Pumpkin Carving 101

Welcome to Day 27 of Crafty October – a month of Halloween ideas at The Purple Pumpkin Blog! Don’t forget to check out last year’s ideas if you need more inspiration.

So, today I started to make some biscuit truffles, however, my candy melts decided to seize up on me and the whole batch was ruined :( So, I’ve searched my picture archives and found some old scrapbook pages I created in 2005 called Pumpkin Carving 101 and since I’ve shown how to carve a pumpkin in the photos on these pages, it was well worth sharing!

I remember, growing up, my mum hollowing out a pumpkin with a big spoon and then using a kitchen knife to cut out a simple face. Nowadays, pumpkin carving has grown in popularity, and you can buy pumpkin carving kits to make the job a lot easier! I bought my first carving kit back in 2001 and have been addicted to carving out pumpkins at Halloween ever since!

#Pumpkin Carving 101

A pumpkin carving kit generally has a few different saws – one to cut the top/bottom off the pumpkin, and smaller ones to cut the design out. Mine also has a drill tool to make holes, as well as a pick to punch holes through to map out the design. You will probably also find a scraper tool that makes getting the flesh out an easier task.

#Pumpkin Carving 101

When cutting the lid, I mark it out first with this sort of shape. the tab goes at the back of the pumpkin and makes it easier to put the lid back in the right place! I got this tip years ago from the booklet that came with my pumpkin carving kit and have cut pumpkin lids the same way ever since.

Once the lid has been cut out, it’s time to hollow the pumpkin out. Remove the seeds and stringy bits first – no other way really other than getting your hands stuck in! The scrapbook page layout below shows my son having a go at carving out his pumpkin in 2005! Then, taking a scraper (or a spoon if you don’t have a pumpkin scraper) start removing the flesh. I reserve the flesh to make pumpkin pie, so keep it separate from the stringy seedy parts when hollowing out.

I hold the pumpkin under one arm, and kind of go around in a circular motion to thin it out – I pay more attention to the front of the pumpkin where I’ll be carving out and when it’s about ½” thick I stop.

#Pumpkin Carving 101

Next step is picking your design. There are so many places online now to download and print templates. I’ve got hundreds to pick from each year! Although, a couple of years ago I did design my own template from an image of the Iron Maiden mascot – Eddie, and I’m pretty proud of it!

#Pumpkin Carving 101

Print your template off, and tape it to the front of the pumpkin – you may have to cut it a bit to make it wrap around, but that will become apparent as you do this step. Then, using the picker tool, poke holes through to mark out the pattern onto the pumpkin skin. Some patterns have dots on them to guide you, or just go along at short intervals.

When the pattern is marked out, you can start carving. I start with the small intricate sections first, and then the larger sections. Just work carefully and slowly, and refer back to the pattern if you become confused at all the dots in front of you!

My best advice is to start with simpler patterns, and work your way up to the more intricate ones! I am still undecided what I’m doing for this years carvings. I’ve got two (a small amount for me!) large pumpkins to carve, so going to look through my collection of patterns and see what takes my fancy for this year!


I am hosting a month long Halloween Link Party to celebrate Crafty October and would love for you to share your Halloween ideas – crafts, recipes, costumes, parties…anything goes, as long as it is family friendly! It’s my favourite time of year, (as you may well know!) and I can’t wait to see what you link up!

Share Me!