Sunday, August 23, 2015

How to Scar Pumpkins

Welcome to the pumpkin patch!

Some of my gourds and pumpkins are ready to etch, or scar.
I love the look of a sweet pumpkin with a welcoming word... bumpy and raised on the front.
They make the perfect Fall decoration!

The process is super simple, so I thought I would share my how-to with you.

I searched Pinterest for ideas.
Love that place for inspiration!
After coming up with a few ideas for lettering style and wording, I start to look for pumpkins/ gourds that are almost ready.
You don't want to start with a really small pumpkin because as it grows, the lettering will grow a little with it.

Find a pumpkin that is almost full size. 
It is totally OK if it is still green.
Scarring time needs to be about 4 weeks, so late August is a great time to start this project.

I have 2 tools that I use: a pen or fine marker, and a very tiny {1/4 inch} flat head screw driver.
That's it!

Using your ball point pen, or fine marker, draw out your design onto the best face of the pumpkin.
Be sure to leave it on the vine.
It is crucial that the pumpkin is still maturing.

This Blue Hubbard squash has very tender skin, so the ball point pen makes more of an indentation.
It is easier to write on harder shelled  pumpkins.

Using your little screw driver, trace over the lines.
Make sure that you are taking off a layer of rind. The deeper you go, the more raised the scarring will be.
I like to make my indentation about 1/4 inch. 

It gets a little messy, and you will need to wipe the surface clean, clean pulp off the screw driver and then continue on.

Make sure that you have exposed the flesh of the gourd.
Sometimes this means going over a line a few times to get a clean cut,

If you want really heavy scarring, just etch a little deeper.
I can "eye-ball" the drawing, but if you need a template, you can just print the lettering into paper.
Place the paper on the pumpkin and press over the wording lines onto the pumpkin for a rough pattern.

In about 4 weeks you will have a beautiful gourd to display for Fall!

What are you doing to prepare for the next season ahead?



Ellen Walton said...

Hi Julia,
They look wonderful. I might just need to try this. My pumpkins are doing well and I am blessed.
Thank you for the idea and the example.

Unknown said...

Love the fonts you chose! What an awesome creation for my favorite season! :)

connie said...

This is awesome information... Thanks Julia for sharing... Now if I only had a pumpkin patch ;)..... Someday, someday... please show results when your's is off the vine... so excited to see outcome... Fall is coming...

Julia said...

I will add a few pictures as they finish growing, Connie!


Kaitlin@Homemaker Design said...

This is the COOLEST thing EVER!!!! I've never seen this before!! I'm extra sad now that I didn't plant pumpkins this year! :(

Gumbo Lily said...

Julia! I was just looking at my pumpkins today and thinking about "writing on them" like you did. I'm so glad I didn't have to go far to find the perfect tutorial here!!!
Thank you.

I'm planting a little more lettuce and some kale in anticipation of a long fall for a few more garden greens. Also splitting up iris. I'm planning to dump my raised beds and till the dirt under for a "ground garden" next year, but first I must get the harvesting done. I might not be able to do it all at once.

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

Oh Julia - this is simply gorgeous. I've done this sort of thing on Funkins (fake pumpkins) and I love doing this.. but, have never thought to do on a real pumpkin or gourd. Of course, I don't have any to do it on either... but, how clever!??!

Thanks for sharing this...

Your handwriting is beautiful!!!

Carol Blanchet said...

Oh, I've always wondered how you did that. I'm going to give it a try. :-)
Thanks so much for your super helpful tutorial.

Simply At Home said...

Hello Julia, I was thinking about you the other day...wondering how you have been.
I love this has your flower cart been doing? Are you effected by the fires?

Take Care Teresa

Julia said...

Hi Teresa!

Thank you for your comment. My flower stand is doing well! It has been a fun venture for the kids and I this summer. We will be selling pumpkins this fall! It is very smokey here in Ellensburg, but the fires are to the north of us. We are not in danger....but so thankful for our firefighters who are risking their lives to keep the fires from spreading.

Hope you are doing well!


Carol smithback said...

I was very happy to stumble upon your blog today and extremely surprised to see one of my own pumpkins pictured from Heather Bullard's site! Isn't a miracle to witness those pumpkins come to life. Hope you have a great crop this year!

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