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What better way to ring in October than buying a pumpkin for your porch, yard, or driveway! As Halloween approaches, take your spooky style to the next level by carving pumpkins as a fun family activity that doesn’t require a ton of tools (just a bit of clean-up). We’ll take you through carving a pumpkin step-by-step, plus show you a few higher-level ideas if the traditional jack-o-lantern style is too run-of-the-mill for your haunted house!

1.     Choose a large pumpkin and remove the top with the stem.

You’ll need a large serrated knife to cut the crown off of the pumpkin. This is something that should be handled by adults only, so help out any little ones with this part.

2.     Scoop out the seeds and flesh (this is the messy part)

While goopy and gooey, it can be sort of fun to scoop out the insides of a pumpkin! A good idea is to have newspaper on the ground nearby the dump the pumpkin flesh onto, and then when you’re done you can ball the entire paper up and throw it away. You can also save the pumpkin seeds for roasting! 

3.     Draw the outline of the face or pattern you want to carve

Time to get creative. Whether you’re drawing a classic jack-o-lantern face or something more unique and intricate, you’ll need a dark felt marker to make lines that will show on the pumpkin, especially if the pumpkin is wet from being scooped. This drawing with be the outline for the actual carving, so make sure you’re satisfied before you move on!

4.     Use a small, serrated knife to carve your pumpkin!

Using a small knife, carve along the lines you just drew and pop out the pieces of pumpkin to leave open space where light will shine through. This is the most time-consuming part, so be patient and stop to make sure you’re thoroughly carving all corners and openings so your candle won’t be hidden.

5.     Light up the night!

You’re done! All that’s left to do is impress the neighborhood! Place a tealight inside your carved pumpkin through the hole you cut in the crown, and watch your artistry shine! Line up your family’s pumpkins and let the world admire what a creative bunch you are!

Looking to upgrade from the classic? Here’s some inspiration to take your pumpkin from fun to frightful!