Pumpkin Carving Tips

With Halloween right around the corner, now is the time to carve a pumpkin into the perfect Jack-O-Lantern to display by your front door! Here are some basic instructions, as well as a few tips and tricks to getting your pumpkin looking just right.

Supplies: Jack o' Lantern

A pumpkin

Large serrated knife

Smaller knife

Large spoon


Pumpkin carving kit from the store



  1. When you pick a pumpkin, make sure that it has at least one smooth, unblemished side to carve; the less than perfect sides can always be hidden against the wall or by some extra decorations.
  2. Cover your work area with newspaper to make cleaning up easier. Place your pumpkin on the newspaper and proceed to cut around the stem at an angle; be sure the hole will be big enough for your hand and candle to fit through! WARNING: If the hole isn’t cut at an angle, the stem will fall into the pumpkin and you won’t be able to cover the candle when you’re finished.
  3. Scoop out all the seeds and pumpkin guts, making sure to scrape the sides for any remaining strings. Don’t forget to do the same for the stem! TIP: You can toast the seeds for a snack while you work! Clean them up, spread them on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees. Add a bit of salt, cinnamon, or any other spice for a tasty and healthy fall treat!
  4. Once your pumpkin is clean, you’re ready to carve! TIP: You can either have a design drawn on paper and use a pin or small nail to transfer the outline onto the pumpkin in a connect-the-dots fashion or you can use a dry erase marker to draw your design directly on the pumpkin and simply erase anything that remains after you’ve finished carving.
  5. After you’re finished carving, it’s time to put a candle into the pumpkin and set it outside to show everyone how fabulous it looks!

There are so many creative designs for Jack-O-Lanterns; you’re limited only by your imagination. Sometimes the funny shaped pumpkins can make the best jack-o-lanterns! Be sure to stop by The Family Tree to pick up your perfect pumpkin before Halloween!