave it inside overnight to finish everything up tomorrow. I was a little concerned about it being too warm for the pumpkin but thought that one night would do no harm. Wrong! When I woke up in the morning, a little part had already started to mold.
HOw to preserve a carved pumpkin
I googled how to preserve a carved pumpkin as I only remembered Vaseline but thought there would be another trick as I didn’t have Vaseline at home. Almost every website talked about a special pumpkin spray which I never heard of. Maybe it’s only available in the States.
I decided to rub the pumpkin in a vinegar-lemon-juice-water-mixture and then seal it with some leather wax (they suggested bee wax but that was all I had).
Let’s see how long it will last. I hope at least until Halloween. If not, it will give me an excuse to do it again. Which I will probably do anyways, now that I discovered how much fun it is.
My lesson for you today: do more of what makes you happy and all that you desire will come. And if not, you at least spend your time on earth doing something joyful.
I’m excited to see your Jack-O’-Lantern creations. Download your owl stencil here. Make sure to tag me in your stories @madeleinestanev