pumpkin carving Hello everything pumpkin spice and so long sun, because fall is almost here. With fall brings Halloween and a night of dress up and fun. But before we get on our costumes we must carve a few pumpkins and, of course, make a delicious pie… or just buy one, if you’re not the best baker.  Although traditionally, people carve their pumpkins to make jack-o-lanterns you can also paint them, to make a more intricate design. Carving is tough on the hands, so make sure you pick up a pair of gloves to avoid tenderness.

Favorite Decorated Pumpkins With Tutorials

There’s so much you can do to be festive, you don’t have to just make a scary face.

Festoon a Pumpkin

Halloween pumpkin decorated with fresh flowers

Trade spooky for sweet by adding fresh blooms to a hot pink pumpkin. Snip stems about one to two inches from buds, drill small holes in the painted rind, then stick in the buds. Keep the centerpiece fresh for the party by periodically spritzing with water.

Craft Creepy Crawlers

Spider Candle holders

Light the way with these spidery candle-holders. Scoop out mini pumpkins and add tea lights and pipe cleaners for big bugs you’ll actually love spotting around the house.

Dish Out the Punch

Apple Cider punch served in a hollowed out pumpkin

Filled with cider, a hollowed-out pumpkin becomes an organic punch bowl. Plus, it’s one less dish to wash during post-party clean-up. All you need is the beverage of your choice- we love filling ours with apple cider.

Make an Eerie Entrance

Halloween decorated porch

Take your door from boring to boo-ring with a scary grapevine wreath, pumpkin pillars and a pair of jack-o’-luminaries. I love these painted pumpkins. Check out the full tutorial- click here.

Family of Owls

Owl pumpkins carvings are a real hoot

Carving these pumpkins will be a hoot. Here is a free template to tape and trace on to your pumpkins (baby owl, mama owl, dad owl). For the full tutorial click here.

Here are some tips for carving the perfect pumpkin.

  1. Good carving starts with the right pumpkin.

Choose one that is fresh, with a sturdy stem, no bruises and a flat bottom so it won’t roll.

  1. Cut out the lid on an angle, not straight up-and-down.

This way the lid won’t drop inside the pumpkin when you replace it. A boning knife works best for this.

  1. Scoop out all the pulp — and then some.

You can buy a special “claw” for this, but an ice cream scoop will do just fine. Thin the inner wall of the “face” area to 1 ¼-inch thick, so it will be easier to pierce the shell.

  1. Hold the pumpkin in your lap.

It’s easier to carve features when the face is gazing up at you. And don’t cut on a slant — clean up-and-down slices look best. To make intricate designs, try using a small saw. You can get a pumpkin carving kit with a marker, scraper, cutting tools and 10 patterns on Amazon for only $5.

  1. Use your scraps creatively.

Make a tongue out of a discarded piece of pumpkin shell, for example.

  1. Keep your pumpkin fresh.

Spread petroleum jelly on the cut edges to seal in moisture. If your pumpkin still shrivels a few days later, you can revive it with a facedown soak in cold water for up to eight hours.

  1. Create a chimney.

First, leave the lid on for a few minutes while the candle burns. Then make a small hole where the lid has blackened. Or, save yourself the stress and go with battery-operated votives instead.

  1. Sprinkle a little cinnamon inside the lid.

When you light the candle, your jack-o’-lantern will smell like a pumpkin pie.

  1. WAIT TO CARVE—BUT WORK FAST ONCE YOU START.

Wait until you want a display to start carving. As soon as you cut into it, it’s starting to decompose. It’s unpredictable. If you want it for Halloween, you shouldn’t carve it at the beginning of October.

Hopefully, with all of these different ideas, tips and tricks, you and your family are able to decorate your pumpkins and have fun! Don’t forget to practice safe knife handling skills and also be present when a child is using the knife or lighting the candle.