Here’s an easy way to carve Halloween pumpkins. We stopped carving pumpkins once the kids were too old and too busy. I still bought them as part of my front porch decor for fall, but I just stacked them up, filled planters, and that was it. Check out these posts to see our front doors decorated for fall! Here and here.
Then I saw the Martha Stewart Living October issue and had to try and replicate the idea of using cookie cutter shapes with different colored pumpkins. Martha calls them “wicked cute,” and they are adorable but hard to replicate, trust me. I think it would have gone a little smoother if I had better quality cutters (as she recommends). We made two and then quickly moved to power tools.
Secret tricks for keeping your pumpkins fresh: Rub petroleum jelly around the cut edges to keep them moist and prevent them from rotting and shriveling. Cut edges are exposed so they tend to either dry out or rot. Keeping them moist with petroleum jelly helps them look good for a longer period of time. If your pumpkins shrivel within the first few days, try soaking them in water overnight. You can also spray them daily with water and a little bit of bleach mixed in. The water helps keep them moist and the bleach helps fight bacteria and any mold that might begin to form.
Watch this short video to see how we used power tools to carve pumpkins!
Let’s try Power Tools instead of Cookie Cutters!
I like the pumpkins where we used power tools because you can use a candle, and who doesn’t love an illuminated pumpkin? Here’s what we did:
Pumpkin carving tips using power tools
- First, draw a circle around the stem to give you a guide for cutting
- Use a drill to make a small hole (just inside the drawn line) so that the jigsaw blade can be inserted to begin cutting (if you don’t have a jig saw a serrated knife will also work)
- Use the jigsaw and follow your drawn circle to cut out the lid making sure you cut on a small inward angle that will help keep the lid from falling inside the pumpkin
- Pop the lid or top off and remove any seeds and flesh
- Use a spoon, small scraper, ice cream scoop, or other pumpkin carving tools and begin scraping and removing the flesh/pulp and pumpkin seeds making sure the bottom of the pumpkin is flat and smooth (you can clean, save and bake the pumpkin seeds for a fun Fall snack)
- Using a Sharpie, make X marks to help guide you where you want to cut holes
- Attach the size of drill bit you’ve selected and drill holes around the pumpkin going all the way through. Then remove the flesh from the drill bit and continue drilling holes.
- We used large holes for larger pumpkins down to smaller ones for the sugar pumpkins, but you could get way more creative and mix it up!
The Power Tools We Used
Other Supplies Needed
- Sharpie marker
- Scoop or large spoon
- Kitchen knife
- Newspaper or paper bags