Let the ghouls and goblins knock on everyone else's door while you spend the evening hanging with the fairies. To invite them in, transform a pumpkin into a cozy hollow.

Updated September 05, 2018
NGOC MINH NGO

Before you begin, learn how we created these textured effects using a carve-by-color technique. Opt for any kind of pumpkin, squash, or gourd that seems fitting for fairyland's most coveted real estate. Get our helpful tips for picking a pumpkin that will last through October.

This project calls for three essential pumpkin carving tools: a keyhole saw, scooper, and linoleum cutter. The first is used for its sharp teeth, which can slice through a pumpkin's tough shell and its flexible blade, which allows for curved cuts. The second is used for scooping out seeds and flesh for a clean interior better to reflect the light. The third is used to carve detail into the surface of a pumpkin (like trim and faux bois grain in the door) with great accuracy. The pumpkin picture here is cut from the bottom and hollowed out, then illuminated with a battery-powered candle. Get our editor's tricks on how to safely light a pumpkin.

For more ideas, scroll through our best collection of pumpkin carving and decorating ideas

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What you need

Materials
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How to do it

Step 1

Place pumpkin on its side on a flat, stable work surface. Use keyhole saw to cut a circle through the base of the pumpkin. Scoop out seeds, stringy pulp, and a thin layer of flesh from inside of pumpkin wall until it's about 1/4 inch thick. (A clean, smooth interior reflects light best.) Turn the pumpkin right side up.

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Step 2

Download and print template. With scissors, cut away white part of template. Tape template onto pumpkin, using a needle tool to prick every 1/8 to 1/4 inch along outlines of template. (Tip: You may need to cut slits around the template and overlap so it conforms to the pumpkin's roundness.)

Step 3

Remove the paper and connect the dots with a linoleum cutter, scraping in the same direction in each section to keep the lines uniform. For the fairy house windows, apply enough pressure to cut out the panes; everywhere else, use a lighter hand.

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Step 4

Using T pins, add shelf mushrooms for front steps.

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Step 5

Do a little landscaping: A couple of T-pins secure a twisty branch for a homey arbor.

Step 6

Set a battery-operated candle inside. Once the pumpkin is lit, you may want to do a few touch-ups: If the light shines unevenly, the flesh may be thicker in some spots; simply scrape away a little more wherever it appears darker.

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