How to engrave video game characters in your Jack-o’-Lanterns

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We have made the usual triangular eyed, toothy smiley pumpkin lanterns in my house many times. We carved pumpkins, we painted pumpkins, we even did it a year ago for some reason:

Weird but easy to assemble.

Weird but easy to assemble.
Photo: Meghan Moravcik Walbert

We’re up for a new challenge, so this year we’re letting my son’s passions be our guide in deciding what to sculpt: we’re taking our inspiration from video games.

The idea started when I came across this Instructables guide to create a Minecraft pumpkin lantern. The post does not include a printable version of the template, but the instructions are simple enough that you can create one yourself. (Or you can download and print this liana and follow its instructions.)

Important Minecraft Jack-o’-Lantern Note: To create an authentic Minecraft look, Instructables Writer, Dammo3, says it’s essential to keep the edges crisp. Rounded corners ruin the pixel effect.

My son loves Minecraft, but he likes Pokémon and Mario a lot more right now, so my quest for other video game-inspired Halloween pumpkin designs continued. Pile of pumpkin offers a few dozen video game pumpkin carving models, mostly from Minecraft, Angry Birds, and Mario, but also a few other options including Pac-Man, Fortnite, and Sonic. Here are a few particularly good ones:

There are also 12 impressive Star Wars models here (dark Vador and Yoda are classic choices). And I know that emojis does not exactly fit into the genre of video games, but a poo emoji sculpture will be a children’s favorite every time. (Right click and “Save As” or drag to your desktop to save and print.)

If you’re new to sculpting – or, like me, you’re just not particularly good at – Pumpkin Pile has detailed instructions with a pin technique that I have never heard of and that I will try this year.


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