How To: Make An Extreme Pumpkin Carving

Halloween is a big deal in the States, and it’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again! My son Henry and I love to carve pumpkins each year, put candles in them, and light them at night throughout the month of October. It is one of our favorite Halloween traditions.

We normally carve the standard pumpkin face with the triangle eyes and toothless grin. However, last year and again this year, we’ve decided to be more creative with our pumpkin carving.

I learned from studying Scott Cummins, one of the most famous extreme pumpkin carvers in the world, that by adding a few household tools to your arsenal, you can really create an artful masterpiece out of your pumpkin. If you decide you want to get extra creative this year with your own pumpkin, I suggest you gather these tools:

1. A ribbon tool (can be found at a craft store)
2. Several sizes of very sharp knives (craft knives or culinary knives)
3. An ice cream scoop (preferably metal)
4. A melon baller (you can usually find this at the supermarket)
5. A brush or something to wipe away debris off of your pumpkin
6. A potato peeler
7. If you don’t want to use your hands for gutting, you can also get a pumpkin gutting kit. We use our hands for this and get dirty; it’s part of the fun.

After you’ve gutted your pumpkin, for a really artful looking pumpkin, you’ll want to skin the pumpkin next. Here is a video showing the skinning process:

Now that your pumpkin is gutted and skinned, you have a clean foundation and you are ready to begin your art. Draw or print a picture of what you want the finished pumpkin to look like and keep it in front of you the entire time.

On Scott’s website, there is a new amazing tutorial you can check out. Last year when we did this for the first time I was nervous about following the tutorial correctly. But for me, I realized that my pumpkin turned out better by not using the tutorial. I prefer to let my imagination be the guide.

This pumpkin time-lapse video shows Scott carving a “Liberty Pumpkin.”

Be sure to check out his fabulous website at

Here are some examples of Scott’s pumpkin carvings to inspire you –