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Carved Watermelon Table Topper

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 45 min.


1 Watermelon Basket

This easy-to-carve watermelon truly says "summer." Unlike other versions that simply feature a scalloped edge, this includes a unique fruit design on the side and an easy handle at the top. But you don't need to stock up on supplies to make it. Just grab a few basic tools from your kitchen and craft area and start carving. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen


  • Materials needed:
  • 18-20 pound Watermelon
  • Long thin kitchen knife
  • Waxed paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Toothpicks or T-pins
  • Short pairing knife
  • Damp cloth
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic wrap
  • Masking tape


  1. Level the bottom of the watermelon by cutting off a very thin slice. Sit melon upright.
  2. Tear a sheet of waxed paper long enough to go around the melon. Trace the scallop pattern onto the entire length of waxed paper, repeating as needed.
  3. Position the waxed-paper pattern on the melon one-third of the distance from the top (allowing at least 8 inches from the bottom for the design area), with the scallop meeting at one side. Tape into place.
  4. Using a toothpick or T-pin, prick through the pattern and melon rind at 1/4-inch intervals around the melon. (For a more defined
  5. pattern, trace the scallop with a knife point
  6. if desired.) Remove pattern.
  7. To create handle, use a long thin knife. Cut straight down from 1 inch to the right of the stem to the scalloped design. See Fig. 1.
  8. Repeat the cut, starting 1 inch from the left of the stem to the scalloped design.
  9. Cut out the scallop with a short paring knife, using a rocking motion around the curves. Do not cut scallops where the handle
  10. is attached to the melon. Remove the two melon sections between the scalloped edge and the handle.
  11. Trace the fruit pattern onto waxed paper. Center the pattern on the front of the melon between the sides of the handle and top and
  12. bottom of the melon. Tape into place. Using a toothpick or T-pin, prick through the pattern and melon at 1/4-inch intervals around
  13. the melon. (For a more defined pattern, trace the design with a knife point if desired.) Remove pattern.
  14. Carefully use the small paring knife point to form a narrow groove for the outer edges of leaves, stems, ribbon and heart. Using the flat edge of the knife blade, scrape away the green rind inside pear and apple designs. Wipe off designs with a damp cloth.
  15. Carefully scoop out the flesh and seeds from inside the melon, reserving flesh to be cut up and served in melon or setting aside
  16. for another use.
  17. Cover the cut edges with wet paper towel and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill melon until ready to serve. (Watermelon may be carved a day in advance.) Place melon in a shallow bowl of ice and fill as desired with fresh fruit. (Note: Keep your centerpiece refrigerated after you get home from the picnic and you can use it
  18. the next morning for brunch!)
Note: When selecting your watermelon, keep in mind that seedless varieties are easier to carve. Finished size: Design fits an 18- to 20- pound watermelon. Adjust the size of the fruit pattern to fit other sizes.

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