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Carving like a Pro

You carve a turkey and keep the meat. You carve a pumpkin and throw away the meat. You carve a snowed slope and don’t keep anything. Why?

Hey guys and gals, it’s that time of the year again. Pumpkin carving! I want to share what I do and wish you an amazing Halloween and the Harvest Season.

Step One: Get your pumpkin ready


Tools used: a sharp carving knife, a purple dry-erase marker, two sizes of gouging tools, a stainless steel scoop with a short hand, a strong portable light source.

Turn the pumpkin over and open a large “door” in the back. A large enough opening is essential for thinning the pumpkin walls (more on this later). I taper the door slightly on the top and sides so it sits well. I save the door piece so I can keep the pumpkin lasting longer when not lit.

Next, scoop out all the seeds and inners of the pumpkin. This is why I like the short handle on the scooper.

Step Two: Putting in the outlines.


Sketch the image onto the pumpkin. Take care to choose the best surface for the image. You will get marked up by ink but it s easily washable. Next, carve out the outlines and make adjustments as necessary.

Step Three: Carve it out.

Now you can carve out all the lighter patches. What ever you leave is going to be darker. The deeper you carve the lighter it will be. I also scrape more meat off from the inside to make the lantern brighter. Just be careful not to scrape through the pumpkin. Check your lantern periodically by placing a strong light inside.

Step Four: Finishing

Once you are pretty happy with your lantern you can finesse it by using the small gouging tool and the scooper. To make small pin holes I use a tiny drill bit. For Predator lantern I would get three laser pointers and tape them together. Hide in a bush near the lantern and point the three dots at trick or treaters.


Have a great Halloween and be safe out there. Below are some of my pumpkins from years past. Enjoy.


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