How-To: Etched Pumpkins & Gourds
This year at Styer’s annual Autumn Bounty Festival, terrain employees took part in a company-wide pumpkin carving contest. The competition was fierce, but it was Megan M., our production specialist, who took home the top prize for her etched design, pictured above. In fact, Megan’s first place pumpkin isn’t a pumpkin at all – it’s a gourd! Megan says, “I chose to carve a gourd because the flesh tends to be tougher, and it had the perfect, smooth surface I was looking for.”
Want to get the look? Megan used woodworker's tools and a chisel to carve away a thin layer of the gourd’s skin and create a white background surrounding her design. She etched the butterflies free-hand, as the skin on her gourd was very dark, but choosing one with a lighter skin tone would allow you to draw or stencil your design before you start carving. Or, if your heart is set on a darker variety that will truly pop, you can cut a stencil out of wax paper and tape it to the surface of the gourd or pumpkin as an easy alternative to drawing directly on the skin. Megan admits that it took some patience to create her masterpiece, but we think it was worth the effort. We'd also try out her technique on smooth-skinned pumpkins in unusual hues like red and blue.