The best pumpkin carving hacks for Halloween

The best pumpkin carving hacks for Halloween: Femail reveals the top 10 tricks for crafting your Jack-o’-Lantern – from using a whisk to get the flesh out to adding a sprinkle of cinnamon

  • FEMAIL shares 10 tips for making most out of your Jack-O’-Lantern this season 
  • Advice includes carving pumpkin out from the bottom and sprinkling cinnamon 
  • Hacks for drawing on designs and carving out shapes are also featured 

If you’ve still not made plans for Halloween, picking up a pumpkin and getting creative is the easiest way to quickly get into the spirit of things.  

While making Jack-O’-Lanterns may seem like an American custom, it is actually understood to stem from an Irish tradition, which was then adopted in the UK. 

According to, the custom was inspired by the myth of ‘Stingy Jack’, who after tricking the Devil couldn’t die in peace, and was left to roam the Earth with only a carved out turnip and some burning coal.

Today, Halloween fans still like to  get creative with their carving designs, with designs become more ornate and elaborate each year, but the tough flesh of the pumpkin can be tricky to work with if you’re a novice. 

Here, FEMAIL shares 10 hacks for making the most of your décor if you want to try your hand at pumpkin carving. 

Top tips include cutting your pumpkin out from the bottom, sprinkling some cinnamon in your lantern to scent your hourse and using a whisk attachment to get the guts out.

Gut your pumpkin out from the bottom

Influencer @brunchwithbabs says going from the bottom not only keeps the stem for added group, but allows for easier candle maneouvre

While you may be used to cutting out a hole at the top of the pumpkin, Halloween aficionados advise to go from the bottom. 

Influencer @brunchwithbabs says this not only allows you to keep the stem for added grip, but also allows for easier candle placement.

Hold the pumpkin in your lap to carve it for a steadier grip

Influencer @brunchwithbabs says you will have more control if you place the pumpkin on your lap instead

It may seem less messy to opt for the table – but @brunchwithbabs says you will have more control if you opt for your lap instead – with a better end result. 

Place the pumpkin in your lap and wrap an arm around it in order to get the best grip on the vegetable while carving.  

Cover your station with bin-liners

British influencer Harriet Shearsmith (@tobyandroo) says laying down a bin-liner will help with keeping your space clean

British influencer Harriet Shearsmith (@tobyandroo) advises on the importance of keeping your work station clean before you get started, recommending laying one down for easy clean-up in one quick swipe.

If you’re holding your pumpkin in your lap, you could always lay one over your legs to keep your clothes clean.  

Use an electric mixer to help get the guts and seeds out

Harriet specifies her hack of placing a whisk attachment on a drill to make for easy removal of the flesh

TikTok Halloween enthusiast @thehalloweenpage advises using ‘power tools’ to get the seeds out instead of relying on time-consuming scooping. 

Harriet’s hack is to put a whisk attachment on a drill to make for easy removal of the flesh.

Use a red dry erase marker to sketch your design

One of @brunchwithbabs’ hacks is using a red dry erase marker to draw your design on the pumpkin

While braving it with a carving tool may be very rock ‘n’ roll, @brunchwithbabs recommends outlining your design with a red dry erase marker, which goes on smoothly and wipes away easily.

Use tracing paper to get a spot on design

TikToker @all_things_halloween0 advises to first print a design out, and stick onto some transfer paper (pictured left and right)

If you want to get creative with your design, there are hacks to make more ornate carvings easier. 

TikToker @all_things_halloween0 advises to first print a design out, and stick onto some transfer paper. 

Laying this down over your pumpkin with some tape to keep in place, draw over the design with a ballpoint pen. That way, you have a professional looking image to carve around and over.

Not a drawing aficionado? Use cookie cutters for a fun design!

Influencers, including @thehalloweenpage, say using cookie-cutters can make for endless design varieties

Using cookie cutters, or biscuit stencils – recommended by both Harriet and @thehalloweenpage among others – is a quick, fun way to elevate your pumpkin’s design if you’re not a master artist. 

Just place the stencil on top and push down with a hammer!

Use LED candles to play around with different colours

Using LED lights instead of tealights will not only help them not blow out in the wind (left) but could make for multi-coloured designs (right)

Numerous Halloween-ready influencers recommend swapping traditional candles for LED ones. 

TikToker @thehalloweenpage says that not only would getting one where you could control the colour make for more design varieties, but Harriet also points out they won’t get blown out in the wind.

Sprinkle some cinnamon inside for a good scent

@brunchwithbabs says you can take your pumpkin decoration to the next level by sprinkling some cinnamon for a gorgeous scent

If you do choose to opt for a traditional candle, @brunchwithbabs recommends sprinkling some cinnamon inside your Jack-O’-Lantern to elevate the autumnal feel and bring around a gorgeous, spiced scent.

Cover all cut out surfaces with Vaseline for posterity

Influencer @brunchwithbabs says putting Vaseline on the cut out parts of your pumpkin will help it keep better

Influencer @brunchwithbabs says that if you want your carved pumpkin creations to last one to two weeks, coat the cut areas with Vaseline for prosperity. The petroleum jelly will act as a sort of seal against the elements. 

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