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Make a Camera From a Leftover Pumpkin! (with video)

Hey, that’s no ordinary pumpkin – it’s a camera! Actually, with a little creative reuse, a pumpkin can be transformed into a pinhole camera. This may be the strangest thing made from a humble leftover pumpkin you’ve seen since master carver, Ray Villafane’s creepy pumpkin creations.

The folks over at National Public Radio set out to make a pinhole camera from a pumpkin. The team reported, after a bit of calculation and guesswork, that their experiment to create a camera from a pumpkin was a success (watch video below).

What is a Pinhole Camera?

The pinhole camera is the simplest of all cameras. It is a small, light-tight box (or pumpkin, in this case), painted black with a tiny hole on the center of one side.

Wise Geek says, ” A pinhole camera functions essentially the same way a stock camera works. The difference is one of resolution. While a lens takes scattered beams of light and focuses them into a cone or ray it them projects on to film (simply speaking), a pinhole works by allowing such a small aperture that the beam coming in is quite small, and therefore remains relatively unscattered. Unscattered beams create clear pictures. The larger the pinhole, the more scattered the light, and the less sharp the resulting image.”

Looking for a little post-Halloween fun? Here are the materials you’ll need to transform a pumpkin into a camera.

Materials Needed:

Aluminum foil
Carving knife
Photography paper
Dark paint
Access to a darkroom

Watch this great video that gives the step-by-step directions, and shows the highlights of making a pumpkin pinhole camera.

How To Turn A Pumpkin Into A Camera from NPR on Vimeo.

Read more: Crafts & Hobbies, EcoNesting DIY, Halloween, Home, Videos, Videos, Videos, , , , , , , ,

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Ronnie Citron-Fink

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer, editor and educator. She has written hundreds of articles about sustainable living, the environment, design, and family life for websites, books and magazines. Ronnie is the creator of Econesting, and the managing editor of Moms Clean Air Force. Ronnie was named one of the Top Ten Living Green Experts by Yahoo. Ronnie lives in New York with her family.


+ add your own
10:41AM PDT on Aug 1, 2011

ha i like it, iv made a pinhole camera befor but never out of a pumpkin

10:22PM PDT on Jul 20, 2011


9:55PM PST on Nov 29, 2010

neva thought of this even the kids want 2 try

3:00PM PST on Nov 15, 2010

I never would have thought to make a camera out of a pumpkin in a million years!

5:47AM PST on Nov 14, 2010

I love eating vegies including squash.

11:04PM PST on Nov 8, 2010

very interesting, thanks

2:50AM PDT on Nov 4, 2010

Just what we need more hidden cameras. Didn't McGuyver do this once? I'm with you,Beverly, what is the point of this story???

7:04PM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

agree with Walt G, time can b used elsewhere.

7:02PM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

cant see the point of it sorry.

3:28PM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

Take heart, Kay L, the time they take on this project may keep us all out of serious trouble. In my case, I substituted part of an old web cam, and emerged with an electronic version. You know that darkroom materials are not environment friendly, but so far this version hasn't polluted anything except the time I could have been using for serious things. BTW, I will next put teh web cam parts into a weather resistant box for outdoor imaging in the daytime, mainly to determine when to put out food for the animals I can't host but want to see remain at least adequately fed till I can find someone to adopt them.

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people are talking

The abuse and suffering of pigs from birth till death is the only reason I've ever needed.

So what's up with the fast food chains and bacon?


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