January 13, 2009

Putka Pod Possibilities!

The smallest pumpkins I ever carved!
After a little bit of experimentation and a lot of patience, I figured out how to carve my Putka Pods into extremely tiny jack-o-lanterns!
(See January 11th post, below, for an explanation of Putka Pods)

Using an X-acto blade, I first "drilled" small holes by carefully twirling the tip of the blade where I wanted my eyes to be. Then I carefully shaved around the holes to make them more irregular and less round.
I did the same process for the mouth, making a series of unconnected holes, in the general shape of a mouth. Then I "broke" between the holes until the mouth was complete. I drilled the nose hole last since, by this point the face is much more fragile, and I could stop drilling before the  face cracked or split.
Click image to enlarge
They are relatively hollow inside, other than a few seeds and segment walls, so they even look like carved pumpkins inside! Of course, not every attempt was successful. For every two successes, there was at least one failure caused by weak segments, cracks or carelessness. Luckily, my quarter lb. bag has a couple hundred pods, so I had plenty to spare.
I even experimented with soaking a few (and even boiling a few) to see if softening them made them more resilient. All it did was to make them rubbery and even more difficult to carve.

They are gnarly and unique!
Click image to enlarge
I feel a need to show you how small these guys really are!
So here is the batch I made this afternoon, compared to a U.S. quarter and a push pin.
Click image to enlarge
Here are some close shots of my "Putka Pumpkins" as they look on my Skoolhouse model.
The link to the free "The Skoolhouse" model I designed for Universal Studio can still be found on the Halloween Horror Nights website.
The link can be found in the November 20th post at the bottom of this page.
All of my other paper models found here, at Paper Model Purgatory.

Here is a shot of my Skoolhouse model. I used twings from the yard as trees and craft moss.This model is about 6.5 inches long.

And here are a few on the steps of my Phantom Manor model.
Find some Putka Pods and take a stab at it (without stabbing your fingers)!
Even if you do not carve them, they make sickeningly cute additions to your models, mantels, wreaths, and displays during the Halloween season!


  1. Amazing! I had never heard of these. Of course, carving anything that small would likely cost me at least two or three fingers :D

  2. i am a teacher, i really admire your craftmanship! it's so amasing... i love it! i made my skoolhouse for a theme of counting pumpkins in our montessori classroom. thank you so much ;-)

  3. I cannot take my eyes off your amazing work!
    Congrats from Patagonia, Argentina...

  4. These teeny guys are so cute! Love your haunted house with the tiny pumpkins all around!


  5. I know potka pods but never tried to carving them. Great idea, congrats! :D

  6. Was just given a link to your site. Fabulous Idea! Love what you did with the Putka Pods!! I know this had to be really tricky because the pods are so small. You must have a very steady hand! LOL Great Houses! I'm going to link and post them on my Facebook Fan Page for everyone to enjoy! ~ PineConeLady

  7. Hi, I just found your site and joined right away. I love Halloween and am loving your Halloween scene and all the goodies there. I am looking for Potka pods too. Great job with the scene! Now I am off to look around some more to see what other goodies I find before little
    g-son wakes up.

    Thank you for sharing!