Tips on How to Carve a Fancy Halloween Pumpkin

Fancy Pumpkin Carving for Halloween

Save money and add a touch of flair to your Halloween decorating by carving your own fancy Halloween pumpkin. Fancy pumpkin carving is easily accomplished with the help of patterns and a variety of tools found around the home. You can create your own patterns or purchase them from a store. Fancy pumpkin carving patterns are also available for purchase online or as free downloads. Make sure to follow the pattern and think about which areas will be cut out and which require only the removal of the orange pumpkin skin. Keep in mind that the areas where the outer skin remains will appear darker than surrounding areas where the pumpkin skin is removed once a light source is placed inside the pumpkin.


Things You'll Need

Votive Candleholders

Paring Knives, peelers, X-Acto knives, pumpkin-carving set or a dremmel



Large, thick needle


Votive Candles or small, battery-operated lights


Purchase a pumpkin with a smooth, relatively blemish-free surface.

Cut a lid for the pumpkin. Cut at the top around the stem. Make sure you make the opening large enough to stick large spoons and your hand through and allow for some movement. Cut a small notch in the back of the lid to allow smoke and steam to escape if you plan on using candles to light the pumpkin. The notch will also remind you how the lid fits back on the pumpkin.

Use your hands and the spoon to scrape the seeds and fibrous pulp out of the pumpkin. Set the seeds aside to was and roast at a later time.
Use a spoon to scrape the inside of the pumpkin where the fancy carved pumpkin pattern will be located. Scrape away enough flesh to allow for only a 1-inch thick inner wall.

Trim the paper containing the pattern to remove excess blank paper surrounding the pattern.  Make sure the pattern lies flat against the surface. Cut or trim away the paper wherever necessary to allow the paper to rest flat.

Tape the pattern to the pumpkin.

Use a thick needle to poke holes through the pattern and into the pumpkin skin. Once you have finished transferring the pattern, carefully peel away the tape and remove the pattern.

Pumpkin with face carving

Use peelers, a dremmel or pumpkin carving tools to scrape away the orange skin in the pattern areas that are to remain a darker shade. Go slowly and be careful making sure not to apply too much pressure and remove to much skin. Scraping to different depths results in varying shades throughout the design.

Use a paring knife, X-Acto knife or carving set to saw carefully along the lines of the pattern where areas are to be completely removed.

Push these pieces all the way through with the tips of your fingers. Once again, go slow and be careful not to apply too much pressure.

Wipe the outside of the pumpkin with a dry, clean cloth once you have finished carving your design.

Place your votive candle or battery-operated light in the pumpkin. Make sure the light sits level and place the fancy carved pumpkin on a level surface where it stands little chance of being knocked over and has the best chance of being noticed by everyone.

Light the candle or switch the battery-operated lights on and replace the lid.

Pumpkin with spider carving.