Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Carving 101

Somehow over the course of my life, I never managed to carve a pumpkin. Last year, I even picked out a pumpkin and a little kit with pumpkin knives but to no avail. Things got hectic and the pumpkin...got soggy. :( It was very sad. This year the trend is broken! Tiffany and Argie came over to visit this past Saturday. They talked about the pumpkins they had carved and all I could think about was...I want to but when. Sometimes there's no time like the present. Since they were experienced pumpkin carvers and I had only watched my mom when I was small, it seemed like a great plan to carve a pumpkin while they were here. Everyone was involved...even the cats...well at least Jack.

Step 1: Cut out a large hole around the stem of the pumpkin. It is useful to make a notch so you can easily reinsert.

Step 2: Remove all the inner gook! We set the seeds aside for possible baking with salt..MMMM.

Step 3: After removing the gook, select the side you want to carve. Using the scoop tool, thin the pumpkin wall from the inside by scraping. Don't forget to also scrape a flat spot on the base for a candle to sit. The flesh of the pumpkin may come in useful for pumpkiny goodness like pumpkin muffins or pumpkin rolls, so it can be saved for later. Notice Jack is keeping a careful eye out for misplaced pumpkin bits. (When my hands were free, he was promptly shooed off the stove.)

Also notice, Sookie was not so into the pumpkin process. She decided to hang out in the bedroom and rest.

Step 4: Tape the pattern to the pumpkin. Fold lines help the paper wrap around the rounded surface.

Step 5: Use a roller punching wheel to trace out the lines of the pumpkin.

Step 6: After punching out all lines, remove pattern in sections and cut out using the mini pumpkin saws.

Step 7: Carefully push out the sections to be removed. If one catches, go back with the saw blade and ease the pressure rather than forcing and breaking a delicate design.

Step 8: Insert candle, light, and enjoy!


  1. Most people do a jack-o-lantern their first time around... but I like this kitty!

    Oh, and one trick I've learned (but haven't put into practice before) is to put the hole in the bottom of the pumpkin instead of the top. It's more difficult to get the goop out that way, but it's much easier to light. Put down the candle, light it, set your pumpkin over the candle. :)

    Thanks for posting pics of Jack and Sookie!

  2. oh wow. quite an impressive pumpkin! I like. :-)

  3. @ Mel: What? Most people start with a simple design? Why would that be logical? :) Regarding the hole in the bottom, I went with how Argie said he carved them. I can see how it would be hard to scrape gook and thin walls that way but who knows...Maybe I will try that next time. I'm glad you liked the kitty pictures.
    @ Jen: Thank you! I'm glad you like it!