It seems like carving pumpkins is becoming more and more of an art form nowadays. New techniques, tools and patterns often yield awesome creations.
If you’re looking to step up your carving game, read on to find out what tools you need for carving basic to complex patterns. Just be careful when using any sharp tool for carving pumpkins and always supervise children when they’re using one.
1. Mini Saws
When cutting out details like the eyes and mouth of a jack-o’-lantern, mini saws are best. Their small size allows for easy pivoting and precise cutting.
Carefully cut open the top of your pumpkin with a sharp knife to create a lid. Note that a sharp knife can actually make cutting safer (so you’re not relying on brute force).
You can also keep the top of your pumpkin intact by using a knife to create an opening in the back of your pumpkin for cleaning out the insides.
3. Needle Tool
When using templates or stencils for pumpkins, set the paper pattern against your pumpkin and use the needle tool to poke along the lines of the pattern, piercing through the paper and pumpkin.
Once you lift the paper off the pumpkin, the holes will create an outline of your design on the pumpkin that will also make cutting out shapes easier.
4. Drill Bits
Drill bits of all shapes and sizes can easily be used to create holes for various styles like a polka-dot pumpkin that looks great as a luminary.
You can also drill holes in smaller pumpkins through which you can feed twine or wire and use to hang as part of a fall arrangement.
5. Groove Cutter
Instead of completely carving through pumpkins, try scraping away the skin to create festive designs with a groove cutter. You can also combine this effect with traditional carving techniques for a dynamically styled pumpkin that has shading, which makes for a truly dramatic effect.
You can use a chisel in a similar way as a groove cutter to make larger grooves and chip away at pieces of the pumpkin skin. A chisel can also come in handy when prying the lid off your pumpkin.
7. Sculpting Tool
Using a sculpting tool, you can refine the shapes you’ve scraped and cut out. The loops of the tool are also great for creating stylized etchings in the pumpkins’ rind after you’ve removed the skin.
Ice cream scoops and melon ballers work great for reaching tighter spots a scraper can’t get to. Tools with dispensing levers are especially useful because they allow you to quickly scoop and go.
Once you’ve cut an opening in your pumpkin, use a scraper to remove the seeds and pulp. To make pumpkin carving easier, spend extra time scraping away the inner rind to thin it out.
Carving pumpkins is a fun family tradition. Does your family do something different—spooky or otherwise—or have a favorite design you’d like to share? Log in or register for P&G everyday and us know in the comments section below!