Are you good at carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns? Apparently I’m not. Or least I wasn’t. Now that I have these pumpkin carving tips, my jack-o-lanterns look impressive – but they’re actually easy.
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of these links, I make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read more.
When I originally wrote this post in October 2011, I had just spent an afternoon with a bunch of bloggers in the Central Market cooking school to get some professional instruction from a pumpkin-carving expert.
Normally around Halloween, I have my husband do the knife-wielding honors. However, with what I learned from the expert, I felt confident that I could turn out a decent pumpkin myself.
Since then I’ve rounded up the best pumpkin carving tips I could find to make my family’s Halloween fun and creative.
Central Market pumpkin carving tips
1. When cutting a hole in the top, don’t make it round. Aim for a teardrop with an easy-to-identify corner. It will be loads easier to fit it back on the right way without spinning it around much.
2. Glue your pattern – if you have one – onto your pumpkin so that it will be still while you follow the next step. If you use regular school glue, it will peel right off.
3. Use a pointed object, such as an awl or the tool from a carving kit, to create a dot-to-dot pattern.
4. After you remove the pattern, rub a bit of white flour into the surface. This will make those dots stand out.
5. When you’ve finished cutting out your design, rub the edges with Vaseline. You will give your pumpkin a few extra days of attractiveness before, well… you know.
6. Instead of a candle, use an LED dot light to light up your pumpkin. Not only are they cheap and energy-efficient, but they also will not burn your pumpkin!
7 more tips
7. Use a hand mixer to remove the insides. (A Wonderful Thought)
8. A drill is perfect for making round holes. (Design Love Fest)
9. Use cookie cutters for unique, custom cutouts. (Better Homes and Gardens)
10. Skip the bleach and try this homemade pumpkin preserving spray. (Chemistry Cachet)
11. Don’t just cut the top off, cut the back out too for easy access. (Make Community)
12. Dress up your jack-o-lantern with accessories, like plastic vampire teeth. (Martha Stewart)
13. Turn the pumpkin a different direction before carving, such as using the stem for a nose. (various)
If you found this post helpful, you might also like: