My Pokemon-themed Halloween pumpkin

Alright, it’s not perfect. But a lot of effort went into making this Squirtle pumpkin, which I made yesterday for Halloween. With this week’s release of Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, it’s a great time to be a Pokemon fan. And even though I’m 21, I wanted to finally do a Pokemon-themed pumpkin.

I chose one of my very favorite Pokemon, Squirtle. For those unfamiliar with the 1998 “Squirtle Squad” storyline, Ash encounters a gang of Squirtles who were previously abandoned by their owners and have since turned to a life of crime. After Team Rocket detonates an explosion in an attempt to capture Pikachu, Ash saves the Squirtle Squad’s leader, who shows his gratitude by joining Ash on his journey.

I started by sketching the outline of the Squirtle, complete with his signature sunglasses, with a sharpie. It helps to use a marker that can easily be erased with a paper towel. If you’re anything like me, you’ll make a lot of mistakes along the way. You’ll also want to get some proper carving tools, which can be found in most craft or party stores.

After I realized that I couldn’t cut out the shape of my Squirtle and keep the outline of the design, I spent the next hour carving out about a half of a centimeter of the outline with a sharp knife.

When I first lit a candle inside of the pumpkin, hoping that the light would illuminate the outline of the Squirtle, it was barely visible. So I spent another thirty minutes making the outline a little bit wider and deeper.

Finally, I lit the candle inside the pumpkin the second time and it looked much better. If there aren’t any big holes in your pumpkin like mine, you’ll need to cut a hole in the back of the pumpkin for air to flow into the pumpkin for the candle.

I’m close to graduating college, and before this year, I hadn’t carved a pumpkin since elementary school. But as I’ve begun aging into adulthood, it was important to me to set time and money aside to do something fun and creative. I wanted to take a break from my two part-time jobs and full-time course load to take the edge off and relive some of the fun from my childhood with a Pokemon-themed pumpkin. And I’m glad I did.

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