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  • Overview
  • Carving 101
  • Carving Techniques
  • Protect Your Pumpkin
  • Tools and Materials
  • Take Your Pick
  • Our Best Jack-o'-Lanterns
  • Our Favorite Pumpkin Creatures
  • Best Patterned Pumpkins
  • Practice Safety
  • Pumpkin Party Decor

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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin carving got its start when night travelers carried lit pumpkins or turnips as lanterns, inspiring the nickname “Jack of the lantern.” Over time, “jack-o’-lantern,” came to mean the lamps themselves, carved with images of monsters and spirits. This Halloween, give the time-honored jack-o’-lantern an upgrade, and opt for a modern design that’s sure to terrify (or charm) your neighbors. Before you start carving, read our basic how-to and safety tips to brush up on the essentials. Then browse through our project galleries, organized by technique or trend, to summon inspiration. We dare you to try a new technique, tool, or template -- with our how-tos at hand, the only thing you have to be afraid of is the sure-to-be-spooky pumpkins you’ll carve.

Pumpkin carving got its start when night travelers carried lit pumpkins or turnips as lanterns, inspiring the nickname “Jack of the lantern.” Over time, “jack-o’-lantern,” came to mean the lamps themselves, carved with images of monsters and spirits. This Halloween, give the time-honored jack-o’-lantern an upgrade, and opt for a modern design that’s sure to terrify (or charm) your neighbors. Before you start carving, read our basic how-to and safety...

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All About Halloween Pumpkin Carving

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An eccentric collector displays his black basalt Wedgwood stoneware alongside wacky, wide-eyed pumpkins modeled after cardboard jack-o'-lanterns from the early 20th century. Create an array of your own expressions by carving basic shapes into pumpkins and pinning paper features inside.

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Not all pumpkins are orange, nor are they necessarily destined to become leering jack-o'-lanterns. The designs used on these pumpkins, carved freehand, mimic the lacelike openwork of 18th-century pierced creamware dishes, and turn any pumpkin (especially a pale Lumina) into an intricately patterned lamp.