Beyond Jack-O-Lanterns: 6 Simple Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Simple Ideas for Carving Pumpkins

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Carving pumpkins doesn’t have to be difficult. Try one of these simple pumpkin carving ideas for an ooh-worthy pumpkin without the stress.

We’ve seen them on our neighbors’ porches – those stunning works of art immortalized in the amber roundness of a pumpkin and glowing for all to see. Pirate ships on a bubbling sea, witches soaring across a full moon, haunted houses with bats in the belfry, and all other elaborately carved Halloween magic. But if you’re developing anxiety just thinking about the costumes you’ve got to throw together, the mega-bag of candy you forgot to buy, and how you should probably replace the light bulb on the front porch before All Hallow’s Eve arrives – an intricately carved pumpkin is probably the last thing on your list. If that’s the case, these straightforward simple pumpkin carving ideas will put your mind at ease while giving your porch a pumpkin punch!

6 Simple Ideas for Carving Pumpkins via Tipsaholic

1. Shape up (slide 1)

If you’re tired of trying to create the same old toothy Jack-o-lantern or spending time on intricate patterns, try something like this! A simple, repeating pattern of shapes turns out a unique kind of pumpkin that will certainly shed light on your visitors. A fall leaf shape is a great way to make a decoration that can stay on the porch even beyond Halloween. See the Simple Leaf Pumpkins.

2. Drill team (slide 2)

If you like easy, sophisticated, and luminescent, this idea is for you. Use a drill to punch holes in your gourds and pumpkins and light up the night! See the Drilled “Celestial” Pumpkins.

3. Hole in one (slide 3)

Creativity can take time, but your trick-or-treaters won’t be able to tell how quick this design came together! Cut the holes yourself, or use a couple of ½- and 1- inch drill bits to make it even easier. See the “Mouse House” Pumpkin.

4. Gutless (slide 4)

there’s a lot of mess that goes along with gutting a pumpkin, not to mention the amount of time it takes. So why not forego the gutting altogether with a few linoleum cutting tools and a little trick like this? No cutting, just carving. And – bonus – this one will last longer than a traditionally carved squash. See the Surface Carved Pumpkin.

5. Leave your mark (slide 5)

A monogram letter is a great way to add a touch of class to the front walk. Keep it simple using the first letter of your last name or go crazy and spell it all out! If you’re in the mood for something more complex, spell out a Halloween word or two, such as “spooky” or “boo!” Just print a template from the computer in the font of your choice, cut it out, and get carving. See the Monogram Pumpkins.

6. Creative cuts (slide 6)

A Jack-o-lantern face or a carving pattern from a kit can be found among anyone’s décor. Go a step beyond your former, lack-luster pumpkin boundaries by cutting some basic squares and adding a touch of paint. See the Haunted House Pumpkins.

Or try the same technique with a few of these spooky lanterns (slide 7)! See the Spooky Lantern Pumpkins (and get Country Living’s FREE templates).

 Carving pumpkins doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t have to resort to the same old-same old or spend hours attempting a masterpiece. Your porch can become a work of art without all the fuss this year by trying out a few of these simple, unique carving ideas. And if you’re looking for more Halloween inspiration, head on over to Remodelaholic for some spooktacular ideas!

6 Simple Pumpkin Carving Ideas via Tipsaholic.com #halloween #pumpkins #pumpkincarving #keepitsimple

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyineperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

5 Pumpkin Carving Tips for a Perfect Jack-O-Lantern

5 Pumpkin Carving Tips for a Perfect Jack-O-Lantern via Tipsaholic.com


This Halloween, I want you to take your pumpkin carving more seriously.

You have taken too much time and invested too much money in crummy tool kits to spend one more Halloween sitting among slimy piles of seeds and newspaper for hours, trying to carve a simple face into the practically impenetrable shell of an orange vegetable (or fruit, if we need to bring that argument up). Stop it.

The following tidbits of jack-o-lantern wisdown and pumpkin carving tips are being handed to you now, that you might experience the actual joys, as opposed to the headaches, of pumpkinery. (featured image via Better Homes and Gardens)

Pumpkin Carving Tips for a Perfect Jack-O-Lantern via Tipsaholic.com

Pick your pumpkin

  • Find one with a smooth, unblemished surface and even color.
  • Make sure your pumpkin sits upright on its own.
  • Look out for mold around the stem. These pumpkins have likely begun to rot!

Tools of the trade

  • Carving kit – this is a fine place to start, but if you really want to make the most of carving, try some sturdier tools.
  • Drills and bits – they come in all shapes and sizes, and make for some seriously simple hole-punching.
  • Linoleum cutters – the perfect tool for curly cues and simple designs on your pumpkin’s outer surface.
  • Keyhole saw – typically one of the best tools for cutting your “lid” and larger details.
  • Carpentry tools – wood gouges are great for scraping patterns into the surface
  • Awl, or other needle-like tools – good for poking holes to transfer patterns to your pumpkin.
  • Metal cookie cutters – an easy way to get creative and available in seasonal shapes! Use a rubber mallet to hammer them all the way through.
  • Sculpting scraper and other sculpting tools – made for clay, these are perfect for scraping out the gunk and putting finishing touches on your carving.
  • Other tools to consider – metal spoons, melon ballers, X-acto knives, toothpicks, serrated knives, ice cream scoops, markers and pens.

The art of carving

  • Cut your pumpkin’s opening at an angle so that the “lid” has a shelf to sit on and will not fall through.
  • Scrape out all of the “guts” and pare down the walls until everything is about 1 to 1 ½ inches thick for easier carving.
  • Start from the center of your design and carve outward, dividing large sections into smaller parts to cut.

Keeping things fresh

  • Rub Vaseline/petroleum jelly on the cut parts of your pumpkin after carving to keep it from drying too early
  • Spraying the pumpkin with a bleach/water mix will keep mold and bugs away.
  • Is your creation drying out and beginning to look less like a happy Jack and more like a shriveled and toothless old man? Try soaking it in water for a few hours!

Light’em up

  • Candles are the old stand by, but battery-powered tea lights, Christmas lights, a strobe light, or even a glowstick can add to the jack-o-lantern experience.

 

Make your pumpkin carving experience extra-special this year – collect a few tools, find the perfect pumpkin, and perhaps try a few new, simple carving ideas. Before you know it, you’ll be lighting things up in a whole new way!

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyineperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

Fun and Easy Halloween Party Treats

5 Quick and Easy Halloween Party Treats via Tipsaholic

Anyone can give out candy bars or boxes of raisins on Halloween (but if you have raisins, I’m skipping your house – just sayin’). Use these 5 ideas to quickly and easily turn ordinary fodder into a memorable Halloween party treat with just a little effort and creativity.

5 Easy Halloween Party Treats via Tipsaholic

Halloween S’mores

Place one ghost-shaped marshmallow Peep, one fun-size chocolate bar and two graham crackers into a sandwich bag for an individual DIY s’mores kit kids will love.

 

Scary Popcorn Hands

Buy a box of clear plastic gloves (the kind used in cafeterias and restaurants). Put a candy corn in each finger and then fill with popcorn or caramel corn. Tie off the top with black and orange ribbon.

Candy Broomsticks

Push a small pretzel stick into the bottom of a mini peanut butter cup – looks just like a tiny edible broomstick!

 

Witch Hat Cookies

Turn a striped fudge cookie upside down so the fudge-coated bottom is showing. Put a dollop of orange or green icing in the center and press an unwrapped chocolate kiss into the icing so the colored icing is flattened out.

 

Tootsie Pop Ghosts

Drape a white paper napkin over the top of a Tootsie Pop. Gather the napkin in to the stick and tie off with black and orange ribbon. Use a black marker to make eyes and a mouth on your “Tootsie ghost.” To serve, poke the sticks into a piece of styrofoam.

 

Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in rural Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.

Spooky DIY Halloween Decorations

Halloween is extra-fun for trick-or-treaters that knock on your door when your house and yard are all decked out. Even if you only have a few minutes and limited crafting ability, here are five easy Halloween decorations that will make your house the spookiest on the block. Boo! (featured image via The Graphics Fairy)

5 Quick and Easy Spooky Halloween Decorations via Tipsaholic.com #halloween #decor #easy #spooky

5 Quick and Easy Spooky Halloween Decorations via Tipsaholic.com

1) Glowing Eyes in the Bushes: Cut some eye-shaped holes in a cardboard toilet paper or paper towel tube and insert a glowstick. Position the tubes around the yard in the bushes – spooky!

2) Tree Spirits: Cut a white sheet into large rectangles. Place a white styrofoam ball in the center, gather up the sheet fabric under the ball and tie it off with some white twine or dental floss. Cut the hanging edges of the fabric to look jagged and hang the balls from the trees in your yard.

3) Glowing Pumpkins: Spray pumpkins with glow-in-the-dark spray paint and scatter them throughout the yard or line your driveway with them.

4) Ghost Topiaries: Cut a hole in the bottom of empty plastic milk jugs (the non-colored kind). Use a black marker to paint a ghost face (2 circles for eyes, one for a mouth) on the front of each. String a set of large-bulb Christmas lights along the sidewalk and place the hole in the bottom of a milk jug over each one so it glows from the inside. A ghostly way to light the path to the door!

5) Mummy Pumpkin: Wrap a pumpkin with rolled gauze (use small dabs of hot glue to hold it in place). Glue on some googly eyes from the craft store (tuck them a bit under the gauze for full effect!) and use a Sharpie to draw on a small mouth.

 

Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in rural Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.