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Ideas for the Perfect Spooky Pumpkin
Ideas for the Perfect Spooky Pumpkin
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Few things set the mood for Halloween like jack o’ lanterns and pumpkin carving. Not only is this one of the most fun activities come the end of October, but it’s also a great way to express your creativity. It can be difficult to choose a design that will stand out amongst the waves of grinning pumpkins. Thankfully, pumpkins are a surprisingly versatile medium and you don’t need to be Michelangelo to create a truly elaborate piece of art. All it takes is a bit of inspiration.

01

Go with the classics

classic pumpkin carving smiles Paffy69 / Getty Images

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to old reliables like a toothy jack o’ lantern or a spooky ghost. After all, they’re classics for a reason! Because they’re pretty simple, you can freestyle and carve the very design you’ve been imagining. Plus, nothing screams Halloween quite like a charming jack o’ lantern smile.

02

Your favorite character

jack skellington carving coldsnowstorm / Getty Images

Over the years, pumpkin carving patterns have become significantly more elaborate. Now you can find patterns for basically any character that you like. You can always get creative with it and take it beyond simple carving. Implement techniques like scraping to add some depth or a more unique look to your jack o’ lantern.

03

Shapes and more shapes

scraping geometric patterns Funwithfood / Getty Images

When you scrape away the outer layers of the pumpkin, light faintly shines through the remaining portion. The more you scrape, the more the light comes through. You can use this effect to create some incredible patterns on otherwise normal pumpkins and make a super memorable carving. Make sure not to scrape too much away or you risk puncturing all the way through.

04

A pumpkin with a mouthful

cute pumpkin guts SilverV / Getty Images

One of the funniest or creepiest things you can do with a jack o’ lantern is to place something in its mouth. Whether you choose to have it literally spilling its guts or gnawing on another pumpkin, anything in your carving’s mouth will take it to a whole new level. Other popular choices include using other gourds as cigars or as tongues sticking out.

05

Making the most of rot

rotting pumpkin smiles decay PETERLAKOMY / Getty Images

When Halloween rolls around, we all get super excited to throw up the decorations and cut into some pumpkins. Unfortunately, pumpkins don’t last very long once you carve them, so you can only have them out for a few days. However, if you’re clever about how you carve them, you can incorporate the decay into your jack o’ lantern. The odd slumping adds so much goofy or creepy character.

06

Add some flair

add details to pumpkins

A pumpkin carving doesn’t just have to involve removing material from the pumpkin. Feel free to add some flair and attach some other things to it. If you have some twine, you can make an incredibly eerie jack o’ lantern that horror fans will love. If you want a cuter pumpkin, you can use licorice as a tongue or attach a few googly eyes for some charm.

07

Include some teeth

pumpkin teeth scraping Estradaanton / Getty Images

There are tons of ways to add character to your carvings, but teeth are among the best. Carving the pumpkin the old-fashioned way allows you to add some basic teeth. However, if you want to take it a step further, try scraping the pumpkin to give the teeth some additional dimension. If that’s a bit too intricate, leave the mouth empty and add teeth with pumpkin seeds are creepy or marshmallows on toothpicks. Get creative with it!

08

Making pumpkin art

floral pumpkin carving frimufilms / Getty Images

Once you develop your pumpkin carving skills, you can make some beautiful pieces. A decorative pumpkin doesn’t need to be scary or spooky. Why not express your creativity and make some art? With some special tools and hard work, you can carve a full pumpkin sculpture that will definitely impress visitors to your porch.

09

Slap on some paint

painting skull pumpkin evgenyatamanenko / Getty Images

If there is one downside to pumpkin carving, it’s that some designs simply don’t work in daylight. Any errors become more obvious and the carving loses a lot of its spooky charm. If you plan on having your pumpkin on display during the day, you may choose to use a combination of paint and carving. Pumpkin carving is like art, so why not use every medium?

10

Carve both sides

pumpkin smile shadow Photografiero / Getty Images

One of the coolest things you can do with pumpkin is carve both sides. When light shines through, the rear section will cast a shadow on the nearest wall. You can keep it thematic with a spider in the front, web in the back. Alternatively, have a pattern on the front and some spooky words on the back. Remember to be careful with this, as the rear pattern will be reversed in its candle-lit wall reflection.

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