Alternative Ideas for Pumpkin Carving


pumpkin carving

Ok, let’s talk pumpkin carving.

Even as an adult I have cut myself carving a pumpkin, nothing major but a few nicks….now that I have kids who insist on “helping” and want to do “everything” themselves, I am dreading the Jack-O-Lantern. One of my best friends ended up in the ER with her kiddo because of a slip of a knife while carving a pumpkin. I will add it was one of those plastic carving knives that promotes safe carving, in her case – it was not safe.

So what are some alternatives? I found some good knife free pumpkin carving ideas that I am going to try this year.

  1. My favorite idea came from one of my girlfriends who suggested using Mr. Potato Head pieces. So simple and easy! Hey, the kiddos may even get to “change up” the face a few times leading up to Halloween, an “on- going carving” if you will.
  2. Hit up the craft store, or even better, (and cheaper) the dollar store. Grab stickers, paint, glitter, construction paper and go to town. We did this last year, and my hubby had just as much fun. Who cares if it drifts from the traditional Jack-O-Lantern face, as long as they have fun and are occupied, right?
  3. Another interesting idea I came across was cutting a pumpkin in half (adults only doing this part, obviously) and decorating the inside with plastic spiders and bugs crawling out.
  4. Use mini pumpkins and make a little family of pumpkins, use a sharpie to draw on the face.
  5. Grab some gauze out of the First Aid kit and wrap that pumpkin, making a mummy. Use mini pumpkins like mentioned above and create a “mummy family.”
  6. The last idea is a little involved and requires some parent prep work, but it looks cool. Poke holes in the front of the pumpkin (maybe use a drill) and have the kiddos push clear mini Christmas lights through the holes (cut a big hole in the backside to let the cord out in order to plug in.) Speaking of poking holes, if you want to switch out lights for lollypops, that’s another cool idea and doubles as a table centerpiece (or candy bowl) AND would keep the kids occupied for a bit putting all those suckers in the holes.

Whatever you and your family decide to do with that pumpkin, have fun and be safe! (And don’t forget to cook the seeds! Yum!!)


  1. Love these ideas! In addition to the safety risk of carving…I just plain don’t enjoy it! Messy, smelly, the feel of the goop…ugh. All of these alternatives sound more fun to me!!! Thanks, Beth!

  2. Great suggestions! Like you said, it can be hard enough for adults honestly and trying to “enjoy” the experience while worrying about those tiny fingers ends up being way more stressful than pleasant. These are great alternatives. Stickers and paints (little messier, have paper/throw away cloth down) are always good bets too.


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