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Little known fact: because Phillip and I celebrate our dating anniversary in October, one of our anniversary traditions has always been carving pumpkins. Every year we pick out our pumpkins, decide on our carving tools of choice, turn on Hocus Pocus and go to town. But then last year we spiced it up and tried our hands at drilling pumpkins and it completely changed our pumpkin carving game! So if you’re looking for a fun new fall tradition, I think it’s time you try pumpkin carving with a drill.
While using a drill may sound intimidating, it’s actually a whole lot easier (and fun!) to decorate your pumpkin with a drill rather than trying to carve it out. Mostly because the drill does all of the hard work for you! No more sawing away hoping you don’t botch anything up on your design. With a drill, all you have to do is decide on what kind of pattern you want and let the drill do the rest of the work.
What you’ll need:
- Drill with various sized drill bits
Before you do anything, make sure you have a safe working area. Drilling pumpkins is a fun project, but it’s also messy. So do yourself a favor and protect your workspace.
Alright, let’s do this…
In my opinion, prepping your pumpkin is the most tedious part. But we have to do it. So start by using your knife to carve a circle around the stump of your pumpkin. Once your circle is complete, remove the stump and use your spoon to scrape out the inside of the pumpkin. It’s messy but it’s also part of the fun. Make sure to save your seeds if you like making pumpkin seeds for a fall treat.
Now that your pumpkin is completely gutted, you’ll want to choose your drill bit for your drill. The type and size of the drill bit will determine the size of your hole on the pumpkin.
Quick PSA from the carpenter husband:
What you need to know about the drilling bits…
Regular drill bits: sizes vary from a pinhole to around ½ in.
Boring drill bits: larger sizes from ½ in up to 1 ½ in.
Forstner drill bits: these bits are made for drilling shallow flat bottom holes and would be a great option if you didn’t want to penetrate completely through the pumpkin skin, but instead leave a thin layer for light to still shine through but at a lighter intensity than the completely drilled out holes. Also, these bits can be used to drill all the way through to create holes up to 2 in.
Hole saw: this is the big daddy of drill bits. It will create the largest of holes but it also makes the biggest of messes. Be advised that if you’re trying to be meticulous with your pattern this bit works by taking out chunks and may be harder to detail.
Now it’s time to drill whatever pattern your little heart desires. Make sure to hold your pumpkin securely when starting the drill. If you want to change up the size of your holes on the pumpkin all you need to do is change the drill bit accordingly.
For our pattern, we found we had the most control with these bits using varying sizes. They created the cleanest hole and allowed for the easiest control. But experiment and see what works best for you.
Once you’ve drilled out your pattern you’re all set. If you have any stringy pieces hanging in the back of the cutouts you can wipe the hole with a paper towel and usually does the trick. Then it’s time to sit back, relax, light your tea light candle and see how your hard work paid off.
See what I mean?! Not nearly as intimidating as it may sound and so easy it’s perfect for someone like me who loves decorating pumpkins but wimps out the second my hand starts to cramp up from holding a carving knife for more than 5 minutes.
Or maybe that’s just me…
But anyways, what’s your favorite way to decorate a pumpkin?! Have you ever tried using a drill to carve a pumpkin? How was it? Let’s chat in the comments below!