Sunday - Make Your Own Watermelon Carvings

Make Your Own Watermelon Carvings 
Our own Chef Domino is a genius at creating fruit and vegetable art. Now you can learn how he does it!
(Thanks to the National Watermelon Promotion Board for the text and photos. Please visit their website for everything to do with watermelons!)

1. Watermelon Turtle
2. Watermelon Tiki Mask Table Decoration
3. Watermelon Shark
4. Watermelon Beach Bucket
5. Watermelon Flower Garden
6. The Stratomelon

Have the whole watermelon at room temperature when you carve. The cuts will be easier to make when the watermelon is not cold. You can chill the watermelon in the refrigerator after cutting and before serving.

Cut a small, thin, flat piece from the bottom of the watermelon before carving. This will make a flat base, making the watermelon more stable when carving.

Draw the design on the watermelon rind with a fine/medium point waterproof marker or a sharp pencil before you cut.

After you’ve drawn the design on the rind, insert toothpicks in key places to use as guides for your cuts.

Use a sharp knife with a pointed tip – the sharper the knife, the easier and cleaner the cuts will be. Be careful!

Consider using a channel knife for certain cuts and to hollow out larger areas.

For better grip and to help protect your hands, use a fresh, new thick pair of gardening gloves with gripper palms.

Choose a flat working surface on a solid base.

For more detailed designs, draw a template first on a sheet of white paper with a marker or pencil. When finished, transfer the image to the watermelon surface by taping the paper to the melon and tracing along the design’s lines with a pencil, making the design right on the watermelon surface.

When attaching cut pieces on the watermelon to make your design, use round toothpicks or skewers. Flat toothpicks will often break due to weight of the piece or the thickness of the rind.

Be creative and have fun!


1 Oblong watermelon Knife
Melon baller or other scoop spoon
Channel knife (you can use the top of a
standard vegetable peeler)
Dry erase marker
2 Peppercorns, or other eye pieces
Fruit salad
Leaves, plants, or other accents as desired
Toothpicks or other skewers 

1. Choose an oblong seedless watermelon for carving.
2. Wash watermelon and pat dry.
3. Cut in half lengthwise.
4. Hollow out both sides, using a melon baller.
5.Carve out block design in the bottom side, using a channel knife. (Copy from photo).
6. Use a dry erase marker to trace turtle shell, legs, and head on top side of watermelon.
7. Carve shapes with knife, and add designs with channel knife.
8. Add peppercorns to the eye holes to fill.
9. Fill bottom with fruit salad.
10. Attach legs and head to shell, using strong toothpicks or skewers, and put on top of salad.  
11. Add accents around base with leaves and plants.


1 oblong seedless watermelon
Pencil or green dry erase marker
Melon baller
Paring and kitchen knives
Channel knife

1. Using an oblong watermelon, slice 1/4" off an end to provide a stable base.
2. Use a pencil to draw the face, making adjustments in scale to your particular watermelon.
3. Use a melon baller to scoop out nostrils - use a small paring knife to clean up edges.
4. Next use a paring knife to cut out the inside mouth area, leaving room for the teeth.
5. Next cut the individual teeth, using the same small paring knife, and use a spoon to dig out a large area of flesh for mouth cavity.
6. Next carve out eyes, digging a deep cavity in each, for drama. Use a channel knife to carve details.
7. Use some carved out pieces to cut a "bone" decoration for top of head, and attach with a toothpick.


1 oblong, seeded watermelon
Dry erase marker
Large knife
Smaller utility knife
Large spoon
Paring knife (you can use the tip of a vegetable peeler)
2 large marbles
Toothpicks or wooden skewers
Swedish fish candies for garnish

1. Wash and dry the watermelon.
2. Cut off 1/3 of the watermelon at a diagonal angle.
3. Stand the remaining 2/3 upright on your work surface and use a dry erase marker to draw the mouth line and eye sockets.
4. Cut out the mouth. Trim back a 1/2" line of the green part of the rind for the teeth area.
5. Use a large spoon to scoop out the watermelon flesh, leaving 3" intact at the base.
6. Cut out the teeth, using a smaller utility knife.
7. Use melon baller to cut out the eye sockets that match the size of large marbles. Then use a paring knife to trim the green area around the eyes. Insert marbles.
8. Use the carved out rind from the mouth to make the dorsal fin. Shape as shown in the picture. Attach the fin using toothpicks.
9. Fill the mouth with triangle shapes of watermelon, accented with Swedish fish.


1 Watermelon - can be seeded or seedless
Cutting Board
Kitchen and paring knives
Green dry erase marker
1 Large bowl and a spoon
Melon baller
Beach theme cookie cutters 

1. Read through the directions before you start.
2. Drain cut watermelon and other fruit before placing it in the carving.
3. When removing excess flesh try to leave it in big pieces – easier for making melon balls or cubes.
4. Use a green dry erase marker – wipe off excess marker after making cuts.
5. Wash the watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.
6. Placing the watermelon on its side, cut off the bottom end 1/4" - 1/2" so that it can stand flat on its end. Be careful not to cut too deep into the white part of the rind – this would allow liquid to leak from the bottom of the carving.
7. Stand the watermelon on the cut end. With your dry erase marker, draw a line about 1/3 of the way down from the top, around the whole watermelon.

8. Pick a point on the line and find the corresponding point on the exact opposite side of the watermelon. From those points measure 1" to the right and to the left. Connect those points by drawing two parallel lines across the top forming the shape of the handle.
9. Use the paring knife to cut along the lines, being careful to not break or crack the handle. For best results, hold the paring knife like a pen, but only cut half way into the rind. Once you complete that first cut all the way around, then go back and cut the rest of the way through the rind. Doing the cut in two steps will ensure a cleaner line and smoother cuts. 
10. Carefully remove the trimmed rind and flesh. Try to remove as much flesh as possible in large portions that can later be sliced and used with the cookie cutters.

11. Scoop out all of the remaining flesh from the base, trying to leave as much flesh intact. Remove it in larger pieces that can be used for making watermelon balls or bite-sized chunks.
12. Take your channel knife and carve a channel about 1”-2” from the top edge, creating the rim of the bucket.
13. Take the large removed pieces and trim off rind. From flesh cut rectangles about 1/2" thick. Using beach-theme cookie cutters cut shapes from the watermelon. To create light colored shapes you can use slices of honeydew melons, or cut decorative pieces from the white part of the watermelon rind. Set aside and drain on paper towel.
14. With the remaining fruit, make either cubes or balls and drain. Toss with other cut fruit and berries and fill bucket.
15. Decorate top of bucket with cut watermelon shapes and new, clean toys and shovels. Use light colored cake mix to resemble sand.


1 Oblong Seeded Watermelon
1 Small yellow watermelon (or substitute mini red watermelon or pineapple)
Flower shape cookie cutters
Melon baller
15-20 Skewers for flower stems
40-50 Popsicle or jumbo craft sticks for picket fence
Hot glue gun
Green food coloring and pipe cleaners (optional) 

1. Wash the watermelons. Cut a 1/4" slice off the bottom of the oblong watermelon to provide a stable base. Cut the top 1/3 off the watermelon lengthwise to provide the flower bed.
2. Cut out flat pieces from the flesh of the slice and from flesh from the flower bed piece. Use cookie cutters (or free hand cut) for the desired shapes for flowers. Be sure to cut shapes from the yellow watermelon as well. (Shown are daisies and tulips.)
3. Soak skewers in green food coloring, and set on paper towel to dry.

4. Use a small melon baller to create flower centers from both the yellow and red watermelons. Assemble the flowers by attaching the center balls with toothpicks. Place entire flower head on tinted green skewers. Insert skewer flower stems into base flower bed. Be sure to alternate colors and feel free to experiment with other colorful fruits like cantaloupe or blueberries.

5. Fill the basket flower bed with the rest of the fruit in flower shapes and balls. Shape a couple pipe cleaners into leaves and carefully attach to the skewer stems.
6. Using extreme caution use a hot glue gun to attach the Popsicle sticks around the flower bed as shown to create a fence for the garden. Garnish with other fun shapes such as butterflies or honeybees.

And here's a brilliant watermelon carving just for our very own Jason Davey! We know he'll be impressed!

The Stratomelon!

This was the winner in a National Watermelon Carving Contest! For more info please visit What About Watermelon!

If you've enjoyed the information on this page, please consider buying my novel Cold Play. The story is set on a cruise ship in Alaska, and the crafts on this page were inspired by the daily passenger activities which take place on board the ship. 

In Cold Play, Jason Davey has literally run away to sea after the death of his makeup artist wife, finding work as a contract entertainer aboard a much-adored but soon-to-be-retired cruise ship, the Star Sapphire.But when three people from his past come board as passengers, Jason's routine week-long trip to Alaska becomes anything but.

Cold Play by Winona Kent