It’s better that you find out now – my creative arts skills are not at the top of their game. In fact, it’s likely that my daughter could have drawn and colored a better Finding Dory pumpkin but truth be told, learning to do this was the most fun I’d had in a long time!

We sat in the sunshine on a warm Los Angeles day, smack dab in the middle of the well-manicured heaven known as the Disney lot. Surrounded by the history of films and characters that have been a part of decades of childhood, I was taught by Disney’s own master pumpkin carver, Joseph Yakovetic.

Finding Dory Pumpkin

To watch him work is like watching anyone that’s a master at their skill – it looked so easy! And honestly, it wasn’t that hard. And choosing a Dory pumpkin was the obvious choice since we were there to celebrate the Blu-Ray release of Disney’s Finding Dory, available November 15. Of course, if you’re a true Dory fan, you can pre-order the Blu-Ray Combo Pack now!

Though you might not recognize the name, award winning set designer and costume designer Joseph Yakovetic is Disney’s own Master Pumpkin Carver. He has carved pumpkins for Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch and DownTown Disney, and he graciously took time to teach us how to carve a Finding Dory pumpkin!

Finding Dory Pumpkin Carving

Let The Finding Dory Pumpkin Carving Begin

To carve your Finding Dory Pumpkin, you’ll need a few tools to get you started. Most of these, you’ll have at home.

First, clean your pumpkin well and make sure it’s completely dry. Place a sheet of graphite transfer paper over the area of the pumpkin you’d like carved. Place the template over the graphite and use 2-4 pins to keep in place.

How to carve a finding dory pumpkin

Use your pen to trace the lines; use light pressure and try not to touch the paper too much, as any place you apply pressure, there will be transfer marks. Once you’ve completely outlined the template, remove the pins, graphite paper and template.

Use your black Sharpie marker to better complete and fill in the lines. Make sure that anywhere that there is black on the template, you fill that in with black using the Sharpie. If the wax on the pumpkin affects the quality of your marker, lightly wipe each side of the marker on a sheet of paper. Use the wipes to completely clean your pumpkin of any graphite. The marker will NOT come off.

Learning to carve a Finding Dory Pumpkin with master carver, Joseph Yakovetic

Mix paint with water to create a translucent color and brush in the desired colors in appropriate areas. When paint is dry, use the linoleum cutter to etch out the white areas of the stencil (I.e. Whites of the eyes, the highlight in the pupil and around the outer edge of the character’s outline).

Here’s where pumpkin carving get’s awesome! Cut a square in the back of the pumpkin large enough to fit a CD and an LED light. Don’t cut off the top of the pumpkin as most do; it actually kills the pumpkin much more quickly! Here’s another great trick – use a CD to gut the pumpkin, using the edge of the CD to skin away the debris from inside the pumpkin. No more using your hands which, honestly, was the only reason I hated carving pumpkins!

We learn how to carve a Finding Dory pumpkin with a Disney Master Carver

Clean up any design areas that are revealed with the light, touch up black lines or colors. One more trick to keeping a long-lasting pumpkin? Place on a trivet or stand so the underside of the pumpkin can breath and take your pumpkin indoors each night. If mold starts to form use the CD, to remove interior mold and spray with 50/50 water and bleach.

Also, never use a candle to light the inside of your pumpkin. This will damage your pumpkin and, again, cause it to rot more quickly.

Download Finding Dory Halloween Activities

Be sure to pre-order your copy of Disney’s Finding Dory, available on Digital HD TODAY and on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 15!

About Author

Dusty is the editor of As Mom Sees It, a family lifestyle and travel site. She is a wife and mother of two in Ohio.

Dusty has been featured on ABC, on Mom Talk Radio and in iBlog Magazine. Her creations have been featured on Craftgawker, DIY Weddings, and in 2013, As Mom Sees It was named one of the Top 50 New Product Review Sites by Cision.

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