Pumpkin Carving Ideas: Pumpkin Purse

I have never been a scary ghoulish Halloween fan, I have always liked the cheery smiling pumpkin and black cat side of the season.


That didn’t change much when I had two daughters who always wanted to be pretty princesses or cute animals when they were little.  I used to make their costumes and either bought or made their tote to carry their candy haul home in.


So when Michaels sent me 3 foam pumpkins to create pumpkin carving ideas using a hot knife, my mind went immediately to cute and pretty.

Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Kids


Over the next few weeks I will show you the ideas that I came up with using the foam pumpkins.

If you haven’t seen these foam pumpkins at Michaels you will be amazed at how real they look until you pick them up. You expect them to be heavy, but they are lightweight and hollow.  A hot knife cuts through them like butter, making carving them a breeze.

You might remember the monogram wreath I made last Fall using a hot knife.  It is an amazing tool that allows you to cut with precision quickly.

To make the pumpkin tote or as my daughters used to call their Halloween totes –  a pumpkin purse…  you will need to gather these materials.

supplies needed:


I found all the supplies to make the purse at Michaels.

Foam pumpkin – I used the medium size
Hot knife
Purse handles – I used two, but one will work 
Cat mask
Ribbon – 16 inches
Silver button or clip-on earring, two silver beads
Large-eye sewing needle
Orange craft paint and glitter
Paint brush
Small piece of sandpaper or a nail file
4” piece of wire or a paperclip
Wire cutters and point nose pliers
Walnut Hollow Hot Knife used to cut foam pumpkins
 This is the hot knife I used.  It is by Walnut Hollow and comes with 2 extra blades.  Refill blades are available to buy separately also.


1.  Place the handles where you want them to go. Make sure you leave a big enough space to create a circle on the top of the pumpkin to cut out the lid so candy can go into the hollow pumpkin.


2. Mark the hole placement with a marking pen.

3. Use an awl to make the holes in the pumpkin.


4.  Rough up the smooth surface on the purse handles with sandpaper.  Clean off the sanding grit and then paint the handles with orange craft paint.

5.  Sorry no photo of this step:  Right after you apply a second coat of paint, sprinkle orange glitter over the wet paint. Let dry. Flip handles and repeat the process on the other side.


6.  Place the mask on the pumpkin making sure it is centered and aligned with where the handles are going to go.  Use a marking pen to trace the inside of the eyes on to the pumpkin.


7. Cut them out with the hot knife.  Cut a circle in the top of the pumpkin to create the removable lid.


Use a small piece of sandpaper or a nail file to smooth the cut edge of the pumpkin. Pumpkin-Carviing-Ideas-Thread-ribbon-for-handle

8. Thread an 8-inch piece of ribbon through a large-eyed sewing needle.  Push it into one hole and through the pumpkin. Use a pair of pliers to help get it through.


9. Then put the needle in the other hole on the same side working from the inside to the outside of the pumpkin to weave the ribbon through.   Repeat the process with the other 8” section of ribbon on the other side of the pumpkin.



10.  To attach the handles:  Place them together and thread the ends of the ribbon through the handle holes.


11. The ribbon will look like this as each end goes through the holes on the handles.  Once each end is through, make sure there is an equal amount of ribbon on each side of the handle. Pull taut and tie in a double knot under the handles.


12.  Clip the ends of the ribbon into a inverted “V”.


13. To stop the elastic on the mask from rolling off the pumpkin. Use a paper clip (open it to a “U” shape) or a piece of wire to hold the elastic in place.  The tip of the wire will go right through the pumpkin.  Once both ends are on the inside of the pumpkin – twist them to secure and cut off the excess with wire cutters.


14.  Clip a silver earring on the mask to create a nose.  To attach the moving silver eye beads –  thread a needle with black thread and knot one end.  Place the needle through the hole in the bead until the knot is inside the bead.  You may have to push it in with another needle.  Don’t pull the knot out of the other hole on the bead.   Attach the hanging bead by sewing it to the center top of each eye.

You cannot place real candles in foam pumpkins. I used a battery operated tea light to light the purse to use as a decoration when it is not holding candy.

Don’t have time to carve your own pumpkin?  Michaels will carve it for you.  You can pick your design and they will do the rest.

Check out:  Midesign.michaels.com to learn more.

Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Disclosure: Michaels provided  foam pumpkins, a hot craft knife, and a gift card to purchase supplies for my pumpkin crafts.  They asked that I blog about what I made.  My opinions are entirely my own.


The Lettered Cottage




  1. says

    What a cute, cute idea. I love that cute purse. You are way ahead of the game here….I am still watering my pink and white geraniums!;>) xo Diana

    • says

      Diana – I still have the summer mood in my house, too. I created this pumpkin for the Michaels pumpkin carving promotion. I am usually late with getting holiday projects posted time so if someone wants to make it, they have plenty of time to do so. I am ahead of the game now. :) Hope you had a nice Labor Day weekend.

  2. says

    I like cute more than scary too! Thanks for the tutorial . . . I’ve been wondering about these Foam Pumpkins! Now I have to try it!

  3. Kim says

    Very clever use of those foam like pumpkins. I don’t own a hot knife and think I want one. Looking on line I see those with different tips and one with no tips. What kind do you have and are you happy with it? Thanks!

    • says

      I have the hot knife made by Walnut Hollow. It comes with two screw in style blades. I am happy with the knife – you can buy refill blades at Michaels and on amazon.com. It makes cutting foam a breeze.

  4. Sheryll & Critters. says

    I think that purse is absolutely gorgeous. I want to go trick o treating myself now.

    Tell me please if it not okay to just share the URL for this on my FB page? I don’t have anyone to make it for, but my friends just might.

    I can see that hot knife being very handy in my life….. adding to my very long list again.

  5. Sheryll & Critters. says

    And thank you for reminding me that I really, really intend to try and make that gorgeous monogram for my front door. I have a autumn leaf wreath like that one you used and the monogram would really make it shine.

    I will let you know if I succeed. You know I made the Easter Bunny one and love it. Have used it every Easter since you did that post.


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