Pumpkin Carving Tips and Tricks

*By: Megan Deppen*

Photo: Megan Deppen

Halloween may look a bit different this year due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean you have to halt all of your Halloween traditions. One tradition I started this year was pumpkin carving. We never carved pumpkins growing up, so better late than never! However, let me say if you never did this before, it’s not the easiest activity out there, but the final product is totally worth the work that goes into it.  Since this was my first time carving, I wanted to share some tips and tricks that might be helpful to you if you’re a first time pumpkin carver. 


Carving Tool/Knife 

Scooping Spoon

Stencils – This is optional, but they do come in handy and make it easy to trace instead of free handing it.

Light or Candle – To place in the pumpkin so it lights up.

Markers, Paint, & Stickers – This is also optional, but something a little extra if you want to decorate your pumpkin in addition to carving it out.

Carving Steps:

Step 1: Cut the top of the pumpkin off with your carving knife/tool and set aside.

 Step 2: Scoop out all of the pumpkin seeds and pumpkin flesh. You want to make sure the inside of the pumpkin is cleaned out and smooth. This will take some work and muscle, so be prepared. 
*Fun Tip – You can keep the pumpkin seeds and roast them for a tasty snack.

Step 3: Use the stencils to trace the face of your pumpkin.

Step 4: Carefully cut out the face, nose, and mouth.

Step 5: Decorate with additional paint, stickers, markers, etc., if you’re feeling extra festive.

Step 6: Add a LED light or candle inside of the pumpkin.
*Important Tip – Sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon in the pumpkin so ants and other critters don’t eat it. 

Check out some of the pumpkins my husband and I carved this year. My sister’s kids also had fun decorating their pumpkins with paint and stickers. You can also turn it into an awesome vegetable party platter like my husband did in the picture above.

What are your pumpkin carving techniques? Leave your comments below. 

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