Halloween is officially upon us and that means one thing. It’s time to get those creative juices flowing, buy yourself a pumpkin, and get your carve on! Here at Friday-Ad we love carving as much as anyone so we have compiled our Top Tips to make sure you have the perfect pumpkin carving technique. After this, you will be able to produce such works of art found in our Top 8 Halloween Pumpkins.

First of all, you will need:

  • Pumpkin274464761_17cd4d767f_z
  • Small Knife
  • Spoon (optional)
  • Permanent marker
  • Template (optional)
  • Newspaper
  • Candles or LED light
  • Matches/Lighter
Picture courtesy of Windell Oskay via Flickr

Next, be sure to search high and low for the perfect pumpkin…

In October pumpkins are everywhere. You could find them at your local market or supermarket, or you could even grow your own in advance. The ideal choice should have no bruises or nicks and cuts, preferably with a consistent colour all around. A sturdy stem that doesn’t bend or snap will help you achieve the ideal lid. For more elaborate designs, you’ll need a bigger pumpkin with a large surface area for carving. Small to medium pumpkins are better for young children to get involved so as to allow pumpkin carving for the whole family.

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The most popular option (and best for beginners) is to draw on your design with a permanent marker and cut out each piece. Other ways to make your pumpkin stand out is to opt for a silhouette design. To achieve this you carve out the negative space around your design (for example a ghost) along with a few small details so your ghost is illuminated around the edge. Another way is to chip off the outer skin of your pumpkin to reveal the pulp, this method is a bit more challenging but can give you some great results (see picture) and you wouldn’t need to scrape out the insides.

Picture courtesy of Ben Lawson via Flickr

 Let’s get started…

Carve around the stem (about 5cm away all around) you can do this in a circle, square, star, or any other shape you like. Try to push the knife in at an angle to create a base for the lid to sit in which will prevent it from falling through. Cut the excess from underneath the lid so the surface is flat.

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Warning: this is the messy part. Using either a spoon or your hands, starting pulling all the strings and seeds and place them in a bowl. Scrape the inner edge as clean as you can to make your pumpkin shine brighter later on. A brighter pumpkin makes a more striking effect. So the thinner the better.

Picture courtesy of Mike Davis via Flickr

Bring your design to life…

This is the fun part of pumpkin carving. Where you can really start being creative. After you’ve perfected your design and drawn it onto your pumpkin, gently draw the knife back and forth and take your time. Discard the unwanted sections as you go. If you want to be really accurate it may be worth using a scalpel to get that professional finish. (Note: never leave your young ones alone during the carving process)

Let there be light…Bowser

Historically candles and tealights were used to light pumpkins, nowadays you can go all out with your lights by using torches or LEDs. Candles can create great aromas – try sprinkling pumpkin spice around the top and as it burns, the scents will be released. If you choose to place a candle in the centre of the pumpkin, make sure it’s kept well away from flammable materials in a place you know it won’t get knocked over.


If you think we missed any tips or feel like you think there’s some vital part of the pumpkin carving process that we haven’t covered, then let us know! Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.