1. Cut the top of the watermelon off so that you have about ¾ of the watermelon left as the bowl.
Note – you can carve your flowers and pattern first and then cut off the top. But when you cut off the top first, it gives you a very definite guide to lining up your flowers better. Do not hollow out your melon until you are done carving the entire pattern.
2. About 2 to 2 1/2 inches from the cut top of the bowl, mark a circle that will be the center of your first flower. To mark your circle, you can use a circle sticker that you get at an office supply store or use a melon baller or small circle fondant cutter.
3. Cutting straight into the melon, carve your circle using, a paring knife, or fruit carving knife. Go in about 1/2 inch deep. It will be faster and easier to carve a symmetrical circle using a U-Cutter tool.
4. Once your first circle is carved, you’ll want to mark where the 6 petals of your flower will be. You can mark the rind with the back of your knife blade or the knife blade. You will not be cutting into these lines. These are just to serve as a guide.
5. Now, it’s time to cut your flower petals. Angle your knife down and towards the line that marks the center of the petal. Carve the first edge of the flower petal so that the tip of your knife is under the center line. Carve the second side of the petal again angling your knife so that as you cut, the tip of your knife will be under the center line and will meet the cut of the first half petal you carved. Your first petal should now lift out. If it doesn’t, then your cuts did not meet. Carve again in the same place but this time put your knife in a little further so that you cuts meet and the piece lifts out.
6. Repeat cutting each petal all around your flower until all 6 petals are done. Now you have your first flower.
7. Repeat steps 2-7 to make additional flowers of the same size or different sizes – your choice.
8. Outline your flowers. Carve an outline straight into the melon about ¼ inch deep around each petal. Then carve away about ¼ inch of rind around the outline angling your knife so that this cut will meet the outline cut. Lift away the rind to reveal the white rind outline. Once you have outlined all your flowers, you can continue to remove the green rind between the outlined flowers and above the flowers.
9. Once your outlined flowers are done all around the bowl, cut a line about ¾ inches deep that goes all the way around the circumference of your melon. This line will run parallel to your flowers but about 2 to 3 inches from the bottom of the flower petals.
10. Now, you can carve your stripes. Cut a vertical line from the bottom of a flower down to the horizontal line that you just carved. Make sure to angle your knife at a 45 degree angle to the right. Cut the next vertical line about ½ inch to the right but angling your knife ½ inch to the left. Your first stripe should lift out. Repeat this all the way around your melon.
11. Once you are done, you can hollow out the bowl using a melon baller. This fruit will be used in the fruit salad that you will put back into the bowl when ready to serve.
12. Determine the balance of how your melon stands straight up and cut a small flat spot on the bottom of your melon. This will hold the melon in place.
Put on a plate, fill with fruit salad and you are ready to serve. Your guests will think you are an artist.
For a complete video lesson showing how to make 2 variations of a watermelon pedestal bowl, go to melonbasket.com
To get more great fruit carving ideas and free video lessons visit VegetableFruitCarving.com
Purchase U-Cutters at VegetableFruitCarving.com