Martha by Mail Pumpkin Printing Kit

From the pages of a past issue of Martha Stewart Living comes this Halloween Pumpkin Printing Kit that was once available through Martha by Mail.  It's such a clever way to carve and display pumpkins for the season in one's home, but what makes this crafting kit even more special is that the pumpkins themselves become a "printing press" for treat bags and other items.

With full step-by-step instructions and images, you can partake of this kit by printing, carving and stamping out your very own spooky pumpkins and goodie bags for Halloween.  If you have an inexpensive white, orange or yellow tablecloth, why not stamp out these images onto it for a great presentation?

I want to thank my friend Jeremy for providing us with these images.  Have fun carving your pumpkins!

Pumpkin Printing Kit

Make your carvings last far beyond Halloween night.  With this kit, inspired by an idea from Martha Stewart Living magazine, you can create amazing jack-o'-lanterns and then apply the designs to treat bags and much more.  Just follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Contents of Kit

  • Vellum Templates
  • Awl
  • Linoleum cutter with 3 different tips
  • Wood gouge
  • Brayer
  • Water-soluble acrylic-based ink
  • 10 muslin treat bags

You'll also need: tape and a tray for ink.

  1. Choose template, and use a photocopier to enlarge or minimize the template to the desired size.  Position your template on the pumpkin, and tape it in place.  Use the awl to mark an outline of the design on the pumpkin's skin.
  2. Draw a large circle around the design to act as a cutting perimeter.  Use the linoleum cutter to carve out the outline of the design and to cut away smaller areas, and the wood gouge to carve the larger areas.  Cut into the surface about 1/4" deep (not all the way through), and carve from the outer edges of the design all the way out to the cutting perimeter.
  3. Pour ink onto a flat, clean surface, such as a glass plate or tray.  Roll the brayer in the ink, and carefully apply ink to the design's raised surface, being sure to leave the cut-away areas clean.  If ink spills onto the cut-away areas, carefully shave off the surface with linoleum cutter.
  4. Press the trick-or-treat bag (or any paper or fabric) onto the inked surface; peel fabric away to reveal your printed design.  Allow ink to dry before using bag.
  5. Carve out the inside of the pumpkin.  Be careful not to cut through the pumpkin wall.  Place a small flashlight inside to check that you've achieved the right thickness.  Keep carving until the flashlight shines through the cut-away portion of your design.
  6. Place a small flashlight, candle or set of string lights inside the pumpkin. Light the candle with a butane torch.  The carved-away portion of your jack-o'-lantern will glow, eerily highlighting the black, raised design at its center.
 Cat Face

 Menacing Cat

 Bats & Witch

 Bugs & Spider

 Perched Owl

 Perched Raven

Vampire Bat