Introduction: NHL Pumpkin Carving


To provide some basic tips for carving a pumpkin without a router, using NHL logos as a template.


  • Pumpkin
  • Serrated knife
  • Spoon or mini shovel
  • NHL Logo template
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Sowing Pins
  • Flour
  • Pen
  • Flat head screwdrivers

Step 1: Cleaning Out the Pumking

To start, a serrated knife is used to cut a hole at the top of the pumpkin. From there, a spoon or mini shovel can be used to scrape the seeds and pulp out. Whats left will be the outer shell, and it should be of a thickness of anywhere from approximately 0.5 in to 1 in thick. This can always be made thinner as you go, but for now this is a good starting thickness.

Step 2: Template Set Up

Now you need to decide on the logo you will choose. For this instructional, I will be doing the San Jose Sharks. Once you print out your logo, the image will have to be conformed to the shape of the pumpkin. To do this, use some scissors to make some pleats or cuts around the corner pieces of the logo. By folding over these cuts in the corner regions, the image will begin to have the curvature of the pumpkin and can then be taped on.

Step 3: Image Transfer

To transfer the image onto the pumpkin, there are two methods to choose from.

The first method would be to use sowing needles and poke holes along the contour of the logo that are about 0.5 in apart. For intricate curves and shapes, keep the holes tighter together. In places where there are long, broad portions, the holes can be made further apart. Once the logo has been fully transferred, remove the template and spread flour over the holes. The flour will help make the holes more visible during the cutting and shaving stages.

The other option would be to use a pen and trace the whole design. This method will require a lot of pressure on the pen to insure that the traced lines transferred onto the pumpkin. After the image is fully traced, the template can be removed. However, to make the image more visible, the logo is then retraced in pen directly on the pumpkin this time.

After trying both methods, my personal preference has been doing the hole punch method. In my opinion it makes the cutting stage a little easier and saves a little more time.

Step 4: Carving

To begin the carving stage, a plan should be made on what portions of the pumpkin will be fully cut or shaved. Usually the best way of doing this is applying the same kind of cutting methods to places of the same color. For the shark I focused on shaving the blue/green and white portions, while completely cutting out the orange regions.

From there, a flat head screw driver will be used to carve lines connecting all the holes (or the traced image). At this point its a matter of continual shaving with the flat head until the whole image is finished.

Tip: As you shave don't worry so much about removing deep layers. Just remove the hard, outer layer, and take a spoon to thin out the inside walls on the pumpkin. Doing so will allow light to shine easier through, and save some extra working time.

The total time to complete this project will take approximately 4-6 hours depending on the degree of difficulty the design is. For this project, the San Jose Logo took me 4 hours to finish.

Once your done you can add a candle or flashlight inside the pumpkin and see the final product.

Pumpkin Carving Contest 2016

Participated in the
Pumpkin Carving Contest 2016