Questionable Pumpkin Characters How-To

All of our "Questionable Characters" pumpkins were carved using the same basic technique. Etching with a linoleum cutter makes it easy to carve detailed designs -- and the finished gourds glow with an eerie orange light.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Cut a Hole

If you plan to illuminate your carved pumpkin with a battery-powered votive, use a keyhole saw to cut a hole in the base of the gourd. If you’d prefer to use a candle, remove the top of the pumpkin so smoke can escape.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Hollow Out the Pumpkin

Using a fleshing tool or a large metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp. Make the inner walls thinner by scraping some of the flesh; this will allow more light to shine through the carved design.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Transfer the Template

Print the template and tape it to the pumpkin. Using a sharp awl or a pushpin, poke holes at close intervals around the design. Remove the template. If desired, connect holes with a pen or grease pencil to define the outline.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Carve the Creature

Using the holes (or pen line) as a guide, create the design’s outline with a narrow-blade linoleum cutter. Use a wider blade to remove flesh within the design. To carve in relief, etch the outline, then carve out the background.

Print the Templates