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How to Carve a Pumpkin for Halloween

By: Jennifer Hendrix, Editor,

Carving a pumpkin is a great way to decorate your home for Halloween. Going to the pumpkin patch and carving up a few Jack O' Lanterns is a holiday tradition for most families, but sometimes our pumpkins are less than masterpieces. Perfect your carving technique with our simple, handy guide to create a Halloween pumpkin you're unlikely to forget. There's no simpler way to learn how to carve a pumpkin for Halloween!

How to Carve a Pumpkin

In order to carve a pumpkin, first grab the essentials:

  • Pumpkin
  • Black marker
  • Large, carving knife
  • Large spoon for scooping
  • Bowl or plastic bag to collect the seeds and pulp
  • Tea light candle


  1. Use your marker to draw a circle around the stem on top of the pumpkin. This will guide you while you cut out the lid. Using your knife, cut along the line to create your lid.
  2. Once the top of the pumpkin is off, use your hands or spoon to scrape out all the seeds and loosen the pulp until the pumpkin is cleaned out.

    Note: Your pumpkin should be smooth on the inside before you begin carving.
  3. Use your marker to draw a Jack O’ Lantern face on the pumpkin. You can practice on scrap paper first, until you have the face right.
  4. Use your carving knife to cut out the shapes that make your Jack O’ Lantern face.
  5. Pop in your candle, light it, and close up your pumpkin.


There are many different ways to carve a pumpkin, you can use the traditional method listed above, or experiment with modern pumpkin carving patterns like the ones below!




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