DIY / Entertaining / Studio

DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

08.01.15 By //
The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

We are all about Halloween here at Casa de TDC. But, we have a couple of cutie boys who are still rather young. So while this little mama likes a bit of the macabre when decorating for this festive occasion… these boys of mine still need a more toned down version of spooky decor and so I give you my latest idea and the spooky skeleton pumpkin. Spooky yet not spooky, if you know what I mean.

The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

I know these pumpkins might seem difficult or time consuming, but with one super helpful tool, this project is really easy and goes quickly.


Cream Colored Craft Pumpkins

Versa-Tool – You can use any knife or other cutting and carving tool, but the hot knife feature on this tool is amazing for this!

Black Permanent Marker

The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

Using a pencil, I lightly drew my bones on the pumpkin. This is better if it’s imperfect and looks more realistic so don’t worry about your drawing skills.

I thought this would work best if it looked vaguely like the bones in a hand so I drew out a series of segmented bones, each about 1 1/2 inches in length, end to end, and each looking a bit like a dog bone.

I did this down every other section of the pumpkin stripes (no idea what these are called, but I’m sure you know what I mean, right?!). I started just below the stem and stopped about 2 inches from the center of the very bottom. The larger the base of your pumpkin, the more space you leave empty at the bottom and you will see why in a minute.

The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

You won’t outline your bones with your marker yet, like you see above, but this image does a better job of showing you what your bones should look like and where they should be.

The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

While you are sketching your bones onto your pumpkin carcass, you can let your versa-tool heat up because it will take a few minutes to get hot enough. While it isn’t a requirement that you use this particular tool, I certainly recommend some sort of hot knife action because it makes this portion much easier and faster.

The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

When you are ready to carve your pumpkin, you will be carving the negative space between your bone stripes (seriously need to find a better description for this, but whatever). You will carve this like you are cutting melon, kind of… Start at the base of your stem alongside one side of one of your bone stripes and carve down along that edge making sure to curve in and out with the edges of your bones. You won’t carve in between them and instead you will just indent a little bit at the base of each bone and then curve back out at the top of the next. Continue to carve in and out all the way down to the base of your last bone. You will stop carving after you curve in slightly at the base of the last bone in your stripe and then remove your knife and move back up to the top where you began.

Starting from your starting point you will carve over along the base of your stem till you reach the top of the first bone in the next bone stripe. Continue carving that edge of that bone stripe until you get to the bottom edge of the bottom bone and then remove your knife and bring it up to the opposite side of the top edge of the top bone in your strip. Carve down that edge, stopping at the bottom and then bridge the gap just as you did before by starting at your starting point and carving along the stem until you get to the top edge of the next bone stripe. Do this all the way around.

Once you have finished this, you will flip your pumpkin and work on the bottom. You will finish off your carving by treating the bottom just as you did the top and start at your end point on one edge of your bone stripe. Carve over the gap till you get to the edge of the next bone stripe. Then remove your knife and move to the opposite side of that bone stripe and carve over the gap until you reach the opposite edge of the next bone stripe. Do this all the way around until you have created something of a base between your bone stripes. Re-cut any sections that need a bit more cutting and then carefully pop out your pumpkin slices.

The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

You can clean up the edges anywhere where things look a tad crazy, then using your permanent marker, outline each individual bone in your bone stripes. Add an led candle or some creepy spiders if you like and call this beauty done!

To kick off fall in your own home, visit and check out the variety of craft pumpkins available – there are more colors, shapes and sizes than you can imagine! If you’re looking for something a little bit different, Michaels recently started selling these fun half pumpkins, perfect for a fall décor wall mount version of this project or any other fall project! Love!

This project brought to you in partnership with Michaels and as part of my ongoing partnership with Michaels as a Michaels Maker! Thank you for supporting the fab folks who help bring new a spooky projects like this to The Design Confidential. Heart you guys!!

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