How To Carve the Perfect Pumpkin this Halloween

Kate Wiggins, Sports Editor

As the wicked month of October rolls in, kids and adults alike figure out what they want to be for Halloween, whether or not they will go trick-or-treating and–if so–with whom, and what parties they are going to attend. The weeks leading up to Halloween are always exciting. One of the best ways to get in the spirit of Halloween is to carve some pumpkins! Here are some pro tips on how to carve the perfect jack-o’-lantern.

   Before we get into the procedure, here is a little history lesson on how carving pumpkins came to be. According to a website about world history, carving pumpkins originated in Ireland. However, the Irish first carved things like turnips, potatoes, and other squash. Funny, right? They were put out on All Hallows Eve to scare away lingering evil spirits (

   The first step to carving a good pumpkin, is to start with the right pumpkin. Finding a good pumpkin to work with will make the process a lot easier. However, don’t discriminate against ugly pumpkins; they need love too. More often than not, an uglier pumpkin with warts and what-not on it enhances the spooky aura of the jack-o’-lantern.

   According to a website about fun home crafts, start with cutting a circle around the top at a slight angle so the top doesn’t fall through. Once you cut a whole at the top, scoop out the goopy insides and seeds with a big spoon, or your hands if you’re up for the extra mess. After you scoop out the insides, trace any kind of face or design you desire onto any side of the pumpkin with a pen. Have fun with the faces you choose. They can be goofy or scary. It doesn’t even have to be a face, any drawing will do (

   You can find pumpkin carving kits at craft stores, or they have them at some grocery stores. Special kits come with fancy tools, specifically for carving a pumpkin. But any ol’ knife will work. You can also purchase stencils if you want your features to be exact.

   After carving out your initial design, you can start cleaning up the edges to make it look nice and pretty. Double check to make sure you got out all of the goopy insides, to insure that your jack-o’-lantern doesn’t grow moldy before Halloween night. Pop a small candle into the bottom of the pumpkin, and you’re all done.

   However, if you’re up for a challenge, here are some ways that you can ramp up your pumpkin by making it a little bit different or abstract. One way to make your pumpkin different is to try turning your pumpkin on different sides. For example, make the top of the pumpkin the front, so the stem acts like a nose. This next style is a little out there, but it’s worth trying. Try experimenting with different fruits or vegetables to use for your jack-o’-lantern. Some varieties include watermelon, pineapple, or another kind of squash.

   With that being said, here are some extra tips and ideas from the aforementioned website about home crafts that I suggest you take into consideration. Rub a little bit of vaseline on the edges, to make sure they don’t dry out. Use fake candles so you don’t have to worry about them going out. Sprinkle some cinnamon on the lid of the pumpkin in order for it to give off the sweet smell of pumpkin pie. Yum! (

   Senior Abby Kim enjoys carving pumpkins with her family. “ I like doing it with my family because Halloween is only once a year, so carving pumpkins only one time a year is kinda special. It’s also fun because we get to make funky faces or just mess up and have a good laugh about it,” she explained.

   Now that you have heard some tips on creating the perfect jack-o’-lantern, go out with your family or friends and carve some pumpkins to be festive this Halloween.