How To Carve a Jack O'Lantern

Place pumpkin on several layers of newspaper for easy cleanup. Cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin. Use a sharp knife with long, sturdy blade.
Cutting on an angle keeps Jack's hat from falling into the pumpkin.
Make sure the hole you cut is large enough to reach in and pull out the seeds and stringy membrane.
Study your pumpkin to "find" his face. Draw the design on a plain sheet of white paper, or printout one of our handy Jack O'Lantern stencils. Tape the paper to the pumpkin where you want the face. Score the design onto the pumpkin by punching through the paper into the pumpkin flesh with a large nail.
Get Patterns
With a sharp serrated knife, cut out the design following the holes that were "punched". Push out the pieces.
The finished result..... ready to light every front porch on that special, fun and spooky night!

Helpful Carving Tips

  • Let big kids and grown-ups do the carving. Younger children can help transfer the stencils and scoop out the pumpkin insides or let little kids decorate their own pumpkins with stickers.
  • Be prepared for a mess. Line cutting surfaces with plastic and newspaper.
  • Keep plastic-lined trash cans or bags at the ready for pumpkin innards.
  • If you're having a party, award prizes for "Scariest," "Silliest," "Most Resembles its Carver" or other categories.

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