Posted by: mrtweeds | October 14, 2009

a guide to pumpkin carving

carved pumpkins, or, in layman’s terms, “jack-o-lanterns”, are a popular autumnal decoration in the united states. while they are hugely advertised in magazines, on television, and over the radio, the avialability of actual “how-to” instruction is sadly lacking.

so, in conjunction with yesterday’s “a guide to pumpkin picking”, may i humbly present flat hill farm’s


step one: designing the jack-0-lantern.


more commonly known as “the face” of the pumpkin, it is a good idea to have a trained professional do this step of the process. it is, after all, the basis of the entire personality of the jack-o-lantern. the traditional choices are “scary” or “happy”, but some braver (and more unique) souls have even ventured into the realm of “apathetic”, “dim”, or “psychotic” when designing.

the design may be placed on the “front”, “back”, or even “side” of the pumpkin.

step two: cut open the pumpkin.


while some claim that this is not a neccessary step in carving, one will find it much easier to continue the process after completing this step first.

using a sharp knife, cut a hole (large enough for a human hand) into the pumpkin. depending on the orientation of your design (see step one) you will need to cut the hole accordingly. the ideal is to not have the hole immediately visible to passerby.

step three: scoop out the interior of the pumpkin.


you will find the interior of the pumpkin is full of pumpkin flesh and seeds. some hardy souls save the pumpkin seeds and salt and roast them for a tasty snack. others allow them to dry and pack them away until spring and plant them for next year’s pumpkin patch. still others throw them in the compost heap and are surprised when large, leafy vines start growing when the weather warms and reap “rogue pumpkins” the following fall.

in any case, it is important to remove all flesh and seeds, leaving your pumpkin a mere hollow shell of what it once was.

step four: carve out the design on your jack-o-lantern.

stay back

it may be a wise decision to appoint a “keeper of the distance” (as seen above) at this point in the proceedings, who is in charge of maintaining a perimeter around said carver, as it is incredibly important for all involved to stay well away from the carver during this step of the process.

using a sharp knife the carver will cut out pieces of the pumpkin shell, leaving an attractive “face”  on the jack-o-lantern.

step five: proudly display your jack-0-lantern.

don't askin keeping with tradition, it is considered “good luck” to proudly pose with the finished jack-o-lantern for a photograph commemorating the event. just look at those happy, shining faces! so pleased to have finished their project, one can easily see the joy in their eyes. we feel certain that these young children will be looking forward to carving another pumpking next halloween!



  1. The children so happy, so inspired to carry on traditions long held dear. I can hear the children’s lament “Next year let’s go to Wal Mart and buy one”

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