7 Awesome Pumpkin Carving Hacks to Try This Fall

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Five pumpkins on porch steps

Whether your goal is to be the spookiest house on the block, or you merely want a simple jack o'lantern to display on your porch, one thing is certain: carving pumpkins is no simple task. It's a messy job, sure, but let's not forget also slightly risky with all of the knife wielding. Then there's the concern of your pumpkin masterpiece rotting within a matter of days. No worries, though — we've rounded up our most clever carving hacks to ensure you end up with a perfectly carved pumpkin that lasts until Halloween.

Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Whether your goal is to be the spookiest house on the block, or you merely want a simple jack o'lantern to display on your porch, one thing is certain: carving pumpkins is no simple task. It's a messy job, sure, but let's not forget also slightly risky with all of the knife wielding. Then there's the concern of your pumpkin masterpiece rotting within a matter of days. No worries, though — we've rounded up our most clever carving hacks to ensure you end up with a perfectly carved pumpkin that lasts until Halloween.

Use a Power Drill

use a power drill

Grab your power drill to create beautiful pumpkin lanterns. Use drill bits of varying sizes to create different hole shapes, like our pretty polka dot pattern. Flowers, spider webs or geometric shapes are also fun ideas — the design choices are endless, really.

Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Grab your power drill to create beautiful pumpkin lanterns. Use drill bits of varying sizes to create different hole shapes, like our pretty polka dot pattern. Flowers, spider webs or geometric shapes are also fun ideas — the design choices are endless, really.

Carve With Cookie Cutters

carve with cookie cutters

Not just for baking, cookie cutters can also do all of the carving work for you. Simply hammer them through the pumpkin using a rubber mallet. Then press through the center to punch the shape out. Such an easy and fast way to create fun shapes without a knife!

Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Not just for baking, cookie cutters can also do all of the carving work for you. Simply hammer them through the pumpkin using a rubber mallet. Then press through the center to punch the shape out. Such an easy and fast way to create fun shapes without a knife!

Sprinkle Cinnamon Inside

Sprinkling cinnamon on pumpkin lid

Coat the inside lid of the pumpkin with a light dusting of cinnamon and blot the excess with a paper towel. Then place a lit candle inside the pumpkin and put the cinnamon-coated lid back on top. Ah, smells just like pumpkin spice.

Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Coat the inside lid of the pumpkin with a light dusting of cinnamon and blot the excess with a paper towel. Then place a lit candle inside the pumpkin and put the cinnamon-coated lid back on top. Ah, smells just like pumpkin spice.

Ditch the Candles

ditch the candles

Candles are lovely, yes, but on those autumn nights when the wind is howling, they're also prone to getting blown out. For wind-proof lighting, place LED lights inside a glass jar and watch that jack o'lantern glow steadily through the night.

Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Candles are lovely, yes, but on those autumn nights when the wind is howling, they're also prone to getting blown out. For wind-proof lighting, place LED lights inside a glass jar and watch that jack o'lantern glow steadily through the night.

Use a Dry Erase Marker

use a dry erase marker

Swap out a permanent marker with a dry erase marker to create goof-free designs. If you mess up or change your mind, it's as easy as wiping off the ink with a damp paper towel and starting over.

Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Swap out a permanent marker with a dry erase marker to create goof-free designs. If you mess up or change your mind, it's as easy as wiping off the ink with a damp paper towel and starting over.

Preserve With Petroleum Jelly

Rubbing petroleum jelly on carved edges of pumpkin

Perhaps the most frustrating part of pumpkin carving is spending all of that time and effort to create an Insta-worthy jack o'lantern only to have it shrivel up or mold a few days later. Solution? Coat the carved edges with petroleum jelly to keep your pumpkin fresher for longer.

Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Perhaps the most frustrating part of pumpkin carving is spending all of that time and effort to create an Insta-worthy jack o'lantern only to have it shrivel up or mold a few days later. Solution? Coat the carved edges with petroleum jelly to keep your pumpkin fresher for longer.

Go for the Glow

go for the glow

Simply crack a glow stick to activate the liquid, and place it inside a pumpkin for a spooky effect. We love the blue moon look it created inside our werewolf design, but experiment with other colors like green for a ghoulish look or red for a menacing glow.

Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Simply crack a glow stick to activate the liquid, and place it inside a pumpkin for a spooky effect. We love the blue moon look it created inside our werewolf design, but experiment with other colors like green for a ghoulish look or red for a menacing glow.

How to Keep a Pumpkin From Rotting Before Halloween

Credit: Trisha Sprouse
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