Halloween pumpkin carving basics with 35 inspiring ideas
October 31 is fast approaching—have you got your Halloween pumpkin figured out? Pumpkin carving is a great way to have some simple family fun. Your only limit is your imagination!
Read on for the basics on how to choose, prep and carve your pumpkin, and check out our 35 Halloween pumpkin ideas for inspiration.
The first step is to find the right pumpkin. Top tip: ignore your kids’ pleading and wait a bit before buying your pumpkin, as it might be rotten by the time Halloween comes around—a week or two before the big day should be fine.
Choose a firm pumpkin with smooth skin that sounds hollow when tapped. Try to find one with a flat base so it won’t roll on its side. (Otherwise, you’ll have to give it some feet.)
Don’t stress if you can’t find a perfectly round pumpkin. As you’ll see in the ideas below, a funny-shaped pumpkin can be an opportunity to give it some real personality.
If the pumpkin is dirty, clean it with a wet cloth.
Make sure you have everything you need before you start carving:
- A thin, sharp knife (special pumpkin carving knives are available in stores)
- A felt pen to draw on the pumpkin (a non-permanent marker is best)
- A large spoon to scoop out the insides
- Paint (if you want to colour your character)
- Accessories (depending on the design)
You will also need to prepare the work surface by laying down a large sheet of plastic or some newspaper. Remember, pumpkin carving can get messy. Giving your kids aprons to wear will save their clothes a trip to the washing machine.
Time for surgery
When everything is ready, start by drawing the cut lines on the pumpkin skin. Then cut a “lid” on top of the pumpkin to gain access to the inside (cut in a different area if you want to use the stem for your character’s nose).
Adults should do the cutting, as pumpkin flesh can be tough.
Next, remove the pumpkin seeds and fibrous strands using the large spoon. If you don’t want these parts to go waste, set them aside to use in a delicious meal.
The next step is the most fun: cutting your design into the pumpkin before inserting a candle and adding other bits and pieces, like Halloween pumpkin painting and decoration.
Original Halloween pumpkin ideas
What style of Halloween pumpkin are you after—scary, funny or surprising?
Whether you’re carving one or several pumpkins, your only limit is your imagination! To help you get creative, we scoured the Internet and found 35 Halloween pumpkin images you’ll love, to draw inspiration from.
1. The classic Halloween pumpkin design, jack-o’-lantern:
2. The classic with a twist:
3. The cutie:
4. The “I ate too much candy”
5. The surprise:
6. The witch:
7. The multi-purpose:
8. The vampire:
9. Meow! (Halloween cat pumpkin):
10. The cannibal:
11. The nasty appetite:
12. The curly head:
13. The house:
14. The prison:
15. The lamp:
16. The scarecrow:
17. The Halloween Nemo movie pumpkin:
18. Down on the farm:
19. The Happy Halloween Pumpkin:
20. The “no fun” trio:
21. The unlucky one:
22. The zombie:
23. Monsters, Inc.:
24. The western:
25. The mousetrap:
26. The owl:
27. The day of the dead:
28. The piggy bank:
29. The Kombi:
30. The “Can I come out please?”
31. The pumpkin gone crazy:
32. The mummy:
33. The Death Star:
34. The nerd:
35. Your worst nightmare: