How to: Carve Pumpkins

So I actually carved a pumpkin this Halloween, an American(?) tradition I’ve never understood , though now I do understand why eating them is a thing. So I chose a design that has tickled me for as long as I can remember, attached a stencil of it to the ‘bio-lantern’ and this was the result:

Ministry of SIlly Walks Pumpkin

After this experience, I can advise the following for your future lantern carving projects:


  • The stencil works best if you cut the man out and keep the outside. This means the paper holds together better allowing you to really go for the details.
  • Notice the ‘negative’ pumpkin detail around his face – Plan where the skin is going to be!!
  • Blue-tack or even stick the stencil to the pumpkin – DON’T try to draw round it. Then you can cut away the paper with ease.


  •  Don’t ‘carve’ into this side, just cut/scrape the skin off. This will make detail easier to do and you won’t slice your hand open (I’m a mature adult so I’m allowed to try). The top left corner shows how bad it looks if you attempt this.
  •  Use a torch (a candle at this point is not advised) to shine through the inside so you can see where the light isn’t getting through and then scrape away the inside flesh with a spoon or something. This way you can get a perfectly even depth.

I learned these things the hard way so it only looks a bit good. Yours will be much better!

You’re welcome.

Ministry of Silly Walks lantern on



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