photo courtesy of marthstewart.com
My most memorable Halloween was a party a few years ago. When I arrived, I saw a group of pumpkins placed on the walkway to greet guests, all with faces of friends carved on them. To see my face on a carved pumpkin was such a delightful surprise, I will never forget it!
Here are instructions for you to make your own Phot-O-Lantern...
Adjusting the photo
Find a digital photo that is shot straight-on or very close to it. It should show some personality or have a recognizable expression. Use your computer's photo software to adjust for as high of a contrast as possible. You can upload a photo for free on obamicon.com to get a high-contrast photo. Print the photo in black & white on regular paper making the image to about 2/3 the size of the pumpkin.
Preparing the pumpkin
Cut out the top hole and gut the pumpkin. Trim the excess paper from the photo leaving a 1/2 inch border for the tape. Tape the photo smoothly to the pumpkin.
Transferring the photo onto the pumpkin
Using an ice pick (or the transfer tool if you have a carving kit), press the pointed tip through the edges of the contrast lines on the photo, spaced about a 1/8 to a 1/4 of an inch apart. Complex and thin designs might require the dots to be a little closer together. The tip of the pick should be pushed in just enough to go through the paper and the outer skin of the pumpkin, not all the way through the pumpkin.
Take your time. You're making guide lines for sawing. Before removing the photo, look it over carefully to make sure that all the lines have been transferred clearly. Once the photo is removed you'll see the outline marked on the face of the pumpkin via little dots. Save the photo in case you need to refer to it while carving.
Carving out the Transfer
Using a serrated knife (or a carving saw if you have the kit), push the tip of the blade into a template hole and saw through the design lines with short back-and-forth motions. Then, just play connect the dots.
Lighting your pumpkin
Add a tea light or battery powered light in the bottom, or cut a hole in the lower back to add a string of Christmas lights.