Halloween decorating & party guide

Creative jack-o'-lanterns, no-carve pumpkins, and surprises from the kitchen

How to carve elegant pumpkins

Use our easy instructions to carve a grown-up pumpkin--plus, get design inspiration from Northwest artist Jen Ament and from our design archive

Carving instructions and materials
Photo by Thomas J. Story; designs by Jennifer Ament

Do it yourself

Materials: Washable marker, carving tool(s), pumpkins in interesting shapes and varying sizes

  1. Draw or photocopy a design to desired size. Seek inspiration in antique Audubon books (freestanding animals), and foliage from your own backyard.
  2. Cut out top of pumpkin and scrape interior clean. (You can also chose to skip this step and not hollow the pumpkins.)
  3. Copy desired design onto pumpkin with washable marker (freehand), or transfer design to pumpkin.
  4. Using a carving tool, carve into the design about 1/4 in deep, being careful not to break through pumpkin flesh (rather, scraping a hollow relief).
  5. If you've hollowed your pumpkins, set them aglow with multiple tea lights, or battery operated candles.

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