Introduction: Mess-Free Pumpkin Carving!

I don’t know about you, but when I think about Fall and Halloween, one of the first things that comes to mind is a family of carved pumpkins on my porch. As a kid, I loved carving pumpkins with my family, but hated the cleanup. Though pumpkin carving will forever be messy I have found easy ways to keep the mess contained and to make cleanup easier and included those in here. I also included some tips to help you have the best looking pumpkin on the block.


- Pumpkin

- Trash bag

- Empty plastic grocery bag (or another trash bag)

- Scooper

- Sharp Knife

- Sharpie

- Tea light


- Pumpkin idea and carving supply kit

- Tape

Step 1: Lay Out Your Garbage Bag and Put Your Supplies on It.

Step 2: Cut in a Circle Around the Stem of the Pumpkin. You Want This to Be Large Enough to Be Able to Work Inside the Pumpkin.

Step 3: Scoop Out the Guts of the Pumpkin and Place the Discards in the Grocery Bag.

  • I found that an ice cream scooper worked well for this. If your pumpkin is large, you may also want to scoop out some of the side of the pumpkin so that the wall is thinner--this will make it easier to carve.
  • If you're a pumpkin seed lover, go ahead and pick the seeds out for roasting!

Step 4: Draw Your Design on Your Pumpkin.

  • If you are drawing the design yourself, you can go ahead and use Sharpie to do so.
  • If you are using a kit, tape the design you like onto your pumpkin and use a Sharpie to trace the design onto your pumpkin. The kits often come with a crayon, but I find it easier to use Sharpie. When you have finished tracing it, remove it from the pumpkin.

Step 5: Following the Lines You Have Drawn, Carve Out Your Design!

  • Carving at an angle will allow more light to come through the pumpkin, showing off your design.

Step 6: Show It Off!

  • Put a tea light in your pumpkin, place it on your porch (or wherever you can display it best!) and light it at night. Tea lights are non-flammable, making it less of a hazard than a traditional candle.

Step 7: Throw Away Your Trash Bag and Bag of Guts and Clean Your Utensils, and You’re Done!

Step 8: Tips and Tricks

  • Instead of cutting out the top of the pumpkin, you could cut out the bottom. I’ve never tried it, but some claim that this makes it easier to clean out and place the tea light!
  • When you have finished carving your pumpkin, you may have some Sharpie left over on your pumpkin. You can simply remove this with nail polish remover and a cotton ball!
  • To keep your pumpkin fresh longer, spray clear sealer all over the inside and outside of the pumpkin.