Pumpkin Carving Tips and Tricks

7 Tips to a Perfectly Carved Pumpkin

If you have tried your hand at pumpkin carving, you will know that an easy Jack o Lantern design is not too difficult. But attempting more elaborate designs may make you wonder why you ever ventured away from Jack!  These pumpkin carving tips will bring out the artist in any budding Halloween decorator.

7 Tips for a Perfectly Carved PumpkinBut carving an intricate design is not as hard as you think.   You will need a few basic tools for best results though. A plain kitchen knife just won’t do.

  • A pumpkin of the shape you want. Bigger ones are easy to work with since they have a larger surface area.
  •  A large spoon
  • A poker, to push the pieces through and to transfer the design
  • A drill to make small circular openings
  • A small saw to cut easily
  • Tape
  • A Stencilor pattern for your design
  • A candle for the finished pumpkin for the glow


  • Cut an opening in the top of your pumpkin large enough to get your hands in to scoop out the pulp and seeds.  Save the piece that you cut out to use as a lid for the finished pumpkin
  • Using your hands and a large spoon, scoop out the pulp and seeds of the pumpkin. Save the seeds to roast.  They are delicious. Here is a great recipe for Toasted pumpkin seeds. The wall should be about 1 inch thick when done.

pumpkin seeds

  • Take your stencil and tape it to the pumpkin.  If it does not fit smoothly, just make small slits in it and tape it down on the pumpkin.  This site has some great free stencils

cat stencil

  • Use your poker to make small holes all along the design of your pattern.  Remove the stencil and save it for reference for when you start to carve.
  • Now use your drill to make holes through the pumpkin where your small holes are into the inside of the pumpkin.  You will find this easier if you hold the pumpkin in your lap.
  • Now it is time to use the saw.  Hold it like a pencil and move it up and down moving from hole to hole.   Continue until your design is done.

Pumpkin saw

  • You will need a chimney in your pumpkin.  Light a candle and place it inside and put the lid on.  In a few seconds, blow out the candle and see where the dark side is on the inside of the lid. Cut a small hole there with your drill.   This will allow the smoke to release and the heat to get out of the pumpkin while the candle is glowing inside.

Be sure to see my round up of Creative Pumpkin Carving Designs.

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