Fire Breathing Dragon – Halloween Pumpkin

This carved Halloween dragon pumpkin breathes real smoke and fire. Photo Credit: Anne Helmenstine
This carved Halloween dragon pumpkin breathes real smoke and fire. Photo Credit: Anne Helmenstine

Carve a dragon jack o’ lantern for Halloween and make your pumpkin breathe real smoke and colored fire. The fire breathing dragon is easy to do and quite spectacular.

Dragon Pumpkin Materials

  • real pumpkin (fake might catch fire!)
  • dragon pattern
  • knife
  • red sparklers or emergency flare

Carve the Dragon

  1. Cut around the top of the pumpkin, slanting inward so the top of the pumpkin won’t fall inside the jack o’ lantern.
  2. Scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin If you like, bake the pumpkin seeds as a treat.
  3. Print out the free pattern and tape it over the pumpkin. It’s easiest to stick the tape if the pumpkin skin is dry.
  4. If you are a pumpkin carving master, carve away! Otherwise, it’s easier to prick the outline of the pattern into the pumpkin using a knife tip or toothpick. When you complete the outline, remove it and carve the face. To really make the features pop, go back and carve away a little pumpkin flesh from the edges of the dragon. Light can pass through the thin sections, so the design will show up better.

Make the Dragon Breathe Smoke and Fire

You can put a red glow stick or regular pumpkin light inside the candle to get a nice rosy glow, but when you’re ready to kick it up a notch, it’s easy to make this dragon breathe fire. The red fire comes from heating a strontium-based salt, which emits crimson light. Although the photo was taken in my living room, it’s probably a good plan to complete these steps outdoors. Either sparklers or a flare will evolve a lot of smoke. You can:

  • Place a red sparkler (or a few) head-down in the pumpkin. Use a long-handled lighter to ignite them. This is a relatively short-lived effect, but you can always add more.
  • Place an emergency road or boat flare in the pumpkin and light it. This effect can last for quite a while, depending on the flare. It’s very bright.
  • Break open a flare and pour a small amount of the powder inside the flare. Ignite it to get smoke and red fire. You can mix the flare with another fuel (e.g., wood chips) to dim the brilliance of the flare and extend the life of the display.