Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party for friends or family or just like to give your trick-or-treaters an extra reason to smile, carving an epic pumpkin is a perfect way to celebrate and decorate for the season.

Carving a perfect pumpkin isn’t as difficult as you might think, and with careful planning, attention to detail and a step-by-step guide to get you through, you can carve an epic pumpkin without problem.

Before you begin carving, you’ll want to make sure to stock up on the materials you’ll need to carve with ease. You’ll need:

  • A pumpkin with a flat bottom
  • A sharp serrated knife
  • Large serving spoon
  • Carved boning knife
  • Flameless LED tea lights

Once you have your materials, it’s time to start carving. Here are simple steps to help you carve your most epic pumpkin yet!

Choose a Good Pumpkin
When picking out a pumpkin to carve, always choose a pumpkin with a flat bottom, a nice stem and without bruises. This will help your carving to go smoothly and to showcase your work successfully.

Cut the Lid from the Bottom
We know it sounds upside down, but cutting your lid from the bottom is the most effective way to keep the sides from caving in, later. If you prefer to cut the lid from the top, cut the lid at an angle to help avoid that caving in affect.

Scoop the Insides
Scoop out all the pulp, and make sure to leave nothing behind. The wall of a pumpkin can be thick, so the more you clear and scrape out now, the easier it will be to cut and carve through later.

Draw Before You Cut
Before you even begin cutting, sketch out your vision for your pumpkin on paper. If you draw your design to fit the face of your pumpkin, you can even use it as a template by taping it to your pumpkin and poking holes along the lines to outline your design. If you choose not to tape the paper to the pumpkin, then use your trusted sharpie and recreate the drawing you’ve made on the face of your pumpkin, clearly outlining where you will cut to make eyes, a nose, mouth, etc.

Cut Carefully
When you begin cutting, you’ll need your serrated knife to help you cut out the larger chunks first. Try to make rough cuts initially, knowing that you can use your boning knife to go back in and clean up later.

Keep Your Pumpkin Clean
After you’ve cut, cleaned up and finished your carving, spread petroleum jelly along the lines of your cuts, to seal in your pumpkin’s moisture. It’ll help your pumpkin to stay looking fresh and nice even if you still have a couple of weeks until Halloween.

Light it Up
Use flameless LED tea lights to light your pumpkin’s perfect face at night, and watch your creation truly come to life.