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Carving Guide

Whether you're new to pumpkin carving or would like to brush up your skills, our handy carving guide is here to help. Before you purchase your pumpkin, check out our practical tips for picking the perfect pumpkin (see below). Then follow step-by-step instructions for carving your pumpkin using one of our design stencils. Or give your jack-o'-lantern a whole new look with one of our creative pumpkin projects.

Square Pumpkin in a Nest
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Picking The Perfect Pumpkin

Not all pumpkins are created equal. Here are some tips to find the best of the best:
  • Select a firm pumpkin that is free of bruises and cuts. Blemished pumpkins won't last as long, and you may have difficulty carving them.
  • Keep in mind the pattern you intend to carve. Some patterns are more suited to tall, skinny pumpkins; others look best on short, squatty ones. See our pumpkin stencils for ideas.
  • Pumpkins have different skin textures and colors. Choose one to suit the pattern you plan to carve.
  • Choose a pumpkin that will fit the space where it is displayed. If you're grouping pumpkins, usually an odd number looks best. Decide if you want them the same size or different sizes.
  • If you're going to cut the top off and put a candle or light inside, find a pumpkin that has a stem long enough and strong enough for a handle.

For a fun and safe Halloween, always supervise children while they carve their pumpkins.