Do you have Jack-O’-Lantern envy? Do you wish you could carve intricate designs to decorate your Halloween pumpkins? Learn how to carve a pumpkin like a pro with these easy steps for making your pumpkins the coolest on the block.
If learning how to carve a pumpkin isn’t quite up your alley, consider these no-carve options instead. They are less messy, but still fun too!
How to Carve a Pumpkin
- The first step to learning how to carve a pumpkin is to hollow it out. To do that you must first cut a large hole (large enough for your hand and pumpkin guts to fit through) in the pumpkin.The traditional method is to cut a round hole at the top and create a lid. You could choose to cut a hole in the bottom as well, depending on your design. To cut this hole, you could use a knife, but to carve your pumpkin like a pro use a drywall saw instead. This specialty saw is available for under $10 at most home improvement stores. It is also known as a keyhole or jab saw. You could also use an X-ACTO keyhole saw attachment, available online and at many hobby and craft stores.
- Once you have successfully cut a hole, scoop out the pumpkin pulp and seeds–this is where things get a little messy. The best method is to use a large metal spoon and your hands. If you are into that kind of thing, save the pumpkin seeds and make roasted pepitas!
- Here comes the fun part in learning how to carve a pumpkin–decorating your pumpkin! If you are super talented or like to throw caution to the wind, freehand draw your own design. If you are a little more cautious, consider using a template design. You can find all kinds of pumpkin stencils on the Internet, but here are a few to get you inspired.
- Once you have created your design or affixed a printed template, simply trace the outline by poking small holes with an awl, ice pick, or another pointy tool. This step will make it so much easier to cut out your design.
- To cut out your design, carve along the lines of your pattern with your saw tool. You may also want to have an X-ACTO handy with a fine point blade to clean up your edges and for fine detailing. Just be very careful!
- The final step in learning how to carve a pumpkin is to add light. The ideal way to light your pumpkin is to use flameless candles. String lights are always an option too, but then you have a cord to hide. If you do decide to use string lights, wrap them around a vase or mason jar that will fit through the hole you carved. Also, add a small in the back or the bottom to string the cord through.
Remember, safety first when carving pumpkins and when lighting with real candles. If you are carving pumpkins with kids, consider picking up a safety carving set, and children should be supervised at all times.
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Image: Pumpkin Carving via Shutterstock