06 October, 2006

Pumpkin Design & Carving 101

I realize not all of you will want to wait to carve your pumpkins as I am restraining myself from doing. Sometimes you just get too excited and can’t wait to start digging in. And who understand that better than monogram momma? It’s that need for instant gratification, which I totally understand. So put on a big pot of chilli, brew yourself a nice pot of witches brew, and send out an impromptu e-vite to invite a few neighbors over for a pumpkin carving party. Cover your counters and kitchen table surfaces with cheap plastic party tablecloths in fun fall colors to make your clean up easy, and just keep it super simple and casual. And instead of making the meal the center of the evening, make the MESS the center of the fun!

So being that it’s Friday and all, and many of you are probably going to be running out to grab your pumpkins this weekend, I thought you might like a few sites to help you think outside the box of your regular jack-o-lantern face, and have some other creative things to carve into your pumpkins. So here are a few sites I’ve found that you might be able to get some creative pumpkin carving tips from.

1. Now, before you get started, you might want to hop on over to Pumpkin Carving 101 and read their tips and how-to instructions for proper pumpkin carving. I know I know, we all think we just need a knife, a permanent marker, a garbage can and a strainer for the seeds, but there are some really great tools on the market now to make pumpkin carving easier and more fun, thus allowing for maximum creativity. For instance, at my craft store I noticed an electric pumpkin carving tool for only $8.99 the other day. And who knows, with a power tool involved it might actually spark Mr. Monogram’s enthusiasm this year!

2. Better Homes & Gardens has a fun and easy pumpkin stencil maker that you really must go check out. The designs are very basic but they let you chose eyes, nose, and a mouth from a lot of quirky and funny expressions, then click print and it’s done! But while you’re there, you might as well check out all their great creative ideas and photo’s they’ve got for pumpkins by clicking here.

3. The ridiculously talented folks over at Pumpkin Masters who do all the network and celebrity carved pumpkins have been kind enough to offer a few fun pumpkin carving patterns for free, as well as lots of valuable carving advise so make sure you stop over there.

4. Also make sure you head over to Fabulous Foods where they 15 free pumpkin designs to print up and use. My favorite are the eyes. I love the look of just doing eyes on the pumpkins, especially on the smaller ones. Spooooooooooooooooooky.

5. Somehow I stumbled upon this site where they’ve got a selection of free pumpkin patterns as well. You might find something here to suit you, but you may not. You know I am all about offering options so off you go.

6. This year I am all about the shaving of pumpkins. You know, not actually cutting all the way through, but rather shaving my design into the skin so it gives a more translucent, softer glow and allows for more intricate details and designs. And to achieve this look, you really just need to use a linoleum tool or woodworkers shaving tool. One quick tip though, in case you too like this look for your front stoop, applying Vaseline over the raw shaved edge of the pumkin will prevent it from browning. Martha is an old pro at this (of course), and I can’t wait to get started on mine when we return from vacation. Martha’s got a great example of a cute harlequin patterned translucent pumpkin which could very easily be turned into a preppy argyle pumpkin too. And of course, I will be tackling these lovely monogrammed pumpkins as the “M” really does have monogram momma carved right into it, don’t you think?!

Okay, well hopefully this should give you a few fresh ideas for your pumpkin carving this year. While I’m super excited to carve mine, as I said, I’m holding off a bit until we get a bit closer to Halloween. Next week I’ll be diving into some fun and fresh pumpkin recipes and additional decorating ideas as well. Let me know if you guys are getting sick of all these pumpkins! But for now I’m off to start packing for my weekend trip and visit to Auburn. That tailgating post last week has really put me in the mood so I’ll try to remember to take some good tailgating pictures for you guys. That is, if I can juggle my drink, my shaker, and my camera all at once!


Susan said...

Thanks for the great tips to use at our birthday party/pumpkin carving soiree tonight! Have a super time in Auburn!

Laura said...

I just wanted to thank you for your pumpkin inspiration. I went to Michael's, got 2 of the white pumpkins, printed out our initial and carved it into them. They look so great out front flanking our doorway. My husband even liked them (which is huge since he usually doesn't notice such things).You have such great ideas, thank you for sharing them.

Laura said...

I just wanted to thank you for all of your pumpkin inspiration. I went to Michael's, purchased 2 white pumpkins, and carved our initial into them. They look fantastic flanking our door out front. Even my husband liked them (he normally doesn't notice such things). Thank you so much for sharing all your great ideas with us.

cape cod mermaid said...

I think I will also be carving the fake-out pumpkins this year so thanks for the great ideas. Now is it to early to start planning for Christmas? I'm getting ready to order my cards but I remember you telling us you do something special for yours. Can you please share???

Pink Cupcakes said...

These are such great ideas and not plain and boring I think I will be trying some of these this year!

Martha's Circle said...


First, thank you very much for linking to MarthaStewart.com how-to articles on your blog!

However, I noticed that the link to your number 6 on the list, “Translucent Pumpkins,” is broken, and I wanted to share the correct URL with you and your readers:



Ross (rweale@marthastewart.com)