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Fall is officially here, which means it's pumpkin carving season! Smiling jack-o-lanterns are the go-to staple for pumpkin carvers, but there are plenty of unique designs to make your front porch stand out this Halloween.
Here are some great pumpkin carving ideas and tips to get you started.
Unique pumpkin carving designs
There are many great pumpkin carving ideas to experiment with this year. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Wood-Burning Stove: Using this stencil, you can turn your pumpkin into the image of a wood-burning stove for your front porch. All you need is the stencil, a marker or pen for tracing, and some paint.
- Candy Land: This pumpkin idea is Halloween’s equivalent to a Gingerbread House during Christmastime. Carve out windows, doors and other features, then decorate your pumpkin with candy corn, gum drops and other candy.
- Candy Holder: Perfect for your front porch (especially if you won’t be home for trick-or-treaters on Halloween night), this pumpkin carving idea will couple as a festive display of candy. Carve a hole on one of the sides of the pumpkin, gut it, then stuff it with candy. Paint and decorate it as you see fit!
- Flower Vase: Similar to a Candy Holder, this pumpkin flower vase serves as the perfect autumn decoration. Cut the stem off, carve out the middle of the pumpkin, then fill it with water and your favorite fall flowers for a beautiful display.
- Hungry Pumpkin: This cute carving idea is great for your kids! Simply carve out a hungry-looking face for your biggest pumpkin, then place a smaller pumpkin in its “mouth” for a dramatic effect!
Pumpkin carving basics: What you need
Once you've chosen your perfect design(s) and picked out your smooth, symmetrical pumpkins, gather up the right tools before you and the kids get started:
- Newspaper or disposable table cloth for the table
- A permanent marker to draw your design
- A serrated knife
- A paring knife
- A large metal spoon or scooper to remove the seeds
- A battery-operated or votive candle to place inside the finished pumpkin
- Kid-friendly carving kit
Tips for carving the perfect pumpkin
Here are some steps for carving the perfect pumpkin:
1. Cut from the bottom, not the top
This will make it easier when lighting up the lantern with a candle. That way, you can place the pumpkin on top of the lit candle rather than dropping the candle into the pumpkin from the top. This also helps prevent the sides from caving in.
2. Scoop out the guts and seeds
Before carving, you’ll want to clean out the middle of your pumpkin. Scrape all the sides of the pumpkin to get out all the guts and seeds. Use a scooping tool, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!
3. Sketch your design
Before carving, sketch your design on a piece of paper to perfect it before transferring it onto your pumpkin. Once you’re confident in the sketch, trace it onto the skin of your pumpkin so you can follow it as a stencil.
4. Make simple, rough cuts
Start out slowly with larger rough cuts, following the stencil you sketched onto your pumpkin. If you get the bigger cuts done first, you can revisit with smaller cuts later to clean the edges of your design.
5. Bonus tip: Sprinkle cinnamon on the inside for a festive scent
If you sprinkle some cinnamon inside the lid of your pumpkin, you can use the lantern to enjoy the scent of fresh pumpkin pie!
Want unique fall treats to enjoy during your Halloween-carving session? Visit The Cookie Cups for delicious seasonal flavors all autumn long! Order for in-store pickup on our website, or get it delivered through GrubHub or DoorDash.