Pumpkin Carving Tips & Tricks

Halloween carved jack-o’-lantern pumpkin

Fall is here, Halloween is near, and we’ve got some great pumpkin carving tips and tricks for you this year, as well as news on what’s popular for 2019 pumpkin designs. For carving your pumpkins, you’ll need some basic tools:

  • Carving tool (a bonsai keyhole saw is perfect for pumpkin carving – around $15)
  • Fine carving tool (Xacto knives work great – you can get an entire set for $22 online)
  • Clay hole tools (for impressively round holes – just $7 online)
  • Scraping tool (aka fleshing tool) $20 online – also found in sporting goods stores
  • Dremel kit (does just about everything you need, and is also great for other projects)
  • Newspaper (to keep mom from getting mad when you make a mess!)
  • Sharpie marker for drawing design on pumpkins

Once you’ve got your newspaper laid out, your Sharpie marker and all the necessary carving tools at hand, it’s time to get started. Use your marker to draw a circle around the top of the pumpkin. A serrated knife or saw will do to cut along the line and create a removable lid. Take the lid off and use a large metal spoon or scraping tool to scrape out the interior, saving the seeds for roasting in the oven later for a wholesome snack. Next, draw cutouts onto the surface of the pumpkin, including eyes, nose, mouth and teeth. Use a small paring knife or narrow saw such as a keyhole saw to make the cutouts.

If you’re not into carving up your pumpkin, another popular method of decorating pumpkins involves making relief cuts into the outer skin instead of cutting holes. For this method, you’ll need ribbon sculpting tools to carve eyes, nose, and mouth into the outer skin of the pumpkin. When you place a candle is inside, light will radiate through the flesh and give your pumpkin an eerie glow.

For a spooky twist, paint your pumpkin black and decorate the surface with white paint. Here are some scary ideas you might want to try:

  • Wicked witch
  • Ghoul
  • Black cat
  • Bat
  • Monster
  • Ghost
  • Spider
  • Zombie
  • Skeleton
  • Frankenstein

And here are some not so scary ideas:

  • Smiling face
  • Tinkerbell / fairy
  • Friendly owl
  • Flowers
  • Moon and stars
  • Pumpkin family
  • Spell out “boo” using three pumpkins
  • Geometric shapes
  • Minion (or other movie character)
  • Animals (can use cookie cutters to press in shapes, or trace for carving)

There you have it, 20 possibilities for carving your Halloween pumpkins this year. This beautiful orange autumn squash isn’t just for making jack-o-lanterns, though; it makes a great fall decoration for your table, front porch, or entryway, as well. For those of you who just don’t want to mess with carving a pumpkin, there’s plenty of other ways to say Happy Halloween, like a light up metal Halloween pumpkin, personalized pumpkin door decoration, Halloween banner, black cat face door mat, fairy tale Halloween flags, or LED-illuminated Halloween orb. No matter how you celebrate the season, we hope you have a fabulous fall!