Pumpkin Carving 101: Tips from a Master Carver

Ken Klinker shares tips and techniques for making it easy.

Tips for pumpkin carving:

1. Cut out the bottom so you can set it on a string of Christmas lights or a single LED light. Cut a chimney in the top (a small hole where the smoke hits the top of the pumpkin) to let out heat if you want to set it on a candle.

2. Scrape the inside under the spot the pattern will go so it is only ½” to 1″ thick. This is the most important tip to make carving easier.

3. Use transfer paper found in sewing, art, or woodworking stores to trace the pattern on the pumpkin. No need to poke holes around the pattern.

4. Use a keyhole saw blade for Exacto knives for cutting out the pattern.

5. Use small strokes straight up and down. Do not let the blade bend.

6. Cut out small intricate parts like eyes first.

7. Be patient. Don’t try to carve too fast.

8. Have fun!

Resources for Pumpkin Carving Patterns:






This year Ken will carve up to 60 pumpkins, both foam and real, and have them ready in time for Halloween. The entire selection of pumpkins will be on display at Farmington City Hall on Friday, Oct. 30.

Add comment