How to Carve a Pumpkin

Carve out time for some basics, and some surprising tips, to get great pumpkin results.

Great pumpkins start with good basics. So pay attention! Pumpkin carving 101 is now in session. Even if you've been carving pumpkins for years, I may have some tips and tricks that might surprise you. So I've got my pumpkin right here ready to start carving it. But first I need cut my hole and scoop out the stuff inside. But rather than cutting my hole from the top, I'm actually gonna cut it from the bottom. And this is a great idea if you plan to actually put a candle inside of your pumpkin. It might be much better to hollow it out from the bottom because then you get a nice flat surface to put your candle on. So you don't have to worry about it being dangerous, or maybe tipping over. So I've got one here that I've already got from the top this time. And you can see I've got all the pulp hanging out. If you wanna get the kids to clean the pumpkin out for you, you can actually have them use jar lids like this to scrape it. This is great for little fingers 'cause they can kinda grab it from all sides. So I'm just gonna use my ice cream scoop and just kinda scrape to get all the pulp out like that. So you're just gonna do that, take out all your pulp. But now that you've got your hole made and your pumpkin all scooped out, you're ready to move on to the next step and start carving, right? Go to and look for the Carve-A-Pumpkin tool. It's a great tool that allows you to create your own designs or download a pre-made one. So I've got my design printed off and paste it right here on my pumpkin. And then I'm gonna use one of these really cool poker tools that come in pretty much every pumpkin carving set. And I'm just gonna kinda poke around my design like this to kinda create some guidelines for myself so when I'm about to carve. Okay. So I've got one actually that I've already poked. And now I'm just gonna peel off my design so that you can see that I've got my little pokes there that are gonna be a good guide for when I start carving. And now I'm gonna use a couple of different pumpkin carving knives. I'll start out with this really small one right here. And I'm just gonna kinda connect the dots basically. So once you've got your pumpkin all carved what can you do to preserve it? Well I've got a really cool idea. Why not use some petroleum jelly? You just actually take a little bit like this and kinda smear around the areas that you carved. And this will actually help you in, so that your pumpkin will last longer. And if you don't have petroleum jelly, you can use spray cooking oil. Or they even have these plant preservatives that you can use to spray on flowers. So you've got your pumpkin all carved and preserved. But now, how do you light it up so that it looks really great? Well you can use a larger votive candle like this if you want something to burn a little bit longer. You can use a smaller one if its kind of a one shot deal. Or you can use these. These are so cool. They're battery operated so you don't have to worry about the fire. Or you can this, it's even a battery operated Christmas light which gives you tons of light so your pumpkin really shines. You just put some batteries in there and pop it inside of your pumpkin. So you've officially completed pumpkin carving 101! So now get to carving! Class dismissed.