My Death Gourd

For this year’s nerdy Halloween pumpkin, I decided to carve something I have always wanted to do- the Death Star!! Being one of the most iconic round objects in pop culture history, I couldn’t resist. Over the years, I had scene a number of versions online so it was helpful to have visual references. With a pending pumpkin carving contest at the new workplace, the pressure was on for me to show off my geekiness. Here was the process:

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Since this is mostly a skin peeling technique, the right tools are everything. I bought a simple wood carving set from Michaels for about $10.  I first started with the trench which serves as the equator for this battle station.

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From the trench, I measured and cut several horizontal lines. Then the vertical lines were done in a brick pattern. I finished the pattern with a series of randomly cut squares. The big ‘friggen lazer’ circle is where I spent most of my time. Besides getting the perfect circle, I had to make it concave and then thin enough for it to be illuminated with a light source. Mess this up and the whole project is ruined. Fortunately, it turned out just right.

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Fortunately, I had some Micro-Machine Star Wars ships on hand (uh, who doesn’t?). Mounting them with black sprayed coat hanger wire, they were soon in orbit engaged in battle. I bought two LED lights ($2.99 at Michaels) and attached one to the inside of the laser circle and other was in the base to light the rest of the pumpkin.

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I then created a base using a round wood board and a small cardboard cylinder (both found at Michaels). I used epoxy to connect them because the pumpkin was very heavy and I didn’t want to risk it coming apart. After spraying it black, I painted in a star field giving it a hint of context.

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Lastly, I added this little phrase for a fun little final touch. All in all, this project took about 4 hours and costs under $30 (not including the pumpkin, which I got for free).

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My effort was rewarded by winning the 1st place “Golden Pumpkin”- which was an honor considering the other awesome entries. I narrowly beat an AMAZING dog carved pumpkin by a fellow co-worker. Perhaps it was the Star Wars theme playing from my iPhone inside my pumpkin that tipped the votes in my favor :) Given a little more time, I would have wired it with battery operated lights and mounted it on a rotating stand. Oh well, there is always next year! Let me know what you think and any suggestions would had on how to make it even nerdier!

4 thoughts on “My Death Gourd

  1. OMG!!!! This is the BEST EVER!!!!!! And your phone inside playing the theme!!! Your pumpkin entry is to die for. You TOTALLY DESERVE the Golden Pumpkin Award. :D

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