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.


nicole silva
Past Member 7 years ago

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

Tim Cheung
Tim C7 years ago


RavenNyx Nightshade

neva thought of this even the kids want 2 try

Sheri P.
Sheri P8 years ago

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

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado8 years ago

I love eating vegies including squash.

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p8 years ago

very interesting, thanks

Jacquie B.
Jacqueline B8 years ago

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???

beverly gannon
beverly gannon8 years ago

agree with Walt G, time can b used elsewhere.

beverly gannon
beverly gannon8 years ago

cant see the point of it sorry.

Walter G.
Walter G8 years ago

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.