8 Expert Pumpkin Carving Tricks You Should Try This Weekend

1. Select The Perfect Pumpkin

Before you can carve a neat design, you need a good canvas. Avoid a pumpkin with bruises or soft spots, as that may indicate it has already started to rot. A lighter weighted pumpkin may have a thinner flesh, and make it easier to carve.

perfect pumpkin photo
Photo by ramsey everydaypants

2. Use An Ice Cream Scoop

With a sturdy handle and spoon depth perfect for scooping, abandon your old metal spoon and opt to use an ice cream scoop. It’ll help you better scrape the sides and put less strain on your wrist or hand. Good Housekeeping recommends to try to make your carving surface area 1/2-1/4 inch thick, it’ll be easier to cut.

scoop out pumpkin photo
Photo by mazaletel

3. Stencil Before You Cut

Some people sue dry-erase markers, but being a leftie, I tend to smudge whatever in writing or drawing. I prefer to use a sharpie marker to sketch my design. If I don’t like it, I simply use a cotton ball or q-tip dabbed in rubbing alcohol to remove.

sharpie pumpkin photo
Photo by oskay

4. Use A Cookie Cutter

If you don’t have a super steady hand, grab a few cookie cutters and gently tap them into the pumpkin with a hammer. Pull out the metal stencil and finish the carving with just a few swipes of a sharp knife.

cookie cutter pumpkin photo
Photo by Lunchbox Photography

5. Simplify With Power Tools

My husband loves his power tools. And at Halloween, so do I! I can create perfect holes with his drills like this one:


6. Get Creative With Your Scraps

Pieces you cut out can be used for fun additions – like ears, a nose, wild hair, or tongue.

pumpkin with ears photo
Photo by Skrewtape

7. Use Faux Candles

I hate it when the wind picks up and my tea-lights get blown out. Last year I started using the battery-powered tea-lights. Not only are they reusable but I can put a pumpkin in my window sill without worrying about burning the house down. You can even find ones that flicker, like a real candle. You can also use a strand of Holiday lights.

fake candles photo
Photo by Jing a Ling

8. Preserve Your Masterpiece

Mold and dryness are the leading causes of a wilting pumpkin. To help keep your pumpkin looking fresh, Refinery 29 recommends slathering the inside with petroleum jelly. It will help keep it from drying out and growing mold.

rotten pumpkin photo
Photo by Andy Hay

Photo by wwarby