how to carve up holiday fun using knives and imagination

Allison Perkins




Without the throwback Disney scary movies, the little kids going door-to-door yelling “trick or treat!”, and the carved pumpkins that families and college kids alike set outside their doors, what would Halloween be?

The carved pumpkin is one of the easiest ways to show your Halloween spirit, but it can also be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing and have never carved one before. So for this How-To, I bring you an explanation of how to get the best result out of your carving.

Step One: Pick your design and stick to it. If you change your mind in the middle of it, there’s no going back, so be careful not to change any small details that could make a huge difference later.

Step Two: Draw your design on the pumpkin with either a dry-erase marker or a permanent marker. A pen can be too hard to see, and you can rub off the dry erase if you mess up somehow.

Step Three: Find a proper knife! Use a knife that has a serrated edge, if possible. It’s easier to use, and you’ll be less likely to mess it up.

Step Three (Alternate): If you want to make a design on a pumpkin but not carve all the way through it, use an X-Acto knife or something of the sort.

Step Four: Cut off the head of the pumpkin. Find your way about two inches down to begin, and if it isn’t perfect, no worries! It doesn’t have to be. No one will be paying attention to the crown of it anyway once you’ve put the top back on.

Step Five: Empty it out. With either your hands or a very large spoon, scoop all of the filling out of the pumpkin that you can. The less that’s left over means the more light you’ll be able to see.

Step Six: If you’re off campus, tea lights are the most common way of lighting pumpkins, along with candlesticks. But if you are on campus, there’s also LED lights that you can buy that are pretty much the same thing and give the same effect.

Step Seven: Once you’re done carving,  put about a tablespoon of bleach into enough water to cover the pumpkin and let it sit for ten minutes.  It’ll make the pumpkin last longer.

And once you’re done, set the pumpkin where you think it’ll attract the most attention, and move on to your next Halloween project! Using the seeds from the pumpkin you just carved to make some kind of treat could be next on the list!