Have you ever wondered if you can carve faux pumpkins? It is possible, and it also saves on the mess when compared to carving real pumpkins.
Carving faux pumpkins can be done using a hot knife tool, and then you can add a variety of crafting materials to make them into amazing decorations that will last longer than just one season.
What is a Faux Pumpkin?
A faux pumpkin is a fake pumpkin that is hollow in the middle and can come in many colors from orange to white. Unlike real pumpkins, faux pumpkins never spoil and don’t need to be thrown out at the end of the season.
What are Faux Pumpkins Made of?
Faux pumpkins are usually made of a type of plastic called polystyrene which has been foamed to give it texture. Polystyrene is a synthetic material that cannot be recycled.
What is a Hot Knife Tool?
A hot knife tool is a sharp knife that has a heating element through the center. Similar to a glue gun, the hot knife must be plugged in and allowed to preheat.
Once heated, a hot knife tool can cut much more than a regular knife because of the heat, making it ideal for dealing with difficult materials like polystyrene.
Materials a Hot Knife Tool Can Cut
A hot knife tool can be used to cut any sort of synthetic fabric material.
Hot knives work on these materials because it simultaneously cuts and seals the ends. Do not use a hot knife on natural materials like leather or cotton.
How to Safely Use a Hot Knife Tool
Hot knife tools are a double threat because they are both hot and sharp. Before you use yours, you will need to cover the surface you plan to work on with a sheet of glass. No other material will work.
You additionally need to work in a well-ventilated area as the material melting will produce fumes. Ensure there are no young children around when you are using the hot knife.
Each cut you make will be 100% permanent, so it is best to stencil where you will cut in advance. Do not pause as you cut as this will damage your material.
How to Carve Faux Pumpkins with a Hot Knife Tool
Although they can be dangerous, hot knives are ideal for carving a faux pumpkin and there is no other way to do it.
- Faux pumpkins
- Hot knife tool
- Glass sheet
- Marker or another method of drawing
- Additional decorations (vine, chicken wire, faux leaves, a candle)
Step 1: Protect Your Surface
Lay down the glass sheet on top of your table or counter.
Step 2: Preheat and Trace
Preheat your hot knife while you trace the lines you plan to cut on your pumpkin. You can tape a stencil directly to the pumpkin for more intricate designs.
Step 3: Cut
Use the hot knife to cut along the lines you trace. It should go through the faux pumpkin easily. If it doesn’t, allow it to heat up a little more, and then try again.
Step 4: Clean Up Edges
Unless you are a pro, there will be some edges that need cleaning. After you cut the whole design go through with the hot knife and make adjustments.
Step 5: Add Ons
That’s all there is to it, your pumpkin is done unless you choose to add additional decorations at this time. We recommend adding at least a candle so your pumpkin is visible at night.
Faux pumpkins can be purchased at your local craft store, or at a dollar store like the Dollar Tree. You may also find them at Halloween supply stores.
Faux pumpkins are always hollow making them easy to carve and decorate.
Faux pumpkins can be outdoors and are preferred over real pumpkins. Faux pumpkins are both weather and pest-resistant, and they won’t rot after a week or two. Just be sure to weigh your faux pumpkin down if you live in a windy area.
Now that you know how to carve faux pumpkins, feel free to pick a few up and make all sorts of cute decorations for your porch. While carving your faux pumpkins, remember to always use your hot knife tool safely and cover any surfaces you work on.
No matter what design you pick or the color of faux pumpkin you work with you will not regret making permanent Halloween designs you can use year after year.
Love love love the roo pumpkin!!
Very interesting. Will look for this tool. Wonder if I could carve a watermelon with it, too. Love your rooster pumpkin, the chicken wire addition is awesome. Last two photos I could not see. xo
I bet you can certainly carve a watermelon with this tool. I uploaded those last pics again, hopefully you can see them now, thanks for letting me know:)
Debbie,I love that you added the chicken wire, and the roo pumpkin,very nice indeed.
I have always wanted to try out a hot knife! I love the hen wire you put inside, it’s the perfect touch!
Debbie, I LOVE this and man am I going to save this for my future home! I am so excited for my first fall. Next year will be like Christmas for me. I am saving projects. I am like a kid with these kinds of projects. Of course, the hubs will have to help me a bit since my hands are a bit shaky from my MS. We are getting so close to starting I am getting ready to burst with excitement!!! Thanks Debbie for sharing this great project and tool too!
Does Michael’s sell the knife?
Yes, indeed they do:)
The roo is way cool, yup love it. But I do have to say this is sooooo something Michaels should have me on their list for. I will have to tell them about my crazy Halloween skills. Maybe that’s why Martha didn’t want me in her circle, I can out Halloween her!
The Polka Dot Closet
Debbie I am so impressed, the rooster and the chicken wire was genius and the photography is so good!
Hi Debbie, I’m new to your site and must say I love how you can make something that I can try to make. Thanks so much for the inspiration.
Thank you and welcome! Yes, I am an easy peasy crafter. I always tell everyone, if I can do it, you can do it!~:)
Ummmm….Debbie- If it’s a ROOSTER it is ALWAYS a boy! lol You are too cute and those pumpkins are too too cute. Love the idea of the chicken wire inside the rooster cutout. Great job and I have a bunch of those pumpkins~xo Diana
True, LOL…what was I thinking??:)
Debbie this is awesome. I love the chicken wire behind the Roo. How adorable. I have seen these pumpkins at Michaels and thought they were really cute when they are carved. You did a great job. I may have to try this out. Thanks for showing us your Roo pumpkin. I can’t wait to see the other two and how to make them. Great job.
Brilliant idea Debbie, and they will last forever. Don’t have to worry about them rotting once there carved.
Chicken wire was a brilliant touch and your staging with real pumpkin seeds….aaaahmazing!
Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life
Debbie I just told hubby he HAS to make this for me. I am going to share this all over the place it is my favorite fall post so far this year. You are a GENIUS!!
Didn’t even know there was such a thing as a hot knife, but your pumpkins are adorable. Peggy
Wow…. I will have to look for that knife the next time I am there!!! Love the pumpkin!
That rooster with the wire added is so cute!
Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life
Just put it on my page and our From the Farm page. I know everyone is going to love it.
Aww, thank you:)
Goodness me I love this guy!!! I could totally impress my girls with some mad pumpkin carving skills (they don’t have to know about this hot knife thing….until they are at least 18 as I need to remain “cool” in their eyes). This really is amazing!!! Nice job lady.
This is awesome! Gosh, I need to start thinking pumpkins!!!! Great job!!~~Angela
Oh wow, Debbie! I love your imagination and creativity. This is the most original ( and cute) carved pumpkin I have every seen!!!
I love that! The big one with the rooster and the chicken wire behind it is gorgeous. I would love to do something like that for my kitchen. (And doggone it… I promised myself not to buy one more faux pumpkin this year but to be happy with what I had. Another promise probably broken.)
I love the tool you used. It would come in handy around here for cutting my roast beef.
Figure that one out.
Uhhh I don’t think I can figure that one out.
Kimberly ~Serendipity Refined
THAT is FAB-U-LOUS! I have one of those tools…and a pumpkin….packed somewhere! Well done, girlfriend! The chicken wire is the perfect touch!
So cute, Debbie! I really like the addition of the chicken wire. I’ve started my Fall decorating, but taking it slow and easy!
Well, Debbie … that is so cute!!! Love the Roo with the wire. This will be on my to-do list for Fall. We don’t have a Michaels but maybe our craft store will have the hot knife. Fun project and you did a fantastic job.
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures
What a great tip on this little tool…I’ll definitely have to get me one and try it out on some of my pumpkins! They look so cute Debbie!
Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces
This looks like so much fun! Makes me want to play!
I love the rooster design! We have chickens – lol… This looks like fun to me. I’m going to have to experiment!
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the info on the hot knife tool! I have never heard of it, but tried to cut the top off of one of those faux pumpkins once (with a serrated kitchen knife, I think) and it was nearly impossible! Since I have a couple more pumpkins,bi will definitely check out this tool. Love your designs, also.
You are welcome…it was easy to use. Just very hot, so do be careful!
Where can I find the rooster printout that you used for the stencil?
I found that at Hobby lobby.
where can I buy this hot knife? I love this idea!
Michaels has them.
I love the idea of carving the faux pumpkins; save em from year to year! So much better than real ones that get all mushy after cold weather and rain. Thanks for the lesson on ‘hot knife’ carving. Love love love your monogramed one; excellent idea Debbie.
These are incredible!!! I love your out-of-the-box creative mindset :). Once Halloween gets a little closer I would just love to decorate a cookie with the monogram theme. Please let me know if I have your permission to do this one…
Your work is amazing!