By Aimee Serafin • photo by rawpixel on


Carving pumpkins is one craft that can involve the entire family! There are several practical steps for carving a pumpkin. Always involve parent supervision with toddler-aged or young children and make sure to explain proper safety before using carving tools. Below is information on the pumpkin selection process and creative, fun ideas to decorate your orange Halloween buddies this year.


  1. Pick a pumpkin with smooth skin. A less bumpy pumpkin will allow for easier stenciling, painting and decorating especially for small hands.
  2. A flat front surface is good for precise cutting and will leave fewer “skin frays” to clean up afterward.
  3. Make sure there are no soft areas which can indicate pumpkin rot.
  4. Don’t rush the cutting process, as this could produce a trip to the ER. Small, controlled motions on flat locations is best for carving. It is also recommended to choose an easy design or use a pumpkin template your child would enjoy.
  5. For more elaborate carvings, older children or parents can use a sanding bit on the Dremmel tool to smooth “carved-out skin fray”. This process will result in a more realistic, crisp and natural design.
  6. A great secondary option for decorating pumpkins is to use paint! Kids can think of a favorite design or there are a number of cute painted pumpkin ideas on Pinterest, including gingham and plaid patterns.
  7. Never leave children unattended with sharp objects or tools.
  8. Remember, pumpkin seeds can be roasted with salt or other seasonings in a low-temperature oven for some healthy mid-week lunch snacks.


Gingham black and white painted pumpkins, felt flower pumpkins, and silly monster designs can be found at this great site online:


Happy Carving!


Aimee Serafin, editor of the Augusta Family Magazine.