Holiday, How To, Lifestyle

5 Unique Pumpkin Carving Tutorials

We’re in the mood to be a little more creative with our pumpkin carvings this year, how about you? Here are 5 tutorials that will help you create unique pumpkins to adorn your front porch.

1. Elephant

Medium pumpkin with a long stem
Knife or pumpkin carver
Vegetable peeler
7 to 10 toothpicks, snapped in half
4 mini pumpkins
Large pumpkin
Bamboo skewers
2 Beans or small objects to use as eyes


  1. Carve a circular opening at the bottom of the medium pumpkin, saving the piece you cut out. Scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin. Using a vegetable peeler, cut out two eye holes near the pumpkin’s stem.
  2. To create the ears, slice an oval shape on both sides. On one ear, poke 4-6 toothpicks partway into where you made the cut, about 1-inch into the ear piece, then repeat on the other side.
  3. Place the four mini pumpkins on a flat surface and insert 2-3 toothpicks into each pumpkin. Take the large pumpkin, turn it on its side (with the trunk acting as the tail) and then lower it onto the smaller pumpkins.
  4. Place several bamboo skewers into the bottom of the medium pumpkin and then press it into the larger pumpkin, creating a head for the elephant’s body.
  5. Place the two beans or other small objects into the spaces for the eyes. Voila – you have yourself a pumpkin elephant.

2. Drilled Pumpkin
Pumpkin, real or plastic
Drill and 3/16” drill bit (or larger if you’d like larger holes)
Drilling template, optional


  1. If you chose to use a real pumpkin, begin by cutting open the top and scooping out the seeds. If you have a plastic pumpkin, you will still need to cut open the top so that you can place the candle inside.
  2. Using the drill and drill bit, you can create your own design or use the template included above to create the patterns pictured. You could opt for simple polka dots, a chevron pattern or small flower shapes across the pumpkin.
  3. Once you’ve finished drilling, place the candle inside and display your work of art wherever you wish!

3. Jack-o-Plantern
Grass, cabbage and ornamental kale
A Permanent Marker


  1. Cut a hole around the stem and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Next, use a marker to draw a face and then use the knife to carve the face onto the pumpkin.
  2. Pour the soil into the bottom of the pumpkin, do not pack it down. Drainage holes at the bottom of the pumpkin are not necessary but can be added if you wish.
  3. You can now choose how to plant your plants. The image above has grass as the “hair” of the pumpkin and colorful cabbage as a sort of “hat.”
  4. Place more soil around the roots of the plants, leaving space to place the kale into the eyes and mouth. You can also try using sedum, similar to a succulent, instead of kale to get a different look. Water your jack-o-plantern periodically and after Halloween, you can use the pumpkin and soil as compost for your garden!

4. Snail

Round pumpkin
1 butternut squash
2 wooden skewers
2 ping pong balls
A permanent marker
Carving knife and spoon

1. Cut a circle around the bottom of the pumpkin, then clean out the seeds and pulp. Next, carve a “C” spiral shape into the top of the pumpkin. Be careful to not cut too much or accidently cut the whole top off.

  1. Cut the side of the pumpkin so that it can sit on its side like a shell and not topple over. Cut the bottom of the butternut squash, but do so at an angle so that it looks like the snail’s body is angled away from the shell.
  2. Use a drill or a pushpin to make a hole into each ping pong ball. Place a skewer into each ball, and then place the skewers with the attached balls into the butternut squash. Use the permanent marker to mark the pupils onto the eyes. You now have a snail-o-lantern to add to your garden!

5. Big Dipper
big dipper

Black chalkboard paint
White chalk
Battery powered lights
Drill and 3/16” drill bit

1. Cut a hole into the back of the pumpkin, then scoop out the seeds and pulp. Coat the exterior of the pumpkin with the chalkboard paint and let it dry.

  1. Use the chalk to mark the Big Dipper, or whatever constellation you prefer, then use a drill to drill out the stars that make up the constellation. Insert a string of battery powered lights into the pumpkin and poke one light through each point of the constellation.
  2. Use the chalk to draw lines from each star of the constellation, and then draw additional stars. Now you have your own little piece of the night sky.


Let us know in the comments below if you try any of these pumpkin carving ideas. Happy Halloween!


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