Introduction: Pumpkin Carving 101

This instructable outlines the basics of how to carve a pumpkin for Halloween. 

You Will Need:

Sharp Knife
Skewer / Other Sharp Implements / Etc
Large Metal Spoon
Large Bowl
Marker, Pencil or Stencil
Tealight Candles
Matches or a Lighter
Petroleum Jelly

Step 1: Pop the Top

Cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin that is large enough to fit your hand into. 

Insert the knife on an angle to prevent your lid from falling into the pumpkin.

Slice off the stringy flesh from the underside of your Jack-o-Lantern lid.

Step 2: Gut It

Pull out all of the inside goop from the pumpkin. Get your hands dirty.

Separate and set aside the seeds for roasting:

Step 3: Hollow Out

Scoop out and scrape the sides of the pumpkin until it is hollow.

Try to avoid hanging stringy bits that may be visible through the cut of your design and be careful not to scrape too hard or too close to the rim.

Step 4:

Use a marker, a pencil, or stencil to draw a design on your pumpkin. You can cut freestyle as well.

Cut out your design carefully. You can neaten your lines later so don't worry about cutting perfectly.

When removing a large piece of pumpkin it can be easier to cut out smaller chunks at a time.

Step 5: Preserve

An optional step before lighting is to coat your pumpkins with petroleum jelly. This is meant to help preserve them from rot should you choose to carve them earlier than a day or two before halloween.

Step 6: Light

Place your pumpkins outside on display and put a small tealight candle inside each one (or use a battery-operated light.) Once night falls you can light your pumpkins and watch them cast a warm and spooky glow around your home.

Pumpkin Contest

Participated in the
Pumpkin Contest

Halloween Decorations Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Decorations Contest