Follow our step-by-step guide on how to carve the perfect pumpkin this Halloween. We’ll walk you through the entire process of carving your pumpkin like a pro.
With Halloween just around the corner, now is the perfect time to pick out a few pumpkins and get carving!
A carved pumpkin, or jack-o-lantern, is traditionally associated with the spooky decor of the Halloween holiday.
If you’ve never carved a pumpkin before, don’t worry – it’s actually very easy. All you need are the right tools like a sharp, sturdy knife, a sturdy spoon, and a little bit of patience. With our step-by-step guide, you’ll be carving pumpkins like a pro in no time.
You can use an easy pumpkin carving idea like the classic toothy grin of the iconic jack-o-lantern or a more elaborate design.
We’ll walk you through the entire process step-by-step so that you can have your very own jack-o’-lantern ready to light up the night in no time.
Pumpkin Carving Tips
How to Choose the Best Pumpkin
One of the first things to do is picking the right pumpkin. You can choose to buy one from the local grocery store or take a trip to local pumpkin patches to get one.
You’ll want to look for a pumpkin that is firm, has no blemishes or soft spots, and is the right size for what you’re looking to do. Keep in mind that a small pumpkin is often easier to carve than larger pumpkins.
The bottom of the pumpkin should be flat, so carving is much easier for any beginner. Also, make sure there is a sturdy stem —a broken stem will make carving more difficult.
Once you’ve found the perfect pumpkin, it’s time to get started!
How to Prepare the Pumpkin
The next step is prepping your pumpkin. First, you’ll need to cut off the top of the pumpkin so you can easily access the inside.
Use the knife to draw a circle of about a 2-3 inch radius at the top of the pumpkin. You’ll want to make sure that the hole is big enough to fit your hand through comfortably.
Tilt the knife at a slight angle, about 45 degrees and cut where you drew the circle to cut out the pumpkin lid.
Once that is done, use a large spoon or an ice cream scoop to remove all of the pumpkin guts and seeds from the inside of the pumpkin thoroughly. You can save the pumpkin seeds to roast later if you’d like.
Don’t hesitate to scrap the interior a little to ensure you get as much out as possible. Better scooping of the insides of the pumpkins will also make it simpler to put lights inside.
Once your pumpkin is clean and gut-free, it’s time to start carving!
How to Carve Your Pumpkin
Time to start the pumpkin carving session! You can either freehand your design or use a stencil.
If you’re freehanding it, start by drawing your design onto the pumpkin with a washable marker. Then, use a sharp knife to carefully cut out your design. If you’re using pumpkin carving templates, tape your paper patterns onto the pumpkin and then use a sharp knife or power tool to carve along the lines of the stencil.
Keep in mind that intricate designs can be difficult to carve.
Once you’re happy with your design, start carving along your lines with your knife.
Remember to go slowly and carefully. Carve from the center to the end of the plan carefully. Use steady, even strokes, carefully carve along your line until you’ve cut through the entire pumpkin layer. Take your time and pay complete attention as you cut the pumpkin.
Place a candle or battery-operated tea lights inside your carved pumpkin and enjoy your work of art! Making a jack-o-lantern is the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit.
How to Make Carved Pumpkins Last Longer
One way to make a carved pumpkin last longer is to coat it with a layer of petroleum jelly. This will help keep the moisture in and prevent the pumpkin from drying out. Another option is to spray it with a non-toxic sealant, such as Mod Podge, which will also help protect it from the elements.
Best Knife for Pumpkin Carving
A sharp knife is key for a clean cut and less mess when carving a Halloween pumpkin. A small serrated knife is best for removing the skin of the pumpkin, while a sharp paring knife can be used to carve out the details of your design.You can also buy a pumpkin carving kit and use the carving tools that come with it.