Whether your goal is to be the spookiest house on the block or you merely want a jack-o'-lantern to display on your front porch, one thing is certain: carving Halloween pumpkins is no simple task. It's a messy job, sure, but let's not forget that it is also slightly risky with all of the knife-wielding. Then there's the concern of your pumpkin masterpiece rotting within a matter of days.
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Coming up with the best pumpkin-carving ideas to make your Halloween decorations stand out only adds to the challenge. No worries, though — you don't need to take to TikTok or HGTV, because we've rounded up our most clever pumpkin-carving hacks to ensure you end up with a perfectly carved pumpkin that lasts until Halloween.
Use a Power Drill as a Carving Tool
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, spiderwebs or geometric shapes are also fun ideas — the design choices are endless, really. This pumpkin-carving hack is just for the adults, though. Keep the power tools away from the kids. Let them work with safer tools or other Halloween crafts.
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. This is such an easy and fast way to create fun shapes without pumpkin-carving stencils or a knife!
Sprinkle Cinnamon Inside
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 bottom of your pumpkin and put the cinnamon-coated lid back on top. Ah, smells just like pumpkin spice.
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.
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.
Preserve with Petroleum Jelly
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
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 this pumpkin hack created inside our werewolf design, but experiment with other colors like green for a ghoulish look or red for a menacing glow.