It’s just about that time of year again! Get ready for Halloween and for an awesome pumpkin carving party. As the host, you will want to have your own pumpkin (for yourself or for your kids) to carve, but you might also want to have a pumpkin or two pre-carved to set the mood. Not a pumpkin carving pro? No problem! Here is some advice on how to make the perfect jack-o-lantern. You’ll totally impress your guests, and maybe even yourself.


  • Step 1: Pick a design. Scary or cute, recognizable characters or unique designs. Spend some time on first picking the theme and then creating a design for your pumpkin. If you lack the artistic skill to draw the pumpkin of your dreams, use the internet as your resource. There are tons of patterns available to get you started. Keep in mind that you don’t want to carve any huge holes into your pumpkin, as that will make the design difficult to discern. Thick lines and careful planning can be easy with amazing results for even the novice pumpkin carver!

  • Step 2: Pick your pumpkin. Once you have an idea of the design you want, it is time to start looking for the perfect pumpkin to fit the plan. If your design is tall or wide, you will want to search for a pumpkin to accommodate it. Spend some time going through the options at your local pumpkin patch for just the right size and shape.

  • Step 3: Get your tools. There are a wide variety of pumpkin carving tools and saws available. Everything from scoopers (for the guts) to pokers (for marking). You can even improvise with wood carving tools and various other types of knives. Think about your comfort level before picking the right choice for you. (There’s nothing wrong with a spoon and paring knife!)

  • Step 4: Remove the top. Possibly the trickiest part about carving a pumpkin is cutting a hole in the top. Draw a circle in washable marker around the stem if you need a guide, and make sure your opening is big enough to fit your entire fist into. Then, cut around the circle placing the knife at an inward angle to the stem. Once your lid comes free, the angled cut will enable you to replace it without worrying about it falling into your pumpkin.

  • Step 5: Clean it up. Remove all the guts, and scrape the sides of the pumpkin as much as you can. The thinner and cleaner the sides, the easier they will be to carve. Wash any bits off the outside of your pumpkin once you are done. (Don’t forget to set the seeds aside for roasting!)

  • Step 6: Design your pumpkin. Pick up your washable markers and begin drawing the design that you selected in Step 1. If you opted for a printed pattern, tape the pattern to your pumpkin’s face and begin poking holes through the paper and into the pumpkin to create a dotted-line guide for carving lines on the pumpkin itself.

  • Step 7: Begin carving. Use your tools, go slowly, and be very careful. All of your instruments are sharp and can cause some serious damage to yourself and your pumpkin. Take the extra time to carve at your own comfortable pace. Be sure if you have any children carving to attend to them constantly.

  • Step 8: Wash ‘em and light ‘em. Gently wipe off the outside of the pumpkin to remove any sticky guts or bits of pumpkin flesh that flaked off during carving. Then, place a votive candle inside and light it up!


Check out all of our invitations perfect for a Pumpkin Carving Party