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Carving Pumpkins: tips and inspiration

Ahh, it’s that time of year – everything pumpkin. Besides the yummy cakes, cookies, muffins and scones we get from the edible variety, their gourd counterpart can be equally as fun and even healthier – that is if you toast the seeds.

I just flipped through the last few years of my family’s carved pumpkin creations and have the following to share. As you may know, the trick to pumpkin carving success is the tools. I love those little sharp knives you get in the kit, but they break pretty easy. This year I found durable, pro kit that received a perfect 5 star rating on Amazon. See the following link through my Amazon Associates account. Brass and Walnut Pro Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit

1. This is a bad picture of my favorite pumpkin (I prefer pretty pumpkins). I created a simple design with a push pin then hot glued pumpkin seeds over it. I carved out circles in the center of the design swirls.

2. Last year my kids were allowed to watch the movie Halloween and therefore were inspired to carve the pumpkin with Michael Myers’ mask and knife.

3. Another year I had a scrap piece of wood that I decided to incorporate into my carving.

4. One year, our neighbors gave us a Mr. Potato head kit, especially for pumpkins. It’s easy, safe and reusable. So, if all time and inspiration fail, we have these as an old standby.

5. Glow in the Dark Pumpkin – for this I decorated a baking pumpkin so I can eat it after Halloween.

Here is a baking pumpkin safely decorated with

Here is a baking pumpkin safely decorated with glow in the dark paint.

6. Lastly, a really easy and fun “carving” solution is to use a drill. Just make a design or pattern and drill holes in varying sizes to achieve a unique look. We did this one year when my older son was a baby. Unfortunately we didn’t snap a picture of it. All cameras were on the baby!


1. One thing you may notice in all the photos is that we don’t cut the top off the pumpkins, instead we cut open the bottom. Therefore we can light the candle and lower the pumpkin over it.
2. Secondly, if you flip the pumpkin up-side-down, so you’re looking into the top of the pumpkin, sprinkle your favorite spices and let the candle heat spread their scent.
3. If you carved your pumpkin well in advance and are concerned it might dry out, wipe a little petroleum jelly over the cut edges. This will keep them moist.

Happy carving!

HERE are our 2012 pumpkins. My younger son is obsessed with his globe – geography in general so he carved a globe pumpkin with a toy airplane hanging from the stem.

My other son is currently taken by the history of our hometown, Buffalo, NY. He carved a beautiful pumpkin of Buffalo’s City Hall. He scraped off the pumpkins top surface with a flathead screwdriver, after scoring the outer shape. Then he drilled holes for the windows.

So, what ever the inspiration of the moment, take out your artistry on your gourd! And if you’re looking for tools that will go the distance and you’re sick of the cheap plastic ones, check out the brass and walnut kit.

Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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One Response to Carving Pumpkins: tips and inspiration

  1. Jessi November 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Very cool and creative pumpkin carvings, tips and tricks! Thanks for sharing your unique works with everyone. If you or anyone else would like some pumpkin history and to view other works with pumpkins pop by and read this excellent article.

    Again many thanks for your helpful tips, we will likely be using them in the future. We also recently learned that using any household cleaner WITH BLEACH will keep the cut pumpkins lasting longer. Here in Florida once they are carved they turn to mush Quickly. A light spray with the cleaner on the carved edges and inside keeps it firm and looking good for a lot longer than previous times. Cutting the bottom out is a great idea too, I have also done that in the past with excellent results.

    Jessi recently posted…HAPPY HARVESTS!My Profile

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