How to Make a Halloween Pumpkin

Ever looked at the carved pumpkins at Halloween and wondered how you can create your own that way? Well now you can!


  1. Image titled Make a Halloween Pumpkin Step 1
    Buy a pumpkin from your local supermarket or from a farm shop. Buy one that's a good size with little visible damage/marks.
  2. Image titled Make a Halloween Pumpkin Step 2
    Draw a circle around the stem on the top where you want the lid to go. Make it big enough to fit your arm and a scraping tool through (a diameter of about 6 inches is recommended).
  3. Image titled Make a Halloween Pumpkin Step 3
    Cut out the lid. Make sure you do so at an angle (tip of the knife facing the center of the pumpkin) so that the lid doesn't fall into the pumpkin. You may want to cut a small notch into the lid too so it doesn't fall.
  4. Image titled Make a Halloween Pumpkin Step 4
    Use a spoon to clean out the inside of the pumpkin. Scrape away the walls until they're about an inch thick. There should be no seeds or pumpkin strings left.
  5. Image titled Make a Halloween Pumpkin Step 5
    Wipe down inside with some kitchen roll. Leave to dry overnight if desired.
  6. Image titled Make a Halloween Pumpkin Step 6
    Select or draw a pattern
    • Make sure it suits your ability. Thinner bits will be harder to cut out.
    • Pick one that suits the size of the pumpkin.
  7. Image titled Make a Halloween Pumpkin Step 7
    Put the pattern onto the pumpkin.
    • Premade patterns:
      • Print it out to the right size.
      • Cut along the edges inwards so it folds round across the curve of the pumpkin.
      • Tape it down using masking tape.
    • Your own pattern:
      • Use a washable marker to draw the pattern directly onto the pumpkin.
  8. Image titled Make a Halloween Pumpkin Step 8
    Carve the pumpkin
    • Start by getting a pin or thin poking device like a screwdriver. Make small dots in the pumpkin all around the edges of the shape you're going to cut out. Keep them close together.
    • If you used a premade pattern, carefully remove the paper.
    • Get a pumpkin carving knife (or most normal knives will work) and poke it all the way through the edge of one of the shapes. Alternatively, you can make your pumpkin glow by using a chisel knife (you can buy them from most art stores) or similar tool to glide along the pumpkin, following the edge of the design. Remove the only top layer of skin (do not poke all the way through).
    • Slowly move the knife round the shape following the dots.
    • Once you've gone all the way round, push the shape out and carefully run your knife around the edge again to neaten the cut up.
    • Repeat for each shape.
  9. Image titled Make a Halloween Pumpkin Step 9
    Decorate further if desired.
    • Add food colouring.
    • Reuse the cut-out pumpkin or insides as part as part of the design.
    • Stick skewers into the pumpkin to look like arms or hair


  • Don't rush! Take your time!
  • Get a good range of tools. You can buy pumpkin carving kits from most department stores around Christmas time. You could also buy some carving tools from some art shops.
  • When you're cutting out shapes, you can always cut them into smaller pieces if you're having trouble taking it all out at once.
  • If you're feeling really adventurous, try carving stuff out of different fruits and vegetables. Try various squash or melons.


  • If you slip and cut off the wrong bit, try re-attaching it using toothpicks
  • Be careful not to cut yourself with any of the tools!

Things You'll Need

  • A pumpkin
  • A pattern
  • Some carving tools (such as knives)
  • Some poking tools (such as a screwdriver)
  • A spoon
  • A bowl
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  • Masking tape
  • A sharper knife
  • Toothpicks
  • A tea light
  • Kitchen tissue

Article Info

Categories: Halloween Pumpkins