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How to Carve a Pumpkin for Halloween

Published by Selina Gugliotti

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Its Halloween and you get the sudden urge to carve a pumpkin! There’s a problem though, you’ve never done it before! It’s okay I’m here to help guide you through the process with some helpful tips but first a little history on the fruit that is “The Pumpkin”

Pumpkins are native to western America and have been grown here for over 5,000 years but surprisingly the Europeans had no idea of their existence until the time of Columbus in 1584. The celebration of Halloween on the other hand is centuries old and originates in Europe celebrating the end of the Celtic new year.

When Europeans began settling America they realized that the large American pumpkin was perfect for carving and the craze caught on in the 1800’s. The rest is history.

First you’ll need to choose your pumpkin! They can be as small as a tomato or as large as a 27-inch television from the early 1990’s! the choice is yours depending on what you would like to carve out of it.

When it comes to choosing the right tools for the job retailers sell a laundry list of pumpkin carving items from long knifes to carving kits. I will detail a few important ones.

  1. The Knife: your basic cutting tool (some people use cutting saws for more detail) depending on how advanced you are.
  2. The Spoon: How else will you remove all that gooey pumpkiny goodness? (Tip: Save the seeds for baking!)
  3. Magic Marker or Grease Pen: You have to outline a design or you can buy premade ones at stores or online!
  4. Paper Towels: It will get messy.

So now that you’ve got your pumpkin and your tools you are ready to carve!

Cut a circle around the stem atop your pumpkin opening it up and creating a lid. You’ll notice that the pumpkin is full of goop, slime, and seeds. Scoop all of that out with your spoon.

Once you have a gutted and clean pumpkin take hold of your marker and draw your pattern. You could draw the traditional triangle eyed jagged toothed Jack o’ Lantern or maybe your more advanced and want to create the Mona Lisa of pumpkins. Either way it’s important to draw before you cut so you don’t mess it up.

Next, knife in hand slowly and carefully (safety first) cut out your stencil.

Now you have a full fledged Jack O’ Lantern! Put a candle in it and close the lid, take its picture and post it online, bring it with you to dinner, It’s your new companion!

Once again I cannot stress how important safety is! Always wear eye protection and be careful of cuts when cutting with knifes. Always wash your tools and never leave any sharp objects lying around. Especially if you have children. If you are a kid make sure your parents help you. Happy carving and have a Happy Halloween!



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