How to Carve a Crab into a Pumpkin

By Michelle Hogan

Carving a pumpkin is a way to show your creative side during the fall season -- whether it's for Halloween or just for fun. Although carving an intricate design, such as a crab, can require a little more attention and time than a traditional jack-o'-lantern, it can be rewarding, too. When working on a design like a crab, remember that the pattern has to be transferred, so making it intricate may not be the best way to accomplish the task. Instead, make a bold crab that is easily recognizable, but still has the traits you envision.

List of Items Needed

  • Pumpkin
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Marker
  • Serrated knife or cutting tool with pumpkin-carving attachment
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Pushpins or tape
  • Ice pick
  1. Choose a pumpkin that is short and wide. The pumpkin should have a smooth surface to help in transferring the pattern.

  2. Make or find a crab pattern that you like. Sketch it out with a pencil and paper first. You do not need to make an intricate replica of a crab; a simple oval shape with legs coming out and eyes and antennae will suffice. Once you have sketched it out, go over the sketch with a darker marker so that it's easy to follow. Alternatively, you can find a picture of a crab online, enlarge it, change it to black and white and use it as a pattern.

  3. Cut out the top or bottom of the pumpkin and scoop out the stringy inside and seeds using a flat-edged ice cream scoop, a pumpkin scoop or a large metal spoon.

  4. Scrape the wall of the pumpkin in the area you plan to carve. Scrape from the inside using the scoop. Try to get the thickness of the pumpkin in this area to between 1/2 and 1 inch thick.

  5. Pin the pattern to the pumpkin using thumbtacks or attach it with tape. Arrange the picture so that it is turned and placed the way you want it to appear.

  6. Use a pushpin, ice pick or pumpkin poking tool to push through the pattern at 1/8-inch intervals and smaller in more detailed places. You are making the design in the pumpkin in pinpoints.

  7. Take the pattern off the pumpkin.

  8. Select a point in the pattern from which to start, usually somewhere in the middle, which will be the body of the crab. With a crab pattern, it may be easier to carve it if you cut the body out separately from the legs, rather than trying to have the legs attached to the body, but this is a matter of personal preference.

  9. Use a serrated knife or powered cutting tool with a pumpkin-carving attachment to slice gently through the pumpkin from dot to dot. Start with small pieces and push pieces out with your finger as you go.

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