Pumpkin Carving Tips From The Pros

Mother and daughter carving a jack-o'-lantern for Halloween

If your seasonal porch decor could use some spicing up, then you might want to give pumpkin carving a shot. But not just any carving will do – you want to showcase some serious talent! If your previous Jack-o’-lanterns have been all triangle eyes and gap-toothed smiles, you’ll love these expert tips that will yield Halloween masterpieces.

Skip the Fancy Tools

You might think that a fancy carving requires a collection of dedicated pumpkin carving tools, but that’s not the case. You can grab a cheap, simple kit with everything you need to tackle your gourd at most stores that have a Halloween section. Detail work can be fine-tuned with paring knives, while lemon zesters can create texture and melon ballers can make it easier to scoop out the inside of your pumpkin.

Perfectly Imperfect

Your pumpkin doesn’t have to look like it belongs on the cover of a magazine. In fact, little bumps and imperfections can add tons of character and interest to your finished product – and isn’t that the point? Just make sure there are no soft spots, and you can use a pumpkin as misshapen as you like!

Scoop Right, Save Time

It may be the least fun part of the process, but the better job you do of scooping out the “guts” of your gourd, the more time you’ll save when it’s time to carve. In order to make carving easier and more precise, you’ll want the walls of your pumpkin to be about 1 inch thick.

Trace Your Design

For foolproof results, clean and dry the pumpkin and use sewing transfer paper to trace your design onto the surface of your pumpkin before you begin to carve. This makes it easy to see exactly what you’re doing and allows you to focus on the detail work with whatever tool you’re using to do the job.

Patience Pays Off

Take your time and don’t rush the project, even if you’re really eager to see the end results. The time you take to get it done right will pay off in the long run. If you’re carving an especially intricate design, you can wrap your pumpkin tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it when you need a break. Pick it back up the next day and finish it off!

Disclaimer: The stock image is being used for illustrative purposes only, and it is not a direct representation of the business, recipe, or activity listed. Any person depicted in the stock image is a model.