Rogues' Gallery of Pumpkins

Martha Stewart Living, Volume 16 October/November 1993

The tradition of pumpkin carving hasn't always had such a lighthearted purpose. According to one Halloween legend, a notoriously mean-spirited blacksmith named Jack was doomed to wander the earth forever, finding his way through the darkness with only a hollowed-out turnip lit with an ember from hell’s furnace. Whether to help guide Jack or to ward him off, people placed their own jack-o'-lanterns in doors and windows. You can use jack-o'-lanterns to safely lead trick-or-treaters straight to the goodies by lining your walkway with candlelit pumpkins. Or arrange clusters of small, carved pumpkins on your holiday table to cast a welcoming light for any visitor. Furthermore, ghoulish gourds intricately sculpted to resemble cats, bats, snakes or specters can illuminate the theme of your Halloween soiree. 

 

We've harvested the ripest ideas from our own pumpkin-carving archive for a spooky and stylish Halloween your guests will adore. Brush up on your boo-worthy basics with a pumpkin carving video tutorial, and showcase your craft with spooky spider pumpkin. You'll get inspiration for designs, information about essential tools, and invaluable tips and techniques. You can also view two of our favorite television segments: one demonstrating how to create a haunted Halloween village, the other on using pumpkins to carve a glowing, slithering snake. Revelers looking for the lighter side of the holiday can craft a fearsome funny face pumpkin or a wry Jack the Winker gourd. Include even the littlest ghouls and boys in the DIY fun with our pumpkin projects for kids, and even serve up screams with a candy-dispensing pumpkin for a festive fete. Enliven your yard with a gourd-filled graveyard en route to a doorway adorned by haunted manor pumpkins, and don't forget include spectral pumpkin silhouettes for a ghostly gag.

 

Your eery interior need not be discluded from the frightening fun. Dangle flickering pumpkin chandeliers from your ceiling, fashion discreet pumpkin wall sconces for guests venturing into your frightful fortress, and lend your lair artistic flair with a vine-and-leaf-carved pumpkin centerpiece.

 

OTHER PRETTY PUMPKIN CARVING IDEAS

 

Pumpkin Owls

Craft cute creatures your guests will give a hoot about for Halloween. 

 

Mini Witch And Cat Pumpkins

Entrance trick-or-treaters with spooky sorceress and cat gourds. 

 

Gourd Family

DIY a darling gourd family to frighten away fearsome monsters.

 

Flying Place Cards

Let fear take flight with wing-adorned miniature pumpkin place cards.

 

Glittered Pumpkin Table Decorations

Why choose between a ghoulish and glamorous Halloween when you could have both with glittered pumpkins?

 

Tragic Ice Cream Cone Pumpkins

Don't cry over spilled milk -- or spilled ice cream -- with this sweet ice cream cone pumpkin craft.

 

Pumpkin Cats

If you're hoping your gourd is the cat's meow of the neighborhood, try our glowing cat pumpkin how-to.

 

Mini Pumpkin Creatures

Even diminutive creatures are devilish on Halloween, as proved by these kid-friendly. 

 

Chalk Paint Pumpkins

Chalk turns chic in this simple, sophisticated DIY project.

 

Fanged Pumpkins

Give your gourds additional bite with a simple fang DIY.

 

Preppy Monogram Pumpkins

Produce preppy pumpkins with pink paint.

 

Porcupine Pumpkins

Prickly pumpkins are made rigueur with the addition of twinkling holiday lights.

 

Snake Pumpkins

Fashion a sinister serpent sure to spook trick-or-treaters.

 

CLICK BELOW FOR ALL THESE PUMPKIN PROJECTS!

 

Try 13 Cute Pumpkin Ideas

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