Pumpkin Carving Ideas


By Simona Zaunius and Joy Patterson

Carving pumpkins has always been a respected art form. Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Picasso; what did they all have in common? Pumpkins. Perfect, spherical orange squashes, every single one in whimsical and unique. You have to get it right. Today we will teach you how to be like the masters. You might not achieve the absolute glory and splendor that Raphael did with his “Pumpkin with a frowny face” or Shakespeare’s “Rotting lovers”. (The latter is not a literal pumpkin carving, but is sheer beauty) But you can at least try! Try your hardest. And we’re here to help. We have spent years as apprentice pumpkin carvers, the masters of which will remain anonymous for secret reasons. We know the secrets. We know the shortcuts. We know what will give you the perfect pumpkin.

All joking aside, it sometimes can be hard to come up with an original pumpkin carving. The classic triangle eyes and zig-zag mouth are great, but if you want to do something more unique, you can try out some of these clever ideas from the farthest reaches of the internet (and our own special training).

Barfing Pumpkin:

Although some may find this one slightly gross, this is an easy way to make a creative and amusing Jack-O-Lantern. As usual, remove the insides of the pumpkin before carving. Instead of throwing them out or making roasted pumpkin seeds, save it in a bowl. Carve a basic mouth and eyes (you can always add extra features to your pumpkin’s face), then take the stringy insides of the pumpkin and have it overflowing out of the mouth, so that it looks like it is throwing up.

Carving Words:

Carving words into pumpkins is also simple idea with a great final product. You can use words such as “Boo” or “Beware” or anything else you can think of! Another clever idea is carving the first couple of digits of pi into the pumpkin and then you will have a pumpkin pie!

Cannibal Pumpkin:

This is a very entertaining idea. Carve a big pumpkin with a sideways teardrop-shaped mouth. Carve a smaller pumpkin (maybe with a scared face) and put it in the larger pumpkin’s mouth.  It will look like the larger pumpkin is eating the smaller pumpkin!

Cookie Cutters:

Another possible way to carve your Jack-O-Lantern is to take cookie cutters and hammer them into the pumpkins. This is a way for less experienced carvers to get distinct shapes and cool final products. If you choose to use this method, make sure the pumpkin’s shell is thin, otherwise the cookie cutter may get stuck.


Print up a simple picture from the internet. Try looking up “Jack-O-Lantern Stencils”. Attach the paper to the pumpkin using tape, and carve the pattern. After you are done carving, you can simply pull the paper off the pumpkin and are left with a beautiful glowing gourd. This can make an impressive pumpkin without the potential struggle of freehanding.

From one carver to another, we truly hope these designs and ideas will influence your pumpkin this October season!

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