How to carve a pumpkin

Get into the spirit of Halloween this year by getting creatively ghoulish with your children and carving some spooky looking Jack’o’lanterns. If you have never carved a pumpkin before and have no idea where to start, don’t panic! Follow these basic pumpkin carving steps and soon you will be attempting the more complex designs.

1. Cut off the top

To start with, slice the top off of the pumpkin and leave it to one side. You will need this bit later on. You will need to use a sharp knife for this part so best to do this yourself.

Cutting Pumpkin

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2. Scoop out the inside

Using a large spoon, scoop out the middle of the pumpkin including all of the seeds and the flesh. Your little ones can get involved with this part.


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3. Draw on the face

Draw a face onto the pumpkin in a marker pen. If you would prefer you can use a template to do this. Templates are a good idea if you are going to attempt more complex designs. Straight lines are easier to carve than circles so make the shapes of the eyes into triangles to make it easier.


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4. Cut out the face

Cut around the face you have drawn onto the pumpkin. If you find it hard to carve out the teeth, cut out the whole mouth and then carve teeth out of the piece you have removed. Use cocktail sticks to place the teeth back on the pumpkin.


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5. Light the candle

Light a candle and place into the bottom of the pumpkin. If you would prefer, use LED lights instead of a candle, especially handy if you have little hands about and you want to keep the pumpkin indoors. Use the top you sliced off in step one as a lid by putting it back into place.


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Now you have mastered the art of basic pumpkin carving, why not attempt something more creative. Watch this video by Shine Bright for Halloween inspiration.

Don’t waste the pumpkin once you have scooped it out, there are lots of tasty pumpkin recipes you can try. Why not bake this simple pumpkin pie recipe, it’s so easy that even the kids can get involved.

Pumpkin Pie



  • Shortcrust pastry
  • 2 Cups pumpkin
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, blend all of the ingredients together. Roll out the pastry and mould into a pie dish. Pour mixture into pie dish and bake at 375’F for 50-55 minutes. Chill 1 hour and then enjoy.

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