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17 Dos and Don’ts of Pumpkin Carving


You’ve been doing it for years but did you know there are specific tips for carving a pumpkin? Yeah, we didn’t either … until now. Check out our dos and don’ts for pumpkin carving; some of them may surprise you then enter our First Annual Organic Authority Pumpkin Carving Contest.

  1. Don’t pick a pumpkin that has a bruise or moldy stem.
  2. Do pick a pumpkin that’s lighter in color. They are easier to carve.
  3. Do soak your cleaned pumpkin for a couple of hours in a bleach/water solution (use oxygen bleach please!) … 1 tsp bleach to 1 gallon of water. This will lengthen the life of your pumpkin. Or...
  4. Do wash your pumpkin in warm, soapy water. This will reduce the spread of mold into the pumpkin. Dry thoroughly when finished.
  5. Don’t cut the top off the pumpkin. Cut the bottom instead which will keep moisture inside the pumpkin longer.
  6. Do take the seeds out one scoop at a time using a spoon or ice cream scoup. In a spiral motion, scrape the inside of the pumpkin until all the strings and seeds are free from the walls. Then it will come out in one drop.
  7. Do draw or print a template design. Cut out the patterns on the template you'll be carving onto the pumpkin. Tape the template to the pumpkin, if needed cut small slits into the paper so it lays flat on the pumpkin. 
  8. Do trace the template onto the pumpkin using a water-based marker, (water-based can be easily erased with a damp sponge).
  9. Do use a pumpkin carving knife or long serrate knife to carve your pumpkin. Use a sawing motion when carving your pumpkin and carve on or near the outside of your marker lines to remove all marker if you didn't use a water-based marker. 
  10. Don’t carve big pieces first. Do the details first to avoid breaking.
  11. Do rub veggie oil on all the edges where you carved it to preserve the pumpkin.
  12. Do rinse off the seeds, season with oil, salt, and pepper, and make toasted pumpkin seeds, and enjoy.
  13. Don’t ever eat a pumpkin that was carved.
  14. Do try an LED instead of a candle. It’s safer and will last longer.
  15. Do sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves on the inside of your pumpkin so it doubles as an air freshener. Just remember to use a candle for this one. And you'll need to carve out a lid to remove it, so the top won't scorch. Cut the lid on a 45 degree angle so it has a place to sit.
  16. Do put the jack-o-lantern in a plastic bag and put in the fridge when you’re not using it. It’ll last longer.
  17. Do soak the pumpkin in water for several hours if it starts to shrivel to revive it. The more shriveled it is, the longer you need to soak it. Dry completely, and reapply oil to preserve it.

Do you have any pumpkin carving tips?

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