Carving a Jack-o-lantern

Okay. So the next step is to find out which part of the pumpkin you want to be the front. Okay, so I think I already have the front facing you but look at the other side. The other side is flat. It’s a little bit dirty, so I probably don’t want that to be the front. So, I’m going to make this the front. Okay, that’s going to be the front of my pumpkin. And the next thing I have to do is just start carving. Some people like to draw a design on there first…..

Exercise 1
Exercise 2

Other people just go straight to carving. So, it’s up to you. Just for this video today, I’m going to draw a little bit on there before I start carving, but you don’t have to.

As far as what you carve on your pumpkin, it’s completely up to you. Custom has it or traditionally, most people have always carved faces on their pumpkins. And still today most people do carve a nice face on the pumpkin. It can be a scary face. It can be a happy face. It can be any kind of a face you want. But, nowadays, a lot of people are carving really, really beautiful designs onto their pumpkin, sometimes very intricate designs and they spend a lot of time carving the pumpkin. This one with its nice thick shell would be a nice one to just carve different layers in here, so you can really get fancy with it. Some stores also sell patterns to cut a very fancy design in.

But, for me today, I’m going to make a very simple, traditional face. It’s just going to have two eyes that are in the shape of triangles. It’s going to have a triangle nose, and it’s going to have a smile with teeth. Okay. Just a very basic traditional shape. Again, I could do anything. I could make circular eyes. I could make slants. I could make eyebrows. I could make a moustache. I could do whatever I want. I could make it look like a cat if I wanted with whiskers, but I’m just going to do a very basic face today. So, I will draw it on. So, let’s see. This is the front. My pumpkin’s a bit little crooked, but that’s okay. They always are. I’m just going to make two triangles for the eyes. They’re not too even, but that’s okay. I’m going to make a triangle for the nose. I’m going to make a smile with teeth, and I’ll turn it around in just a moment so you can see.

Okay. Very basic. Okay? Now you can always make the eyes and nose and mouth larger. Once I start cutting, if I make a mistake or I want to make it bigger, I can always do that. You can’t go smaller, you know, once you’ve cut it out. So, I’m going to start with this size. It looks like maybe I could have made my eyes a little bit further apart since this pumpkin is so big, but I’m going to stick pretty much to what I’ve drawn here. So, let me start cutting. Okay. Okay? See how I just went down here on the mouth. I can just saw back and forth. And I’ll just follow my outline here. Normally, I would do one piece first. I’m just showing you that part. So, I can saw down. Okay? I’m going to turn it around so that I can do it better at a better angle. Some stores have knives that are designed for children to use so they’re not very sharp, so if you want your kids to carve the pumpkin, you can see if you can find, you know, a very, a safe knife, a safe kind of a knife for them to use. Yes, it’s much easier to saw when I’m at this angle.

Okay. So here’s my first eye. And I’ve made it a little bit bigger than my outline. You can just stick your knife in there and pull that piece out or I could have just pushed it from the inside. There. There’s my first eye. Okay? And I’ll do the other side. Okay. Again, so I’ve just made a very very basic design. I can push the nose out from the inside or as before I could have just stuck a knife in there and pulled that out. Let me pull the push the mouth out. I hope I don’t break the teeth. If I do, it’s okay. I’ll just carve something else. Okay. What does it look like now? It looks like I’ve got too much there. So I just need to push this out. And there’s my mouth with a couple of teeth. Okay? A few teeth. Let’s see. Okay.

This is a very basic basic basic design. Okay? You can see that some of the stringy stuff is still there. I didn’t get it all out. That’s why you need to do that first before you begin carving. This is a very basic design, but the next step you do … Well, first of all, make sure you’re happy with your design and if not, some people use some of these extra pieces that were from the eyes or parts of the mouth and stick them on as an ear or carve them out differently and add different decorations. You can do all kinds of fun things with this. But, basically, let’s say I’m done.

The next thing I would do is get a candle. You can get these little tea light candles or any kind of a candle that you want and put that inside. Make sure that the wick is sticking up. Simply put that candle inside the bottom of the pumpkin or jack-o-lantern. Put the top on. And I have to find just the right position. Okay. Now it’s all ready for Halloween night. Okay? On Halloween night, what we do is we open the top, light that candle, put the top back on, and put it outside near our front porch so that the children when they’re going trick-or-treating, so that they can see it, and so that everybody can see it. Halloween’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot more fun when you have a jack-o-lantern or several jack-o-lanterns decorating your house.

See Part 1 – Halloween Pumpkin Cleaning

See Frequently Asked Questions about Halloween

Have some fun! Try these puzzles.

Puzzle #1 is usually easier than puzzle #2, but try all of them and decide for yourself!

All of the puzzles use words from the video. Feel free to print and copy the puzzles.

Carving a Jack-o-lantern Crossword Puzzle #1


Carving a Jack-o-lantern Crossword Puzzle #2


Carving a Jack-o-lantern Word Search Puzzle #1


Carving a Jack-o-lantern Word Search Puzzle #2


Carving a Jack-o-lantern Word Scramble Puzzle #1


Carving a Jack-o-lantern Word Scramble Puzzle #2




  1. Thanks for sharing!

    Pumpkin Carving has become an true art form for some culinary wizards. –
    Youtube Pumpkin Carvings for some wild designs.

  2. I have done a strange design last year, lol…

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