Pumpkin Carving 101

Oct 23, 2013

Pumpkins are popular in the month of October in Canada and the United States. They are a symbol for fall and also represent Halloween and sometimes Thanksgiving. The best part of pumpkins, though, is carving them into jack o’ lanterns!


There is a long history of people carving vegetables into lanterns. In Britain and Ireland, they would carve turnips and other root vegetables. North Americans started using pumpkins as lanterns since they were so easy to grow. The first record of the term jack o’lantern appeared in the late 1830s.


Carving a pumpkin is easy, but you should always make sure there is an adult around if you are using sharp objects like carving knives. Pumpkin carving is all about creativity! You can make a face, an animal or even just random shapes. You can purchase stencils at your local art supply store or you can find some online and print them off at home. Simply use the stencil to trace your shapes and then cut out with a knife.

You can make complicated designs with stencilsYou can make complicated designs with stencils

Tools and Supplies

There are some basic tools and supplies that will make your pumpkin carving experience fun and easy.

Newspaper: Cover the ground or table with newspaper to protect furniture and allow for easy cleanup

Carving Knife: You can purchase carving knives made for pumpkin carving at your local art supply store or the grocery store (in pumpkin season)

Dry Erase Marker: Use a dry erase marker to trace your shape on the pumpkin. This way, even if you miss a bit cutting out the shape, you can wash it off with a damp cloth.

Ice Cream Scoop: Use an ice cream scoop to hollow out your pumpkin.

Use an ice cream scoop to get out the seeds and gooUse an ice cream scoop to get out the seeds and goo


Always cut the top of your pumpkin off first! Once you lift the lid, you will need to clean out the pumpkin. This can be very messy. Save the pumpkin seeds and you can roast them later for a yummy snack.

Have Your Say

What’s your fave part of pumpkin carving? Let us know!



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