2010 Pumpkin-Carving Contest Winners
You showed us your brilliant Halloween handiwork. Then you helped us award the top jack-o'-lantern prize. Here are the finalists
Pumpkin Carving Contest
We love it when you guys show us how talented you are. We asked for your best Halloween pumpkin carvings, you sent us nothing short of masterpieces—eerily life-like sculpted faces, subtly shaded portraits, hilarious horror scenes—all cast from your favorite bulbous squash.
After you voted for the 25 finalists, TOH's editors chose the winners. Our favorites displayed not just tool skills, but creativity, humor, and originality. Trust us, it wasn't easy to pick just one! Click through to see the winner of the $500 Grand Prize gift card and the other 24 finalists.
Shown: Honorable Mention
As a followup to last year's entry depicting "This Old Haunted House," Maddoghoek100 from New York, New York created "This Old Zombie House." While this fine work of art didn't quite make the top 25, we thought we'd give it props for its topical pop culture reference—and its blatant attempt to suck up to the judges.
"I carved these pumpkins in 2009, developing the dragon pattern from an image from 'The Print Shop Ensemble III.' I modified and simplified the picture into a carvable pattern and split the dragon onto three pumpkins. To carve, I used Pumpkin Masters carving tools."
Lone Rock, IA
"Pumpkins and jack-o'-lanterns have always been my favorite element of Halloween. From creating and building a unique design, jack-o'-lanterns not only illuminate our homes, but also our hearts. I use an assortment of carving tools from woodcarving sets to good old fashioned store bought kits. I find that just about any household item can become an excellent carving tool."
"I made my own template in Photoshop, used pushpins to trace the pattern, and carved with regular kitchen knives and an X-Acto knife."
Los Angeles, CA
"This piece took 2 hours using clay-sculpting tools and an X-Acto blade. I did not use any reference to create this piece. No one posed for this."
"I carved this from a photo of my daughter. I used a Dremel 300 variable speed and used various bits for carving and shading effects. I also modified the carving depth to enhance the lighting effects. Overall, the project took approximately 6 hours."
"I used an X-Acto knife, and some of my lop sculpting tools. Sorry, no Dremels for this one. I do use a Dremel, though, when I sculpt in epoxy. This is a really big heavy pumpkin, too. He sat on my lap while I did him and I only lost a tiny bit of blood doing him! Yep...knife slipped! It happens. I'm always careful, but he was kinda slippery. He kept trying to bite me. Hmmm... And man, do my arms hurt from lifting him up and down."
"This is only my second attempt at making my own pattern. It's Pyramid Head from Silent Hill. This is a composite of two photos because the blade wrapped around to the other side of the pumpkin."
"Here is a pirate ship I carved using a basic carving kit from the supermarket. I used clay-sculpting tools and an X-Acto blade."
I used clay ribbon tools and a box cutter on this pumpkin. It took eight hours to carve and weighed 65 pounds before I started cutting into it. It is not hollowed out. It is a Chinese dragon.
South Jordan, UT
"This is the first pumpkin I ever tried to shade. I made it with a basic pumpkin carving kit and an X-Acto knife. I hope you all enjoy it! Happy Halloween!"
"This is the first time I've done an animal on my pumpkin carving. This pumpkin took me about 6 to 7 hours. The tools I used were clay carving tools and wood gouges. I loved how the fur turned on out the wolf!"
"Here is a pumpkin I designed and carved with my new carving set my parents got me for my birthday. This is of the Cheshire Cat from the original Alice in Wonderland. I had a lot of fun making it and hope you all enjoy it! Happy Halloween!"
"Here is a carving I made of Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. This was done mostly with an X-Acto knife. I lit up the pumpkin while I carved so I could see how to shade it as I went. The whole process took 5 hours but was so much fun to make!"
"I carved this image of Tallahassee from the movie Zombieland. I use a Warren Pro Pumpkin Carving tool set and an X-Acto knife to carve my pumpkins."
West Jordan, UT
"This Predator is from a comic series called Bad Blood. I make my own patterns in Photoshop. This one took about 3 days to carve. I used a Dremel, conventional pumpkin saws, and scrapers I made out of an old wire hanger. This pic is a composite of 3 photos because the pattern was so big you had to look at it from different angles to tell what it was."
Here's a video of it.
"This pumpkin took me 3 days to do, and I stayed up the last 36 hours straight to finish it in time for Halloween. I used a Dremel, conventional pumpkin saws, and scrapers that I made out of old wire hangers."
"I designed and carved this pumpkin for my pumpkin display this year. I used Warren Pro Pumpkin tools and an X-Acto knife to carve this pumpkin."
West Jordan, UT
"I copied some photos of Yoda from Star Wars. Three pumpkins were used—one for the head, one for the body and one for the ears and hands. Attached parts with barbecue skewers and floral pins. Added plastic eyes and some old burlap for the robe.
I used clay-sculpting tools and an X-Acto blade."
"This only took about 30 minutes to complete. Very basic cuts that any pumpkin carving kit can handle. The main idea behind this one was to find a use for left-over humming bird syrup."
"This is a 75-pound pumpkin with two sweet pumpkins. I used a pumpkin carving kit, cordless drill, hammer and chisel."
"I found the perfect sized pumpkin to do an all-around design, and had this one tucked in the back of a folder. The top is held up by skewers, and when the wind blew through the pumpkin it gave the illusion of it moving. It was the hit of the neighborhood!"
Fort Worth, TX