Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween

Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween

As the winter draws in and days get shorter and the leaves start to changefrom green to auburns and reds, you can feel the approach of Halloween - our favourite time of year at ShopAppy! For the last two years we have enjoyed Zoom Halloween costume parties - now we are back to in-person! Whether you are dressing up or not - you can ensure to have a spectacular night with some audacious carvings.  A brightly lit pumpkin outside your house or in your window - ensures your doorway will be visited by all sorts of costumed characters on 31st October - or even during the Halloween weekend. 

Enjoy our guide to making sure your pumpkin attracts all the ghosts and goblins (alongside the oocasional random spiderman) for this Halloween!

Picking out the perfect pumpkin and then spending a cosy evening carving into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece is surely one of the most enjoyable Halloween traditions… in theory. Firstly the best pumpkins are generally found in your local greengrocers - as they handpick themselves...

In reality, it’s actually quite a lot harder than it looks, as anyone who has ever attempted it will surely testify!  

So, just how do you carve the perfect pumpkin and become the envy of your neighbours? Whether you're planning a Halloween party or fun night with the kids, read on for everything you need to know about how to carve a pumpkin like a pro!

1. Pick the perfect pumpkin

Before you even think about getting out that carving knife, crafting your perfect creepy creation all starts with picking the perfect pumpkin.

Choose one that’s as fresh as possible and has a flat bottom so that it will sit well and won’t keep rolling around. One of the most important things to look at is the stem, which should be fully intact and green.

2. Cut out the lid or bottom

There are two main schools of thought when it comes to carving a pumpkin - from the top, or from the bottom.

Begin by drawing a circle where you want to carve and then carefully cut it out, taking care not to not cut too far down or up so as to leave plenty of room for your design.

While the traditional method is to cut from the top, some people say that this causes the pumpkin to weaken and therefore degrade more quickly. Cutting the bottom (or even the back) may keep more moisture inside the pumpkin and allow your masterpiece to last for longer. Whichever method you choose, ensure there is enough space to comfortably reach in.

3. Scoop out the inside

This is probably the least fun part - but it’s not too bad if you approach it right!

While you can buy a special pumpkin scooper, a standard ice cream scoop from the back of your cupboard works just as well - or even just a large spoon if you don’t have one to hand.

Be sure to scoop out all the gunk and seeds from inside the pumpkin, leaving a wall of approximately 1 to 1¼ inch thick. 


Pro tip: And don't waste the pumpkin flesh - roasted pumpkin, pumpkin pie. Save the seeds and use them to make a tasty snack, lightly roasted for extra crunch.

4. Create your design

Draw your design onto the pumpkin using a marker - ideally one that is wipeable. How about a cheshire cat with a huge (and sinister grin), a gap- toothed monster with big flaming eyes, or a clown with a big round nose and crosses on its' eyes... Are you scared yet?

If you’re not very confident, try sketching a rough design on paper first in case you make a mistake. For elaborate designs, you could even use tracing paper to transfer your design directly onto the pumpkin.

Pro-tip: For inspiration, have  a look at these design templates with some eye-catching designs that can be printed out and used.

5. Start cutting

Carefully cut out your design, holding the pumpkin with your other hand to stabilise it.

This part can be tricky, so start by roughly cutting the easier bits and then tidying up the edges of your design afterwards. Gently pushing on the part you are cutting can help to make this easier. 

6. Create a chimney

If you’re planning to use a real candle inside your pumpkin (rather than a battery operated alternative), make sure there’s enough ventilation to allow the smoke to escape. Cut a vent in the lid - or even remove the lid entirely. 

Now you know how to carve a pumpkin like a pro, head to your local shops to find everything you need for Halloween! For local shops all over the country try shoplocalonline.org 

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