I love a challenge so much so that when my husband and I first started dating (many years ago) we decided to challenge ourselves and try to out do each other each year with carvings. Needless to say neither of us really ever beat the other it was more about the challenge. I will have to say that I miss spending hours carving a a very meticulous pumpkin design. But having too small kids that like attention and living overseas where pumpkins are scarce hasn’t let this tradition continue for the past several years.

What I would like to do is share with you some of the pumpkins I have carved and how I went about carving them. First you need to start with good carving tools. There are all sorts available, but honestly I found the basic carving kit works great. Here is a link to the one I used. Before you can start carving you need to cut the top of the pumpkin off and remove all the seeds and guts.

Next you want to find a stencil or image that you want to carve. This honestly can be anything. Since these pumpkins I will share with you were not my first time carving I went for more elaborate designs, but I recommend if this is your first time carving start simple.

 The first design I will talk about is this dragon. I found the design by searching for “dragon pumpkin carving stencil” and searching through the images that appeared. I started by taping the design to my pumpkin and using the cutting tool to provide a cutting guide directly on the pumpkin. Basically to do this you punch through the stencil onto the pumpkin all along the outside boarder of the black portion of the stencil. Once you have the guide in place, remove the stencil and you can start cutting. You will want to cut out the sections that are black. Once you have cut out all the black portions. Add a candle and you should have something that looks like this.

The year I made my dragon I also decided to try my hand at a wizard. I loved how the wizard turned out so I want to share it with you here. I think I was on a Lord of the Rings kick the year I carved these two.

Here is another example of an Internet pumpkin carving stencil come to life. For this one I opted for an Angel.

Once again you will want to punch out the stencil to give a cutting guide, then cut out all the darker or grey areas. Here is my end result.

Now as you can see from the image above I did have a mishap with one of the wings being too thin and falling off. To fix it I took a tooth pick and used the other wall to secure it into place.

The year I made the angel I also decided to make a devil looking gargoyle.

I attempted to carve the word “fire” on the back side to give a reflection.

Although it didn’t work out exactly as I hoped I was happy with the end result of my two pumpkins together.

These are just a few examples of some of the pumpkins I have carved. Now it wouldn’t be fair if I showed you all of mine and didn’t at least share one of my husband, Ryan’s. So here is one of his favorite carvings of Ronald Regan.

 Pumpkin carving can be a real challenge and can take awhile to create a complex design, but if you enjoy a challenge it can be a lot of fun.

Find something that you love and try carving it into a pumpkin.

Do you have a favorite design you have made? If so leave a comment and tell me all about it.

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