Snaily! The Terror of the Garden Jack o’ Lanterns



3D Snail Jack O' Lantern Tutorial by Brenda Ponnay for

You know what’s fun to make for Halloween? A 3D snail pumpkin! It’s so easy.

Supplies for 3D Snail Jack O’Lantern:

1. one nice round pumpkin
2. one butternut squash
3. two wooden skewers
4. two ping pong balls
5. a permanent marker
6. your normal jack o’ lantern carving tools (aka knife, spoon to scoop)
7. a drill, if you’re super handy (not required)

First you need to make the snail’s shell. Do this by cutting the bottom out of your nice round pumpkin. Scoop out all the seeds and make sure it’s nice and clean. Then cut a spiral in the top of the pumpkin, make sure you don’t carve too much because you don’t want to weaken your pumpkin or accidentally cut the whole top off.

Then cut the bottom of your nice round pumpkin to level it, so the pumpkin can sit on its side like a snail shell and not topple over. This pumpkin won’t last more than a few nights with that much exposed pumpkin meat…but it’s fun for one night. And you have to admit, he’s super cute.

Now you can make your snail’s body. This is just a butternut squash with the bottom lopped off but you want to cut it at an angle so the snail’s head will be tilted away from the snail jack o’lantern shell like so.

Add your snail’s eyes by drilling a small hole in each ping pong ball and inserting a skewer into them. If you don’t have a drill, you can probably make the same hole by puncturing the ball with a push pin and then wiggling the pin around until the hole is wide enough to insert the wooden skewer. Once your skewer is in, poke the other end into your butternut squash where the eyes should be positioned and your snail jack o’lantern’s got eyes! Zombie eyes, like my kid says. To add pupils, just color a small dot in the center of your ping pong ball with a black permanent marker. Easy peasy!

You can add battery-operated candles to your snail pumpkin’s shell. (Real candles will burn the shell, so don’t use them!) His eyes won’t light up unfortunately but maybe somebody super crafty out there knows a way to rig up some LED lights into the ping-pong balls. That would be so cool.

Then place your snail pumpkin in a flower bed somewhere, and gardeners will run scared!

About the author

Brenda Ponnay
Brenda Ponnay is a stealthy secret agent who juggles parenthood to her adorable daughter by day and freelance graphic design/illustration by night. Whether it's painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of cardboard boxes or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay has learned that what really makes her happy is being creative every single day.

You can read about all her crazy adventures on her personal blog: Secret Agent Josephine.

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10 Responses to “Snaily! The Terror of the Garden Jack o’ Lanterns”

  1. Sarah Oct 14 at 6:16 am Reply Reply

    I want a garden full of these!

  2. JDaniel4's Mom Oct 30 at 5:06 pm Reply Reply

    This is super cute! I have pinned it.

  3. Jerry C Sep 17 at 9:09 am Reply Reply

    If you make another hole in the back of each ping pong ball, you may be able to use those little watch-battery tea lights and push the light part (that sticks up) into the back of the ball. Though as heavy as those little lights are, you would have to change how the eyes were attached to the butternut. I’ll give this a shot, thank you!


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