When it comes to Halloween, carving the same pumpkin designs each year can become routine. This year, save a pumpkin and carve your spooky masterpiece into a watermelon instead.
Nutrient-rich watermelon can be a healthy alternative to other sweet treats full of added sugar during Halloween festivities. It’s a source of vitamins A and C, as well as the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline.
Because they are made up of 92% water, watermelons can be an effective way to stay hydrated during trick-or-treating, and creations like a Mummy or Jack O’Melon can help satisfy sweet cravings while keeping friends and family members frightfully delighted.
To get started, consider these carving tips and tricks.
• To make cutting and slicing easier, the watermelon should be at room temperate when carving.
• Cut a small, thin, flat piece from the bottom of the watermelon to provide a stable base for carving.
• Draw the design on the watermelon rind with a dry-erase marker before cutting. If you make a mistake, this can make it easier to wipe off and start over.
• Use a sharp knife with a pointed tip for easier, cleaner cuts. Consider a paring knife with a smaller tip for ease of detail.
• Blend scraps of watermelon that are too messy for dicing or slicing to create an easy juice.
For more watermelon carving ideas, visit watermelon.org.
Supplies and tools
Cheesecloth or gauze
Straight pin (optional)
Battery-operated candle or light
Blueberries or bloody candy eyes
Toothpicks, pins or glue
Wash the watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.
On a cutting board, place the watermelon on its side and use a kitchen knife to cut off ¼ to ½ inch of rind from the bottom to provide a sturdy base. Be careful not to cut too deep into the white part of the rind. Cut 1-2 inches from the stem end to create an opening for the bowl to be added.
Using a dry-erase marker, draw the eyes, nose and mouth, along with wavy slits around the carving. Use a paring knife to cut them out, making sure to cut through to the red flesh to let more light flow through.
Use a melon baller to hollow out the inside of the watermelon. Reserve the watermelon balls. Use a scoop to remove any remaining watermelon.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the green skin off of the outside of the watermelon, similar to peeling a cucumber.
Wrap thin strips cheesecloth or gauze around the mummy carving and secure with a straight pin, if needed.
Place a battery-operated candle or light inside the carving and fit a small bowl into the top of the carving. Trim away any excess rind to make the bowl fit securely.
Fill the bowl with melon balls. Attach candy eyes or blueberries using a toothpicks, pins or glue.
Supplies and tools
Using a knife, cut a thin slice from the bottom of the watermelon to provide a stable base.
Cut a circular piece of rind from the top of the watermelon that is large enough for you to reach into the watermelon and remove the flesh. Carefully remove a top section and reserve it for use as a “lid.”
Remove the flesh from inside the watermelon using a melon baller; reserve the melon balls for snacking. Hollow out any remaining watermelon flesh and use a blender to juice the scraps and to get any excess juice.
Use a dry-erase marker to draw outlines of the eyes, nose, mouth, hair, ears and any other features you want. If a mistake is made with the marker, simply wipe it off using a paper towel. Following the outlines you’ve made, carve features into the watermelon, and remove any excess rind.
A safe, battery-operated light can be firmly placed inside the watermelon to provide a haunting glow.
Place the circular piece of rind back on top of watermelon. (Family Features)