Halloween 2021 is right around the corner and we are so excited to celebrate! Pumpkin carving is a huge part of Halloween tradition, and here at Spirit Halloween, we have all the supplies you’ll need to create the perfect pumpkin masterpiece! Previously, I told you everything you’d need to know about carving the perfect pumpkin, but this year, I’m going to give you some unique ideas that will have you standing out at the next carving competition. There are so many options when it comes to pumpkin carving, so let your imagination run wild and remember… Always have fun!

Simple Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Whether you’re a rookie or a pumpkin-carving expert, keeping it simple is sometimes your best bet. As an experienced reigning pumpkin-carving champion, I’ve seen jack-o-lanterns win competitions and they were up against some of the most detailed pumpkins we had ever seen. There are so many different things you can do with a basic jack-o-lantern pattern, and if you put your best foot forward and take the time to perfect your pumpkin, you could be crowned the 2021 pumpkin carving champion of the world! Even if you don’t win, a jack-o-lantern is the perfect addition to your outdoor Halloween décor. Add it to your front steps and illuminate the night for all of the trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood.

Pumpkin Carving with Props

There are many different ways to make your pumpkin stand out, and one of them is by accessorizing with props! You can carve a simple jack-o-lantern and then dress him up like a person by adding hair and a hat! You can add googly eyes, pipe cleaners, yarn, buttons and so much more to create the perfect pumpkin. By using props, you’ll create a three-dimensional look that will bring lifelike features to the competition, and totally make the other carvers sweat in anticipation.

Intricate Pumpkin Carving Patterns

Intricacy is key when it comes to pumpkin carving. Carving the details of the pattern is easy, but making sure that your cuts are smooth and clean are the hard parts. Our advice is that you should certainly take your time while carving detailed patterns, and always go back and clean up your work after all the cuts have been made. Remember, the more you scrape the inside of your pumpkin while you’re cleaning it out, the thinner the walls become. This allows you to make easier cuts, and in turn, gives you less to clean up at the end. Light a candle before presenting it for judgment and you’ll be able to see all the nooks and crannies that need some extra love. For tiny holes, use a Q-Tip and clear out any extra pumpkin guts that seem to be hanging around! Some of our pumpkin carving kits come with a sponge that is perfect for wiping away pumpkin pieces that won’t seem to let go. The brighter your flame shines through your cuts, the better your pumpkin will look to the judge. Remember: Every cut matters!

Pumpkin Carving with Shading

There are three things you’ll need in order to master a shaded pumpkin carving: Artistic ability, a steady hand, and lots of patience. Shaded pumpkins are one of the most difficult to successfully carve, but when they are done correctly, they look amazing! Shading your pumpkin allows different shades of light to shine through when you light your candle. You’ll leave a thin layer of pumpkin skin so the light is just bright enough to create a dull hue that will have everyone in awe. You can make the skin of the pumpkin range in thickness to create a three-dimensional design that’s sure to stand out in the competition. Though shading takes a little bit of extra time and requires patience, there are patterns out there that are perfect for beginners, moderate carvers, and more experienced artists.

Now that you have a few ideas about how you can carve your pumpkin this year, we want to quickly go over some of the carving must-haves!

  • A large knife
    Don’t try to cut the top of your pumpkin with a carving tool, you’ll need a sharp knife to cut through the thick skin of the pumpkin. Helpful hint: Cut the top of your pumpkin on an angle. This will prevent the top of the pumpkin falling through once your carving is complete.
  • A carving kit
    Our pumpkin carving tools and kits contain everything you’ll need to complete the task of carving a pumpkin. From serrated knives and scoopers to flashing lights and terrifying props, you’ll be set!

The above items are necessary, but here are a few add-on items that you can place in your kit in case of emergency.

  • X-ACTO knife
    The tools that come in your kit are perfect for cutting, but an X-ACTO knife is a great way to sharpen up edges, get rid of excess skin and more.
  • Q-Tips
    Like we mentioned earlier, Q-Tips are a great way to clean out tiny crevices.
  • Baby Powder
    If you’re having trouble finding the outline of where you’re supposed to make cuts, pour some baby power on the outside of the pumpkin and it’ll make your outline brighten up. See How to Carve the Perfect Pumpkin for more information. [Link to old article]
  • Headband Flashlight
    If you’re not worried about looking silly, a headband flashlight is a perfect way to see everything you need to see! It’ll keep both of your hands free and brighten up your work of art.

What kind of pumpkin will you be carving this Halloween? Send us your final products, and you may appear in a future post! Until then, make sure you grab your pumpkin carving kits from SpiritHalloween.com!