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Halloween Crafts: Make Jack-o'-Lanterns from Oranges

Halloween Crafts: Make Jack-o’-Lanterns from Oranges
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These tiny glowing orbs are a fun and easy alternative to pumpkins for your Halloween décor. Arranged along a sidewalk, at the base of a fence, along the top of a wall, or up the front steps to your house, they attract trick-or-treaters with their bright color and fantastic scent. Plus, they leave no waste: Skins are compostable once the holiday is over, and all that orange fruit that you scoop out will make a healthy salad or smoothie to counteract that inevitable candy overload.

Materials to Make Jack-o’-Lanterns from Oranges

  • rimmed baking sheet (optional)
  • 10–25 thick-skinned oranges, such as navel varieties
  • chef’s knife
  • paring knife
  • spoon or melon baller
  • sharp precision knife, such as X-ACTO brand (optional)
  • string of 25 clear or white outdoor twinkle lights
  • outdoor extension cord (optional)

How to Make Jack-o’-Lanterns from Oranges

Step 1: Set up a work area in your kitchen. You may want to work on a rimmed baking sheet to contain the inevitable orange-juice puddles.

Step 2: Use a chef’s knife to slice off the stem end of each orange (photo 1), as you would a pumpkin when making a jack-o’-lantern.

Step 3: Shave a quarter-sized piece of rind off the blossom end: just enough to give the orange a flat base so that it doesn’t roll away, but not so much as to leave the orange without a bottom to rest on.

Step 4: With a paring knife, cut carefully down the inside of each orange, slicing between the flesh and the rind (photo 2). Because the fruit is curved, you’ll need to do this in sections. Cut down the sides, then across the middle, removing chunks of fruit as you go.

Step 5: Using a spoon or a melon baller, scrape out as much fruit as possible (photo 3). Be careful not to tear through the rind.

Step 6: Using the paring knife or a precision blade, carve faces or other designs into your oranges (photo 4). Remember, an orange’s rind is much softer than a pumpkin’s!

Step 7: After you’ve finished carving all the oranges, use the paring knife to punch a hole in the back of each one. Insert one twinkle bulb into each orange.

Step 8: Remove the bulbs from any extra lights and string the lanterns along your chosen spot outdoors. Cover the wiring with fallen leaves.

Step 9: Plug the string into an outdoor outlet, using an outdoor extension cord as needed, and you’ve got a strand of glowing jack-o’-lanterns that’ll light the way to your door.


Updated Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
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