How to Carve a Sugar Skull Pumpkin

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how to carve a sugar skull pumpkin

Our family celebrates Day of the Dead as a way of keeping connected to our Mexican culture and remembering our loved ones who have passed. I know it may seem unusual to some, looking in from the outside, but for us, it really is a celebration.

In México we don't have the big pumpkins that you see during Halloween in the USA. I was amazed the very first time I saw them in person. Even though I've lived in the USA for more than a decade, I'm ashamed to say that I have never carved a pumpkin. I don't know why, I just haven't, until now.

So this year, I thought I would combine Halloween and Day of the Dead by carving a sugar skull design, a traditional motif from Day of the Dead, into my pumpkin.

Sugar Skulls

It just took me a few minutes, I was surprised by how fast and easy it was. So if you, like me, have never carved a pumpkin, there's no time like the present.

For this project I used a great tool, the Sonicrafter F30 by Rockwell. Now, be ready, because at the end of this post there's a giveaway for a chance to win either a Sonicrafter F30 or a BladeRunner X2 (winner's choice).

How to Carve a Sugar Skull Pumpkin

Ok. Wait! If you have another pumpkin to practice on, I recommend it before getting started. With 10 minutes of practice, you will develop all kinds of techniques for using this versatile tool. Try, for instance, a scooping motion as well as using it at different angles and depths. Also, as with all tools, always follow the safety instructions that come with it.

  1. Place some newspaper down to keep things tidy. Cut the top of the pumpkin with the Sonicrafter F30
  2. Scrape to remove seeds and clean out stringy bits with a spoon.
  3. Draw your design on the pumpkin
  4. Take the Sonicrafter F30 and to make larger cuts. For more detailed work, turn the Sonicrafter to the lowest setting, #1. For the finest details, use a set of pumpkin carving tools that you see all over in stores right now.
  5. We also used a Rockwell 3rill (their 3 in 1 Drill) when we were making small holes. See photo.
  6. Display (If you need the pumpkin to last longer, try soaking it in a solution at a ratio of 1 tsp bleach to 1 quart of water for a few hours. Remove. Let dry)

That's it! Very easy.

How to carve a sugar skull pumpkin

I'm so glad I did it, I love my pumpkin.

Now the giveaway. Would you like to participate for a chance to win either a new Rockwell BladeRunner X2 or a Rockwell Sonicrafter F30? Great! Let me tell you a little bit about each of them so you can decide which you would like if you are the winner.

Rockwell tools giveaway

The Sonicrafter F30 is a very fast oscillating tool. This new model is leaner, with a more tapered body, equipped with true Universal Fit to accept other brands' accessories. Its Hyperlock™ locks accessories with one metric ton of force to eliminate blade slippage during cuts. You can find it at Lowe's or other select major retailers for about $119. And that is not all, it comes with a handy hard case with separate bulk storage areas for easy access to accessories.

The Bladerunner X2 is a benchtop table saw that cuts nearly everything, including wood, PVC, plastic, aluminum and ceramic tile, using standard T-shank jigsaw blades. A few months ago I made a project with the first BladeRunner and now I'm glad to know that the BladeRunner X2 accommodates longer and wider workpieces for ripping and crosscutting. It’s an ideal do-it-yourself and craft projects saw. It priced around $119 and you can buy it at or through other online websites, including

For more information, please visit Rockwell on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram here.

*Giveaway is closed*

Win it!

To participate for your chance to win your choice of either 1 Rockwell BladeRunner X2 or 1 Rockwell Sonicrafter F30 is easy. Just leave me a comment telling me what would you like to do, or build, if you are the winner. That’s it! That is your required entry.

Would you like more opportunities to win? I have a few of those, too! These entries are optional:

Enter today for the chance to win @RockwellTools  @mamalatina #Halloween #diy #giveaway

(limit: one tweet per day, just please leave me a comment for each with the link of the tweet) 1 entry per tweet.

Please leave me a separate comment for your required entry and for each optional entry (1,2, 3, 4, and/or 5), so I know how many entries you have, thanks.

This giveaway will end on Friday, October 31st, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. PST. No purchase necessary. Open to US residents only, 18 years of age or older. Winner will be randomly chosen and notified via email. Winner must respond to notification email within 3 days or a new winner will be chosen. Void where prohibited. Please no P.O. Boxes. Entries/Comments that do not follow the submission guidelines will be invalid.

Good Luck!

Disclosure: I received the tools mentioned in this article to facilitate this post. As always my comments and love for crafts are my own. Please read the owner’s manual before using any tool and always follow the important safety instructions.


Silvia Martinez
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