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Popular in Halloween

Pumpkin Carving Instructions

Follow these tricks for a pumpkin that is a real treat.

What You Need:

Carved pumpkins are the finishing touch for all your Halloween decorating.
  • Fresh pumpkins or *Fun-Kins artificial carvable pumpkins
  • *Pumpkin Masters carving saws: Starter Saw, Lid-Cutter Saw, and Medium Saw, or *X-Acto wood carving set (for Fun-Kins artificial carvable pumpkins)
  • *Pumpkin Masters Poker
  • Grapefruit spoon or the *Pumpkin Masters Scraper Scoop
  • Tracing paper
  • Tape or straight pins


1. Download the free pattern for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Happy pumpkin pattern

Cat pattern

Pumpkin face pattern

Download Adobe Acrobat

Note: Fun-Kins pumpkins are made with a patented foam poured into molds of live pumpkins and then painted. Never use a candle inside a Fun-Kins pumpkin; use an electric light. Fun-Kins pumpkins come with an opening in the base, and are hollow and ready to carve.

2. Prepare fresh pumpkins. If you plan to carve a fresh pumpkin, draw the outline of a six-sided lid on top of the pumpkin. Then draw a notch at the back to use as a guide for replacing the lid. Make the lid large enough for easily cleaning out the pumpkin. Instead of cutting a lid, you may wish to draw an oval opening on the bottom of the pumpkin. With the bottom removed, the pumpkin can sit over a candle or a light.

3. Cut out the lid or bottom opening with the Lid-Cutter Saw or a knife. To cut out a lid, carve at an angle toward the pumpkin's center. This creates a ledge to support the lid. To cut out a bottom opening, cut straight into the base.

4. Clean out the seeds and pulp with the Scraper Scoop or a flat-edge ice-cream scoop. Scrape the pulp from the area you plan to carve until the wall is 1" thick.

*Note: BHG.com is not endorsing this product. Rather, it is a suggestion for a specific product that is necessary to properly complete the project.


1. Choose a pattern and trace or enlarge it to fit your pumpkin. Clip the pattern at the dashed lines in order to form the pattern against the pumpkin. Attach the traced outline to the pumpkin using tape or straight pins. If you use pins, place them on the design lines to avoid unwanted holes in the pumpkin. Using the tip of the Poker, make holes along the design lines about 1/8" apart. Don't push the Poker all the way through the wall of the pumpkin. Mark all of the lines with the Poker and then remove the pattern. If the design is difficult to see, connect the holes with a pencil line. Cradle the pumpkin in your lap, and use the X-Acto knife or the Starter Saw or Medium Saw to begin cutting out the design. Grasp the saw as you would hold a pencil, and cut with a continuous up-and-down motion, keeping the saw perpendicular to the pumpkin. (Apply only gentle pressure to avoid breaking the knife or saw blade and stressing or breaking the pumpkin.)

2. Work from the center of the design outward to avoid putting pressure on areas already carved. Remove and reinsert the saw blade to make corners; don't twist the blade. Carefully push the pieces out of the pumpkin with your finger. Sometimes a design calls for the skin of the pumpkin to be removed. Remove the skin after cutting out the openings. Use a grapefruit spoon or crafts knife and a rounded gouge to remove the skin and pulp about 1/4" deep. On the pattern for Bad-Teeth Pumpkin the cutout openings are orange and the areas with the skin removed are yellow. Leave the white areas untouched.

3. To use a candle inside the fresh pumpkin, place a candle inside and carefully light it after all carving is completed. Place the lid on the pumpkin. After the candle smoke has blackened a spot on the lid, use the Lid-Cutter Saw to cut a 1"-diameter hole for a chimney at that spot to vent the smoke and heat. Cut a chimney for ventilation in a fresh pumpkin with a bottom opening, also.

Remember: Never use a candle inside a Fun-Kins pumpkin; use an electric light.


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