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What You Should Know About Carving A Jack-O-Lantern

Updated on October 9, 2014

What's The Big Deal, Anyway?

The Jack O'Lantern is a arguably the most popular Halloween tradition, and an essential to your Fall Decor. People of all ages take a great amount of joy in the simple act of carving a face on a pumpkin and sticking a light inside.

So, what makes the Jack O'Lantern such an important part of our spooky holiday? To me, it's the quality time you get to spend with your family and/or friends. My favorite party about carving a jack o'lantern is the time you get so spend with your carving buddies. As a child I would carve pumpkins with my parents, siblings, cousins, or friends - and that's what I remember more than the faces that we put on them.

What about that special glow that a your jack o'lantern puts off in the crisp, fall nights leading up to our favorite spooky night filled with goblins, ghost, and of course candy! It's just not the same without that special jack o'lantern glow.

There's absolutely no denying that your final pumpkin masterpiece is something to behold. Let's face it: It's art! And it's incredible what they are doing with these things these days.

The Many Faces of Jack!

It'd probably be safe to say that jack o'lanterns are kind of like snowflakes, no two are exactly the same. Here are some of the few Many Faces of Jack!

Spooky, Frightened, and Silly Jack-o-lanterns

Here's a few different jack o'lantern emotions.

Face #1: Looks pretty spooky to me. He definitely doesn't look like a very nice guy.

Face #2: Looks more scared than he looks scary. This poor guy looks like he's just seen a ghost!

Face #3: A silly little guy, to lighten the mood. Love his toothy grin!

One of a Kind

This jack-o-lantern seems to have a lot of emotions going.

I love how they have done his mouth kind of high on one side.

I will probably try to carve something similar to this, this Halloween.

My Pumpkins


Face #1: An original. Our friend Chris made this pumpkin, and he's a carver in training.

Face #2: Baby pumpkin. I made this pumpkin for our son who was four months old at the time.

Face #3: The character pumpkin. Minnie Mouse! My husband carved this pumpkin for our 2 year old daughter. Yeah, he's our Picasso!

Carving Kit

I wouldn't say it's a necessity, but I definitely suggest buying a pumpkin carving kit. It really does make the pumpkin a lot easier to carve just the way you want it.

They have some pretty fancy pumpkin carving kits and tools these days, and they are really doing some impressive stuff.

pumpkin patch
pumpkin patch

Where to find the Perfect Pumpkin!

You can find pumpkins just about anywhere: Your local grocery store probably has them and of course the farmers market. Pumpkins aren't very expensive. Depending on where you get them and the size, they're normally 2-4 dollars in my area.

If you wanna add a little extra Halloween fun to your families holiday, I highly suggest visiting a pumpkin patch. Chances are great, there is a pumpkin patch near you, and they are really the funnest way to pick the perfect pumpkin - hands down!

Of course, you could always grow your own! Remember, though, that pumpkin take a long time to mature.

keep calm and carve a pumpkin
keep calm and carve a pumpkin

Lighting The Jack O'lantern

Yes, probably the most important part. There's a few different options here:

  • Candles: Big candle/little candle whatever your prefer.
  • Glow Sticks: The baby pumpkin didn't have enough oxygen for a candle, so we used a glow stick.
  • A Light Bulb: This may seem a little drastic, but my dad always cut a hole in the back of the pumpkin and installed a light bulb using an extension cord and an old lamp fixture. I wouldn't suggest this method unless you look up some safety precautions. My dad's a little redneck. :)

Pumpkin Patch

Where do you get your pumpkins?

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Have Fun!

No matter what your kind of jack-o-lantern your pumpkin turns out to be this Fall, I think we can all agree, what is most important is that you enjoy creating it.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Songs


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    • emi sue profile image

      Emily Lantry 3 years ago from Tennessee

      Glad you liked that idea. It was really cute, and put a of a nice glow next to our pumpkins that did have a candle.

    • samtebbutt profile image

      Sam 3 years ago from Ireland

      Interesting hub- I like the glow stick idea instead of candle