This easy pumpkin carving idea combines my love for fall and vinyl. Enjoy these free Halloween SVG files while you create your own version of these pumpkins.
Two weeks ago, my youngest mentioned that he wanted to carve a pumpkin this year. I have to admit that my mind was not on Halloween at the time. I was working on a luminary project for the blog. It did give me an a-ha moment though. I wondered if I could come up with a way to carve a pumpkin and add a Halloween SVG design to the front of it.
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I’ve seen a lot of tutorials for adding vinyl to a pumpkin, but most of them were faux pumpkins. As it turns out, you can add permanent vinyl to a real pumpkin. After some trial and error, I finally came up with a solution to use LED lights to shine through the design. The problem was, I didn’t know if there was a semi-transparent vinyl available to let the light shine through it. After some searching, I found just what I was looking for. It’s a frosted vinyl topped with black matte permanent vinyl.
I absolutely love the way these carved pumpkins and Halloween SVG designs turned out. I’ve even tested them to see how they hold up outside in the elements. I’ll answer all of your questions further down. Let me show you how to make these carved pumpkins with vinyl.
Video For Easy Pumpkin Carving Idea
If you find it easier, you can watch this video that walks you through the whole process from downloading the free Halloween SVG files, to using your cutting machines software, transferring and layering vinyl and carving you pumpkin. This tutorial includes instructions for using Cricut Design Space and Silhouette Studio.
How To Use The Free Library To Download The Halloween SVG Files
As a gift to you, I’ve created these Halloween SVG files for you to use on your carved pumpkins. Before we begin our project, I want to show you how to access the free files in the library.
If you haven’t subscribed, you need to enter your first name and email in the top right sidebar of the blog to receive the welcome letter with the password. Then, just click on the Library tab on the top menu bar and enter the password in the empty box at the bottom of the page. Once you are in the library, please watch the video to understand how to download the files to your computer. These files are available as SVG, DXF, EPS, PNG and PDF.
Supplies To Create These Pumpkins
- Real Pumpkin
- Carving Tools
- LED Lights
- Silhouette Cameo or Cricut Maker
- Black Matte Permanent Vinyl
- Cricut Permanent Frosted Premium Vinyl Opaque
- Transfer Paper
- Weeding Tools
- Standard Grip Cutting Mat (For Your Type Of Cutting Machine)
Preparing the Halloween SVG Files in Cricut Design Space
If you haven’t done so already, download the Free Halloween SVG Files from the library. If you aren’t sure how to download the files, you can watch this video to help. Once you have the files saved on your computer, open Cricut Design Space and click on the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the top left corner. Then on the dropdown menu, click new canvas.
Once you have a new canvas open, click on the Upload icon on the left side at the bottom. Then choose upload image. Now choose browse and select the file (Free Halloween SVG File) that you downloaded earlier from the library. If you didn’t choose a location earlier, the file is probably in your downloads folder. Then choose Open. Once you are on the Prepare to Upload page, you can rename the image and add tags if you’d like. Then choose Upload. Now select the file on the left side under Recent Uploads. Then choose Add To Canvas.
Now that the file is on your canvas, left click on it and drag it slightly to the right. Now right click on the files and choose Ungroup. At this point, you want to measure your pumpkin and decide what size you would like the image to be. For my pumpkins, I chose a width and height of 7 inches. If you are going to change the size of your image, be sure to select both the black and yellow layers together. Then resize them together. Also make sure your aspect ratio lock is closed so it resizes uniformly. Once your images are the correct size, click Make It in the top right corner.
Look over your images in the Prepare menu. If everything is correct, click Continue. Now connect your Cricut machine to your software. Under Base Material, choose Matte Vinyl (Permanent). Now load your vinyl onto your cutting mat and load it into your machine. Install the Fine-Point Vlade in Clamp B and press Go on your machine. When it is done cutting unload the mat from your machine.
When you are done cutting the three black vinyl layers, click on the dropdown arrow on the right side of your screen in the Base Material section. Then choose Browse All Materials on the right. In the Search Materials Box type in vinyl and click the search button. Then choose Premium Vinyl – Frosted Opaque and click done. Then load your Cricut Permanent Frosted Opaque Premium Vinyl on your cutting mat and load it into your machine. Make sure your Fine-Point Blade is in Clamp B and then click go on your machine.
Now using a light box or a bright window, weed out the extra vinyl from your designs using your weeding tools.
Preparing the Halloween SVG Files in Silhouette Studio
If you are using the basic edition (unpaid) of Silhouette Studio you will need to download the DXF file from the library. If you are using the Designer or Business Edition of Silhouette Studio, you will download the SVG file from the library.
Open Silhouette Studio on your computer. Then choose File, Open and select the file you downloaded from the library (Free Halloween SVG Files) and click OK. Under Page Setup, select your mat size and your material size. Measure your pumpkin and determine the size you would like for you image to be. For my pumpkins, I chose 7 by 7 inches. If you are going to resize the images, do that before you ungroup them. To resize them, click on the image and a bounding box will appear around them. Then hold down your shift key and drag any of the corners on your bounding box until you image is the size you would like it to be.
At this point, click on the Send menu in the top right corner of the software. Now, turn on and connect your cutting machine to Silhouette Studio. For the black vinyl panels, change your material to Vinyl, Matte. Be sure to use permanent vinyl for this project.
I am using an Autoblade, so my settings automatically adjust in the software and on my machine. Always be sure to do a test cut before you Send your full project to cut. If your test cut weeds nicely, you are good to go. If it doesn’t, adjust your cut settings until it cuts through the vinyl, but still weeds easily. As a point of reference, my machines settings are at blade: 1, Force: 10, Speed: 5. Depending on how sharp your blade is and the material you are using, you may need to adjust these settings. Once your black vinyl panels are cut, unload them from your machine.
Now, remove the black vinyl images from your canvas and drag one of the yellow circles onto the canvas. Go to the send menu. Change your Material to Vinyl, Frosted. Now load your Cricut Permanent Frosted Premium Vinyl – Opaque on your cutting mat and load it into your machine. Do a test cut. If it cuts nicely, click Send. You need to cut the same number of yellow panels as you did for the black vinyl.
Now using a light box or a bright area of your home, weed away the extra vinyl using weeding tools.
How To Transfer and Layer The Vinyl Panels
The extra vinyl has been weeded from the project and we are ready to transfer the image.
Cut a piece of transfer paper to the size of your vinyl image. Peel the backing from the transfer paper. Hold the transfer paper above your project, sticky side down and line it up to your vinyl. Then lower the center of the transfer paper on your black vinyl and finish with the ends. It’s helpful to work from the center out when using transfer paper to reduce air bubbles. Next, use your scraper tool to press the transfer paper to your vinyl and remove any bubbles. I like to flip the paper over and use the scraper tool on the back of the project as well. Peel the backing from your vinyl.
Now place your weeded frosted vinyl on your surface. Hold the transfer paper over the frosted vinyl to line the black image up with the semi-transparent image below. Now, slowly lower the black vinyl/transfer paper over the frosted vinyl layer. Then burnish it with your scraper tool. Now working from one corner, slowly remove the transfer paper. Set the vinyl aside for later.
How To Carve Your Pumpkin and Prepare It For Your Layered Vinyl
Mark a circle on the bottom of your pumpkin. Then using a sharp knife, cut around that circle, holding your knife at an angle. Remove the bottom piece and cut the pulp and seeds from it. Then remove all of the pulp and seeds from the inside of the pumpkin.
Replace the bottom of the pumpkin. Then take a sharpie marker and make a line across the cut area, so there is a line on both the bottom piece of the pumpkin and the main part of the pumpkin. Later when you need to add the bottom piece back in, all you need to do is line up the marks.
Now cut a piece of transfer paper in a circle to match the size of the inside of the circle of your black vinyl design. Then find the best side of your pumpkin and stick the transfer paper circle in the center of the pumpkin. Now trace the circle with a black sharpie marker. Just don’t press to hard with the marker.
Using the circle as your guide, begin to cut a hole in your pumpkin. Start with a smaller hole and work out towards the line. Angle your knife, so you are cutting away at the inside part of the pumpkin. This will leave the skin thinner so you get a more precise cut. Move your pumpkin, so it is in a comfortable position for you to work on it.
Once you are done cutting, wipe the skin of the area around the circle with some rubbing alcohol. This will remove any extra sharpie marker and help your permanent vinyl to stick better. Allow the alcohol to fully dry.
Turn on your LED lights and place them inside the pumpkin to make it easier to line up your vinyl design. Now take your transfer paper that you prepared earlier and line up the inside of the black vinyl design with the edge of the circle on your pumpkin. Once you have it lined up, press the black circle to the pumpkin. Working from the inside of the circle edge to the outside edge. Then remove your transfer paper. Since we are working on a round surface, the outer edge will have some wrinkles. I flattened them with my fingers as best as I could, but you won’t be able to remove all of them.
Now you can step back and enjoy your pumpkins. The LED candles I used are operated with a remote control and they also change color.
I’ve left these pumpkins out in the rain and elements for about 4 days and the vinyl is waterproof and hasn’t pulled away from the pumpkin. I’m still watching them to see what happens as the pumpkin begins to dry out. Also, The inside of the vinyl did begin to pick up some condensation droplets from the moisture inside the pumpkin. However, I didn’t think it effected the overall appearance negatively.
FOLLOW ALONG ON PINTEREST
Do you like budget friendly home decor and seasonal crafts? Follow me on PINTEREST. Did you know that you can hover over any of the images below and save them for later? Just click on the red Pinterest button and save it to your Halloween or Cricut Crafts board. It’s helpful to Pin It now and save it for later, when your ready to start your project.
I hope you enjoyed this easy pumpkin carving idea. Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter to receive these free Halloween SVG files to use on your project. Let me know in the comments how your project turned out.