Here at ES, we like to do things a little differently. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but you at least have to give us points for trying. So when someone questioned the pumpkin’s dominance as the Halloween carving medium, I saw a potential avenue for exploration. And let me tell you, now that I’ve been down that road, I may never go back. Carving a pepper was faster, easier and way less mess than a pumpkin. Heck, I did most of it while waiting in the car for a friend.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Use a paring knife to cut out the stem and seeds/pulp before beginning, to avoid crushing your design later.
- Carve your design into one side of the pepper, but leave the other side whole to avoid light dissipation.
- Get the largest pepper you can find. This is not a time to play Michael Pollan. Embrace the GMO.
- For a translucent effect, carefully peel off the skin, then shave off about half the thickness of the juicy part.
- Use the tip of the craft knife blade to score your design before cutting.
- When planning your design, be aware that any detail that is fully enclosed will fall out.
- To make a space for the candle, I twisted the tip of the craft blade around in the bottom center of the pepper to make a hole, then wiggled the candle in.
Here’s what mine looked like pre-lighting:
Now get out there and make your own. Feel free to copy my design or create your own. What else can we carve? Eggplants? Watermelon? Mozzarella cheese? Leave your links to alterna-lanterns in the comments, or send them our way.
One last warning: These do not last long before looking like they are made of saggy old man skin, so I recommend creating it the day of the party for maximum impressive effect.