How to Carve a Pumpkin for the Fall Season (2020)

Fall has always been pumpkin season, even before the pumpkin spice latte made its earth-shaking debut. For generations, people have been carving (and baking with) pumpkins in fall as a festive treat for the family. Sure, it mostly takes place around Halloween, for obvious reasons, but there are plenty of excuses to carve pumpkins across the entire fall season; they make great decorations!

So we've put together a guide on how to carve a pumpkin for the fall season. Below, you'll find all the advice and helpful gadget recommendations you need to get carving yourself! Just follow a few easy steps, and you'll have a seasonal display that'll blow all your visitors away. Check it out for yourself!

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First, set up.

Pick a spot to carve your pumpkin, and lay out some old newspaper to minimize the mess. Make sure you've got at least one nice, medium-sized pumpkin (or however many you're carving), a permanent marker, tea light candles, and large bowls.

You'll need tools, too!

Naturally, carving tools are essential to actually carving up the pumpkin. Here's a great example: it's a whole, nicely organized carving kit with scoops, tooth saws, and even an engraving pen. It's got everything you'll need to get to work!

Time to draw your design.

Before you start carving, you'll need to take a permanent marker and draw out your design on the face of the pumpkin - so you'll know where to cut when the time comes! Also, outline where you'll cut out the lip of the pumpkin in a circle around its stem.

There are lots of great stencils with carving designs.

Don't want to free-hand draw a design on your pumpkin? That's fine; most of us don't! Instead, we use stencils with creepy Halloween designs to carve up a pumpkin.

Now it's time to hollow out the pumpkin.

Cut out the pumpkin lid with a slim carving knife, doing so at a 45-degree inward angle so you'll be able to remove and replace the lid without it falling into the pumpkin. Once your lid is removed, start scooping out the pumpkin's insides using a ladle from your kit, scraping until no stringy bits are left.

You can also roast the pumpkin seeds.

On a cookie sheet or similar tray, you can spread out the seeds from inside your pumpkin once you've cleaned them off,  and roast them for a delicious fall treat!

Carve out your design.

Making straight cuts into your pumpkin where you've outlined, cut out chunks of the pumpkin shell until you've got your design.

You could also use some pumpkin punchers.

Don't want to go through the tedious process of cutting along the lines of a stencil on your pumpkin? You could just get a pack of pumpkin punchers - basically cookie cutters, but for pumpkins!

Clean up the pumpkin and design.

Wipe off the pumpkin to make sure there are no lingering shreds of inside or shell anywhere and use a fine blade to neaten up any rough edges of the design. Plus, you can use a very fine blade to make sure there are no remaining hints of permanent marker along the edges of the design.

Grab a tea light candle and light up your pumpkin.

Put a tea light candle inside your pumpkin (through the lid that you carved) and light it with a lighter or long match. Voila! You've got a perfect, glowing, carved pumpkin for your fall decor!