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Dog-o'-Lantern Pumpkin

For Halloween (or Howl-oween), what could be cuter decorating inspiration than Martha's puppies: Creme Brûlée and Bete Noire?

etched dog pumpkin

Photography: Janelle Jones

Source: Martha Stewart


Before you begin, learn how we created these textured effects using a carve-by-color technique. For this project, use our editor's trick to lighting a pumpkin with string lights and a jar. You will need a 25-light strand for small and medium pumpkins, and a 50-light strand for larger pumpkins. Place jar on cutout base of pumpkin, then place the pumpkin over the jar of lights.


For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of pumpkin ideas.


  • Pumpkin

  • Grease pencil

  • Scissors

    • Masking tape

    • Keyhole saw (Similar to pictured: Stanley 15-206 Jab Saw with Wood Handle, 6", $5.29,

    • Fleshing tool (Similar to pictured: Kemper Fleshing Tool in Flat, $17.99,

    • T pins (Pictured: Dritz Silver 1.75" T-Pins, $4.99 for 40,

    • Linoleum cutter with No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 blades (Pictured: Speedball Lino Set No. 1, #40203-1009, $9.55,

    • String lights and mason jar (optional)


    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; reserve the cutout. With fleshing tool, remove seeds, stringy pulp, and a thin layer of flesh from inside of pumpkin. A clean, smooth interior reflects light best.

      etched dog pumpkin
    2. Download and print template. With scissors, cut away excess part of template. Attach design to pumpkin with masking tape. (Tip: Cut slits around the template and overlap so it conforms to the pumpkin's curved surface.) Using a T pin, prick every 1/4 inch along outlines of template. Remove template, but keep it nearby for reference.

      etched dog pumpkin
    3. Using keyhole saw, carve through pumpkin's skin and flesh in the sections that correspond to the template's white parts. Remove excess pumpkin flesh.

      etched dog pumpkin
    4. Use linoleum cutter to scrape pumpkin skin in sections that correspond to the yellow parts of the template. Start with the outside of the design and work inward. Scrape in the same direction in each section to keep the lines uniform.

      etched dog pumpkin
    5. If lighting a large pumpkin with string lights, wrap a glass jar with a strand, securing one end to jar with masking tape. Secure base cutout with T pins. 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.

      etched dog pumpkin

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