Halloween Pumpkin Carving Tips

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I’m one of those people who just can not do a simple jack-o-lantern face on our pumpkins each year.  Instead I have to get all fancy schmancy, hehe.  It’s really so much easier than it looks and today I am gonna show you how. 

Pumpkin Carving Tips


1.)  When scooping out the pumpkin guts scrape the inside of the pumpkin until the area you want to carve is about an inch thick.  Don’t make it too thin or the pumpkin wall will become too weak and will break while carving.

2.)  Search for a FREE pumpkin carving template online – there are tons, ya just gotta take the time to search.  Yes, the adorable spider I carved this year was a free template!  Check it out for yourself.

3.)  Start with a clean pumpkin – I rinse mine off in the kitchen sink.  Make sure to dry completely.

4.)  Tape the pumpkin carving template to the pumpkin.  I use wide packing tape…. just a few pieces.

5.)  Using a thumb tack I poke through the template to transfer the design to the pumpkin.  Once done I peel the paper back off.  Typically the pumpkin juice has caused the paper to stick to the pumpkin – a baby wipe is a great way to get it off quickly.

6.)  Using a small pumpkin saw start with the smallest pieces that will be cut out like the eyes and mouth.  Move to the bigger pieces and leave the biggest pieces for last.  Keep the saw in the pumpkin while carving.  This is a relatively easy process because the thumb tack has created a sort of perforated line – kinda like notebook paper.

7.)  Once done I rinse the pumpkin off again in the kitchen sink to get all the little pieces of pumpkin off and then set outside on our front porch.

8.)  If you spray the inside of the pumpkin with bleach it will prolong the life of the carving because it will delay the decaying process.  I skip this step because we have squirrels that like to come munch on our pumpkins.

Oh and a random tip…. if you prefer to draw your carving on with pen instead of using a pattern don’t worry about left over pen lines.  They come off super easy with a magic eraser! 

Here are a few other pumpkins I have made over the past few years…

Kitty Cat PumpkinSpongebob PumpkinPirate Pumpkin

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15 Responses to Halloween Pumpkin Carving Tips

  1. Great tips.. I love the spider so cute. We have not even gotten our pumpkin yet. Hope to this weekend. Seems like I try to play ahead and then it becomes a last minute thing. I hate that.

  2. Mimi says:

    Oh my gosh, that’s awesome! I’ve never gotten that fancy before. My 9yo son refuses to clean out the guts while it’s my favorite part! Love the SpongeBob one! lol Great tips, too!

  3. Rachel K says:

    Great tips! Doing ours tonight I need a good pattern, may use the spider.

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  5. Betty Baez says:

    great tips didnt know about the bleach or pen outline coming off with magic eraser im already thinking ahead to halloween!

  6. Jennifer (robbins) A. says:

    Such great advice! I never thought to start carving the small details first, but it makes sense, and seems like it would avoid a lot of frustration! I’m fairly new to pumpkin carving (for some reason, it’s not something my family did growing up), so forgive me if this sounds silly, but I also had never considered thinning the walls of the pumpkin! I had such trouble last year, as the pumpkin was really thick!

    Thank you so much for the article + tips, I feel really prepared to go into next Halloween confident with my new pumpkin carving knowledge! : )

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