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How To Carve A Perfect Pumpkin

Updated on August 8, 2011

How To Carve The Perfect Pumpkin

How to select and carve the perfect pumpkin for a decorative scary, fun filled Halloween.

This ancient old tradition sitting on your doorstep,personalized and skillfully carved by you and your family. Invite some friends over for pre-pumpkin carving and enjoy the laughter as you create and learn how to carve a pumpkin for Halloween

How To Carve A Pumpkin
How To Carve A Pumpkin

How To Carve A Pumpkin For Halloween Tools

How To Carve A Pumpkin For Halloween

  • Draw a circle around the pumpkin stem . This will be the lid.
  • Doesn't have to be a perfect circle ,maybe even a triangle or star. Cut a small notch in the circle so the lids fits well when replaced. Another successful method is to cut from the bottom,some find it easier to lift the whole pumpkin up when lighting candle.
  • Carefully begin cutting along your line using your boning knife. Its a good idea to angle your knife slightly to stop the lid from falling inside.
  • Once lid is removed, cut and scrape any pulp away and discard.
  • Now also remove pulp (pumpkin flesh) from inside, pumpkin for Halloween always means I have lots of pumpkin seeds to roast later ,healthy crunchy and fantastic for salads. Saving the pumpkin flesh pulp, and freezing, will make great pumpkin dippers or muffins or delicious soup later (see link further down) for Easy Pumpkin Soup <<or click here.
  • How To Carve A Pumpkin For Halloween will look great the more flesh you scrape out as the light will shine even brighter!
  • Visualize where your candle will stand and make that area nice n flat (by scraping) on the bottom
  • Draw you Jack-O-Lantern on the front of your pumpkin, using simple clear lines.
  • Use a paring knife, to cut along your design slowly and carefully.

How To Choose The Best Pumpkin For Carving

Selection Process:

Choose pumpkins that have an even orange colour, the brighter the better. Look out for bruises,nicks or discoloration ,definitely these will not make a great looking Jack-O-Lantern!

Also make sure when choosing your pumpkin to check its not ripe or over-ripe ( if its feel slightly soft or squishy ) leave him on the farm.

How To Carve Pumpkin For Halloween

  • Uniform bright orange colour
  • No bruises ,nicks, warty bits
  • Not ripe or soft

Once you have made your selection ,preparing how to carve a pumpkin for Halloween is just around the corner.

Never carry your pumpkin by the stem!

Since this becomes your handle on the top of the lighted lantern. If however ,you discover later you have the almost perfect pumpkin with no stem , don't worry , just use toothpicks. Of course carve out the bottom now ,instead of the top ,and sit your pumpkin over top of the candle, instead of placing the candle from the top.

Patterns For Your Pumpkin Halloween

Either design them yourself,keeping the lines simple ( since these will be easier to carve) or download some patterns off the Internet. The library also has some excellant ideas and easy enough to photocopy there , bring home and adapt.


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    • Eaglekiwi profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from -Oceania

      Hi kenneth,

      Thank-you so much for your wonderfully kind comments.

      Oh yes I love Andy Griffith,Barney and I am a small town girl myself!!

      Can't beat it!,I secretly think thats the very best kind of childhood to have known.

      Lived in SC for 18mths,ohh that Southern cookin..

      Thanks again for the voting up ,there and all around -lol

      Bless ya heart!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      10 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Eagle! GREAT hub! Great topic! Wonderful read too. Very timely in hit's presentation. Loved every word. I voted up and all across. You are a great talent and I am now a fan. Kenneth Avery from a small, rural town in northwest Alabama called Hamilton. A town that reminds you of Mayberry, where Andy and Barney worked. You know, the Andy Griffith Show.

    • Eaglekiwi profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from -Oceania

      Oh my gosh, good for you!! I wasnt sure the best time ,some said now is fine ,others said a few more weeks, lol

      The seasons are opposite for this Kiwi gardener,but I do love all the hype and decorating!

      Thankyou for your kind comments.

    • SocialNiche profile image


      11 years ago

      luv it! October November are my favorite time of the year... I live in Connecticut and we get the full effects of Fall! I love carving pumpkins with my children every year... it's one of my favorite times!!! especially baking the pumpkin seeds after, then lighting the candles in the pumpkins to see how good of a job we did carving! thank you for the tips!

    • Eaglekiwi profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from -Oceania

      Hi blondepoet

      Sorry I missed ya comment , not on here so much but tryin too write ...(not winning) lol

      big hugsss xxoo n thank for reading dahlink!

    • blondepoet profile image


      11 years ago from australia

      That is so cool EK!!!!

    • Eaglekiwi profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from -Oceania

      Hi awsydney

      Surprisingly we had a very quiet Halloween ,although yes your right ,judging by the commercial marketing it sure was big in many other places-lol.

      The best part was chocolate reduced the next day ,hehe.

      Good to see ya awsydney!

    • awsydney profile image


      11 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hey Eaglekiwi, hope you had a nice Halloween. It's not as big here in Australia as it is in your neck of the woods though, but still kids do roam around to collect all the goodies.

    • Eaglekiwi profile imageAUTHOR


      12 years ago from -Oceania

      Hi Philent , Perhaps a smaller pumpkin and working at it throughout the day. It can be as simple or ornate as you want it to be. Thankyou for your comments.

    • Philent profile image


      12 years ago

      Seems like carving pumpkins will cause too much pain in the palm area, but hope to try it someday.

    • Eaglekiwi profile imageAUTHOR


      12 years ago from -Oceania

      Hey Paradise , nobody and Lgali

      sorry guys Im late replying , I mess up and approve comments ,then dont notice I havent even replied.

      I think you guys all probably know so much more and could teach me all the tricks lol , the last week-end I saw some huge pumpkins at the fleamarket too !!! kinda got my creative juices running and wow yea ...crosses an stars would be so cool , a happy lovin kinda jack-o-lantern.

      I like that -alot. Smiles.

    • Lgali profile image


      12 years ago

      thnaks for sharing useful tips

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 

      12 years ago from Rochester, New York

      I love this part of Halloween. I've carved Crosses with Bible verses. I've carved pictures and intricate faces. I use the tiny saws and take forever sawing away at it an piercing tiny holes. I do an I love you one for my wife and a scary one for Halloween. I used to do one for the kids when they were little. They used to think it was cool but only when I was done. It was always so boring until then. Good hub, good memories. love ya.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      12 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hey Eaglekiwi, I've made jack o' lanterns before, and wished I had your advice. Good hub for HubMob!

    • Eaglekiwi profile imageAUTHOR


      12 years ago from -Oceania

      jiberish Hi there cool I love roasted too ,plus I know the highest form of nutrients is always in the seeds! thankyou for comments...

      hey guys pop those seasoned pumpkin seeds into a caesar salad , blue vein cheese dressing.

    • Eaglekiwi profile imageAUTHOR


      12 years ago from -Oceania

      Candie V , 2 sounds perfect lol and slime n grime delightful um no , but I can tell you its good for ya nails.

      Surgical latex gloves 2nd option.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      12 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      I have never developed a taste for pumpkin seeds, so jiberish may have mine.. but she has to come get them!

    • jiberish profile image


      12 years ago from florida

      Great Idea!...I love pumpkin seeds baked with salt, yum!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      12 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      How many nicks and cuts am I allowed per pumpkin-carving? I average 2 is that too many? I hate the slimy seeds and goo from the inside, but what fun!! Good hub Eagle!

    • Eaglekiwi profile imageAUTHOR


      12 years ago from -Oceania

      Hi Pete , Enelle and Dohn121 - Hi Guys , glad ya liked the ice-cream scoop idea , I did too lol. i dont waste a thing , freeze the pulp n flesh for all kinds of yummy recipes too.

      Dohn Oh My ,that sounds dreadful!!, now I gotta know what happened?? ,yes do write that hub , 'A possessed pumpkin indeed!'

      Thankyou for reading everyone ,appreciate it very much.

    • dohn121 profile image


      12 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I like the ice-cream scoop idea too! I also like how you warned us to not carry the pumpkin by the stem as it can break, including employing the use of toothpicks. Lots of people, to be on the safe side, use a small votive candle or a electrical latern (battery powered) to prevent accidents...Speaking of which, I had a pumpkin thrown at my head when I was a kid, but maybe that's to be further explained in another hub :D

      Thank you, EagleKiwi!

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 

      12 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Messy and fun :D - lots of newspaper is always a good thing LOL. I agree with Pete - the ice cream scoop is a great idea,

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 

      12 years ago

      I like the ice cream scoop idea.

    • Eaglekiwi profile imageAUTHOR


      12 years ago from -Oceania

      Hi Princessa , Definately is a lil messy , we did most of that part outside an just threw the scraps on the garden lol,oh you are so lucky , hope you have fun , nice n orange now ,thank you for your comments.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      12 years ago from France

      It sounds like a lot of work but fun to do project. I always wanted a real pumpkin lantern, I might give it a try this year. Next week we have a pumpkin festival near my town so it would be perfect for choosing a couple of pumpkins to carve.


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