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5 Reasons to Cut Your Pumpkin From the Bottom

Updated on August 23, 2017

5 Reasons Open Your Pumpkin from the Bottom

You know how to carve a pumpkin. You've been doing it for years. But have you ever stopped and asked yourself if there is a better way? Is cutting the stem off to make a lid the best way to do it?

I instead open the pumpkin from the bottom. I think it looks nicer without the lid cut, but in addition to that, there are several other benefits.

I know that might come as too big a change - it's not like how your Dad taught you - but if you have an open mind, you might just change your style.

How Do You Usually Carve Your Pumpkin?

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Pumpkin Carving Fail
Pumpkin Carving Fail | Source

1. No Risk of Cutting the Lid Wrong

Anyone that has ever carved a pumpkin (from the top) knows that you have to cut the lid at and angle so that it doesn't fall in.

Sometimes, you just don't cut it correctly and your lid falls in. Sometimes it falls in immediately. Other times, it may seem okay, but a few days later, as the pumpkin rots and shrinks, the lid can't hold it's place and falls through.

When you cut your hole into the bottom of the pumpkin, you should also cut toward the center of the pumpkin so it sits firmly on the bottom, however if your cuts don't work out, it's not as big a deal, because it can set without the cut out bottom.

Take for example the guy in this photo. His cuts were vertical for the lid, and I think when he put's it back on, he'll see it drop straight through

By cutting your hole in the bottom of the pumpkin, you don't risk having a bad lid, and you don't have to start all over.


Small Jack-o-Lantern cut from the top
Small Jack-o-Lantern cut from the top | Source

2. More Space to Carve

The cuts for the lid reduces the amount of space you have to carve.

This is especially the case when cutting a smaller pumpkin, since you have to cut the lid large enough to fit your hand through

By cutting the hole on the bottom, where you can't see it, you have more space at the top to carve without hitting the lid.

If this pumpkin didn't have a lid, the face could have been raised a bit and not been so crowded on the pumpkin.

Cut a notch in the hole of your pumpkin, so you can easily line it back up.

Cut a notch in the hole of your pumpkin, so you can easily line it back up.
Cut a notch in the hole of your pumpkin, so you can easily line it back up. | Source


Pumpkin field
Pumpkin field | Source

3. You Can Level a Wobbly Pumpkin

Not all pumpkins are naturally inclined to stand straight up. Some want to lay on their sides, and some just stand a bit leaning over.

By cutting the pumpkin on the bottom, you can give it a flat bottom. This is also handy to tip the pumpkin heads up little bit.

Having control over how the pumpkin sits, you can use pumpkins you wouldn't have considered carving with a lid. This means you have more choices at the pumpkin patch, and sometimes you can get a better deal. Plus, if you've procrastinated in buying your pumpkin and find the pumpkin patch has slim pickings, you can use one of the lesser quality pumpkins that are left.


Pumpkin candle
Pumpkin candle | Source

4. You Don't Get Burned Putting in the Candle

This is a simple issue of safety. When you reach down into a pumpkin to light it the flame comes right back up toward your hand.

By cutting your hole in the bottom of your pumpkin, you take away this possibility completely. You would simply place the candle where you want the pumpkin to be, and then set the pumpkin over it.

If you do decide to cut a top in your pumpkin, make sure to use a long match or a lighter to start the candle. Nothing ruins Halloween like a burn.

If using a candle - vent the top!

Heat rises - there's no getting around that. So, in if you are using a candle to lite your jack-o-lantern, then cut a vent hole in the top. I like to cut a hole about 2 inches around just behind the stem. This lets the heat and smoke escape so you don't run into any problems.

Paper Magic Group Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit

Paper Magic Group Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit, 9 Pieces
Paper Magic Group Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit, 9 Pieces

Although you can make do with common household knives and spoons, having a kit like this is handy and fun. Also, the shorter blades are good for better control.



5. You Can Use Wired Lights

A candle is certainly the most popular light for a carved pumpkin, and its natural flickering is the most beautiful, however you may want to set it on a timer to automatically turn on (and off) at night. You may also be concerned about kids or pets getting to it causing burns or a fire.

Electric lights can be used year after year and give off betting light then the small battery candles are they sell for pumpkins.

What's the best way to carve a pumpkin?

What's YOUR opinion of on pumpkin carving?


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    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      If we were carving pumpkins this year, I would give your idea a try. Your reasons make a lot of sense.

    • violetanarusevi profile image

      Violeta Naruseviciute 4 years ago from Bristol, England

      Thank you for a very useful lens. I hope you do not mind for me including a link to it at my blog post here:

    • profile image

      changrcoacher 4 years ago

      Good grief! Did you think this up on your own? What a fascinating mind you must have. I think that innovation is as important as creation. Thanks for sharing...

    • Northerntrials profile image

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      It is hard breaking traditions but when it works it is not breaking a tradition but starting a new one... Awesome. Like when I stared making my own pizza starting with a layer of cheese instead of sauce. Pick up a slice cooked this way the toppings stay - not sliding off onto your lap. Start a new tradition.

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 4 years ago

      Great idea! I'll pass it along to my daughter for her next year's halloween pumpkin.

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 5 years ago

      Good points for cutting the bottom instead. Have a blessed & Happy Halloween!

    • Nightcat profile image

      Nightcat 5 years ago

      Great point about more design room. My desoign is a tad large this year, so might try this. Thank you and blessed! :)

    • graphite75 profile image

      Tom 5 years ago

      I was wondering why you would cut the bottom instead of the top. I would still cut the top though.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      nice! don't forget the vampire fangs. nice lense!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 5 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I never considered this option for cutting a pumpkin - I think I'll give this a try!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      LOL! The man in the photo near the top of the page has smaller arms than the woman. Either one is a wimp, or the other is a fatty - maybe a combination of both?

    • profile image

      soaringsis 5 years ago

      I have to try cutting from the bottom. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      JZinoBodyArt 5 years ago

      You've made me think differently about pumpkin carving forever. Thank you for this great lens!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      That is a great idea... I've never even heard of it before! Blessed!

    • rjvader profile image

      rjvader 5 years ago

      I've heard of cutting a hole on the side of the pumpkin (opposite your carving side), but never thought of using the bottom. I'm tempted to convert to this method mainly because of step 2, I'm tired of walking on eggshells when I start cutting too close to the lid.

    • PastorCher profile image

      Pastor Cher 5 years ago from United States

      A much smarter way to carve a pumpkin. Great idea. Thanks for sharing it.

    • KidsToyTeaSets LM profile image

      KidsToyTeaSets LM 5 years ago

      Very interesting. Thank you!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      People have been carving pumpkins all these years and it doesn't appear anyone thought about this until now. It's one of those "why didn't I think of this?" moments.

    • BobZau profile image

      Bob Zau 5 years ago

      I'm calling the "Pumpkin Police". This is tantamount to saying the world is round.

    • profile image

      olmpal 5 years ago

      Sometimes a simple trick makes the difference! Thanks for sharing!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 5 years ago from Upstate, NY

      @anonymous: Sure - you just need a timer like this one: GE 24-Hour Mechanical Timer

      You plug this into the wall, and then plug your light into it and set what times you want it to go on and off. Also handy for your Christmas lights.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      on your last point, the one about electric lights, you mentioned that you can put a candle on a timer. Could you explain how to do this?

    • Lisa-Marie-Mary profile image

      Lisa-Marie-Mary 5 years ago

      Cutting from the bottom is a GREAT idea! I never even considered it. Kind of one of those "I coulda hada V8!" moments! ha! ;-)

    • treehousebrando1 profile image

      treehousebrando1 5 years ago

      I'm thinking about making a jack-o-lantern this year, and these tips will definitely come in handy. Maybe I'll make one of each to see which I like better!

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      Sounds like a good idea, glad you mentioned about needing a vent hole if using candles...very important!

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      Terrific idea that I'd never even considered but it all makes sense. Excellent lens... I'm definitely going to give this a try.

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 5 years ago

      We always cut our pumpkins from the top and had never thought about cutting the bottom. We're buying some this weekend so I'll have to give it a try. Thanks. =)

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      I had never considered this issue before, but you do make excellent points. Consider me a pumpkin-carving convert.