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Jack-o'-Lantern Carving Made Easy

Jack-o'-Lantern Carving Made Easy

Halloween is a few days away and in our house that means it's time to carve the pumpkins. Silly or scary, simple or difficult, this is a project my kids insist on doing every year. They always need a helping hand even though they want to do the hard work by themselves.

I'm teaching them the right way to carve a pumpkin so they can get it done without a trip to the emergency room.

I've learned a few simple methods over the years to make carving easy. The boys are learning. Hopefully next year is the Halloween they can carve their pumpkins by themselves.


To get started choose large smooth pumpkins because they are easier to carve. Avoid any with bruises or moldy stems.

What you'll need: Serrated knife, pumpkin carving kit, grapefruit spoon, black marker, nail and a template.

To illuminate your pumpkin with a candle you'll need to cut the hole from the top. To use electric lights, you should cut the hole from the bottom.


Angle the knife towards the stem and use a sewing motion. Once you remove the top use your knife to slice a clean undertop.


Use your grapefruit spoon to scoop out the insides. Then free hand your design with a black marker or tape your template to the pumpkin and use the nail to poke holes to outline your design.

Watch out for those fingers!

Watch out for those fingers!

Next, it's time to get to work removing the eyes, nose and scars using your pumpkin carving kit.  When you create your pumpkin smile take care to cut through the pumpkin and work using a sawing motion in small sections using the bigger end of the serrated knife from the pumpkin kit.

Proud boy carved it all by himself with a little help from mom.

Proud boy carved it all by himself with a little help from mom.

Place your pumpkins on your front porch. Use a votive candle to light up your jack-o'-lantern.

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