Sharing knowledge for the art of artificial craft pumpkins.
So over in September I bought my first Funkin for carving. Decided tonight to carve it with a official Funkin carving knife being a NOOB and I ended up breaking my Freddy design. (You can see below around the left ear area and nose.)

I did use Stick 'N Carve for the transfer and it worked very well but I used the soft, fabric part that sticks to the pumpkin. (Maybe I did that wrong?)

Funkins are not made to use with those $10 carving knives! I was so disappointed but I've learned a lesson. Now off to purchase the professional carving set here on the site!

Maybe Ryan or you guys can point me to some great tools to use? I remember Ryan using a heated knife for cutting patterns?

I do have a Dremel 200 series tool but don't even know where to start with that yet.

I have so much to learn! Thanks.


Pumpken/Doh would be the best people to talk to about the Dremmel use, as far as I know, and correct me if I'm wrong. That is the only tool they use.
You rang?

For Ryan's patterns all I need is my Dremel and a 1/32 drill bit!

The flutes on the bit cut through foam like butter.

For a super clean cut I run an xacto knife around the pattern...this also give the bit a sort of "track" to ride around.
I carve funkins with an exacto knife and the ZP carving tool. I prefer the exacto knife on tiny cuts. Don't use the versa tool on funkins, it just burns then. The Versa tool is excellent for michael's (gemmy) foamies.
I only just started carving foam pumpkins about a year or two ago. I alternate between the Versa Tool hot knife and the ZP Pro Carving tool depending on the pattern. I always use the ZP Pro Carving tool for the little tiny pieces because I haven't learned to use the hot knife that well yet. But it is great for big sections and it makes carving easy and fast. I do change out the tip of the hot knife and go over the parts I cut with the pro carving tool just to "melt" them a little and make them more smooth.

Also, I know there was a post done earlier this fall about the different kinds of foam pumpkins because people had run into an issue with some of the Micheal's pumpkins being too brittle. You might want to check that out as a reference.
brandon_fear wrote:I was beginning to worry about the Funkins. I bought 3 of them at Hobby Lobby for half price this September.

My experience with this first carving has been a little disappointing. The Michaels Gemmys seem to be much easier to carve in less amount of time.

I did purchase the ZP Pro Carving Set, so I'm going to try it out on the other Funkins I have. I do have an X-Acto knife to perfect the edges if I need to.
Next Season the Micheals Pumpkin will remain 1/4" Thick - No Lines inside and a nice Yellow orange Foam, that glows more like a real Pumpkin.
(there maybe still Two Different pumpkins for sale, so make sure your read these forums on what one to buy) Info will be posted in the future.

The Entire Fun-Kin Line is also being Re-worked - (No More Globs of foam inside) The Thickness of the foam is still be tested for Stability, But We are Shooting for 3/8" of an Inch thickness. So that a dremel Bit and Saw Blade will be able to cut through on one pass.

Fun-kins rang in different sizes and shapes, so the 3/8" Thickness is needed. (as Stated testing is being Done, as I type this). to find the Best thickness.)

Next Season - You will find that Both the Micheal's Pumpkins, and the Entire Fun-Kin Line of Pumpkins has been Re-Worked, so they Work for Your Needs.
For BOTH Shaded and Cut-Through Pattern Designs.
I had been using xacto to carve in years past but am about to take the leap over to dremel. In looking at the little bits and things, I realize that some are too small for the dremel. Do they make an adaptor for the small ones?
brandon_fear wrote:
I do have a Dremel 200 series tool but don't even know where to start with that yet.
I think you should just go for it, a Dremel is the best tool to carve foam Pumpkins.

If doing Just Cut-Out Patterns, One Drill bit will do the trick, Depending on the foam thickness, a 1/32" Dill Bit, or a 3/64" if the foam is a bit thicker.

Also if you carve many pumpkins, invest in a flex shaft, and a Keyless Chuck..

Just a note, for those that see this as expensive, I have had the Same Dremel and Flex Shaft for 15 years, and have carved 100's of pumpkins with it.
And it's still Ticking !! :thumbsup:

Carving Saws, Leave Jagged Edges in the foam.
Hot Knifes, only work well on THIN Foam, if the blade needs to go all the way in, you Loss the detail,

So DREMEL !! for Foam Kins. there are Cheaper Rotary tools out there also, and Some come with a Flex Shaft.

I Have Many Carving Saws and Blades, and ONLY Use them on Real Kins.
Good to know. Ive only carved 1 foamie, 1st time last year and used the ZP carving tool. Although it came out o.k I was a little disappointed with some of the jagged edges. I would like to carve more foamies and was thinking of investing in a dremel . Think I will ! :thumbsup: