By AJ Danboise

Gather your family because it’s the time of year for tricks and treats! It’s also that time of year for decorating the home with spooks and specters! We’ve rounded up our favorite pumpkin carving ideas for the scariest month of the year. From carving faces to etching designs – there are pumpkin carving ideas to suit everyone! Continue reading to find one that speaks to your inner goblin:

The History of the Jack-O-Lantern

The most traditional way to carve a pumpkin is the Jack-O-Lantern. The Jack-O-lantern has an interesting story in that it was not originally a pumpkin that a man named Jack carved. In the original tale it was a turnip to hold the ever-burning ember given to him by the devil so he could navigate purgatory. Read the whole story here. This is an old Irish story, so on All Hallow’s Eve, the Irish would hollow out their turnips, gourds, potatoes, and beets and set them around their home to ward off evil. History tells us that they switched to pumpkins when the Irish immigrated to the U.S. in the 1800s and discovered that pumpkins were larger and easier to hollow out!

Before You Choose a Design

There are many ways to carve a pumpkin, but there are a few steps to take before you even get to the design part.

  • Choose the best pumpkin. The ideal pumpkin is one with a lot of surface area and a sturdy bottom, so it stays safely standing when you place a light inside.
  • Wash the dirt off. Pumpkins can come pretty dirty straight from the pumpkin patch, to get a clean work space and so you can see what you are doing, wash your pumpkin off with a hose or in your sink.
  • Cut off the top and clean it out. The messiest, and sometimes the most fun, part of pumpkin carving is pulling out the pulp and seeds! Remember to not throw the pulp and seeds down your garbage disposal. Your pipes can clog from the pulp, so to avoid an emergency call (248) 477-3626, throw the leftovers in the garbage! We even recommend using an outdoor spigot to clean off your hands and arms. Even a small amount of pumpkin can clog the sink.

Traditional Jack-O-Lantern

To start with the obvious, piggy backing off of the story above, the traditional Jack-O-Lantern is a great way to carve your pumpkin. You can use stencils to create different shapes for the eyes, nose, and mouth, but the final result is the same: a face!


If funny or scary faces aren’t your thing, you can try a pattern! Give your pumpkin polka dots, stripes, or a floral pattern if you want to get intricate. There are so many options for fun designs, you can really match the pumpkin to your style or personality.


If you’ve ever been around a pumpkin carving competition, you’ll notice people carving characters or designs in their pumpkins. This takes skill not only with drawing, but in logistics. Understand what to cut out and what to leave is a science, so take your time with this one.


If you prefer to avoid the mess all together (and save your pipes from potential clogs), decorating the outside of the pumpkin by painting, adding adornments, or setting up a display is another option.

There are so many ways to use your creativity to personalize your pumpkin design. Whichever option you choose, remember your plumbing so there are no emergencies due to a clogged drain on Halloween! This is the season for tricks and treats, so if your plumbing starts tricking you, contact AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical at (248) 477-3626!

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