Pumpkin Carving

Carving a pumpkin lantern or Jack-o-lantern is a tradition at Halloween, designed to scare away spirits, ghosts and ghouls.

We have created a gallery below detailing step by step how to carve your Halloween pumpkin.

You will need; A pumpkin, small sharp knife, large spoon, a couple of bowls, a tea light candle, lighter, pencil or pen, a piece of string about 40cm long (if you want to carry the lantern around).

[slidepress gallery=’pumpkin-carving’]

  • 1.Draw a circle around the top of the pumpkin, large enough to get your hand in.
  • 2. Cut this out making sure you angle the knife inward at an angle.  This stops the pumpkin lid falling through.  Cut away the seeds and some of the flesh and leave to one side.
  • 3. Scoop out the seeds and stringy centre.  You can keep these to make roast pumpkin seeds.
  • 4. Now scoop out about half of the firmer flesh.  To make your lantern “glow” remove enough flesh to allow you to just see torchlight from the outside.
  • 5. Draw your scary face or other halloween design on the outside of the pumpkin.
  • 6. To use a pre printed stencil, place the design on the outside of the pumpkin and “prick” through the design to transfer it to the pumpkin.
  • 7. Carefully cut out around your chosen design.  Take extra care near areas which are easy to break off such as the teeth.
  • 8. Push the cut out from the back to remove and scrape around the edges to neaten the design and remove any drawing lines.
  • 9. If you want to carry your lantern – make a couple of holes about 5 cms down each side (do not make any higher or the pumpkin could split and fall off the string). Tie through a piece of string about 40cm long to form a handle.
  • 10. Place the tea light in the bottom and light using a lighter.  DO NOT try to place a lit candle through the hole! (Never leave a lit candle unattended).
  • 11. Put the lid back on and your pumpkin lantern is ready.

More information

History of the Jack O’ Lantern

Pumpkin carving 101 – Virtually everything you need to know to carve a pumpkin.

Ray Villafane – Pumpkin carving taken to a whole new level and his tutorials will show you how.


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