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Pumpkin carving ideas: best scary faces to design - and how to carve a pumpkin for Halloween 2021

With Halloween just around the corner, you may be getting ready to carve your pumpkins, but have you thought about what design you’re going to opt for this year?

Here’s the best way to carve a pumpkin - and eight scary face design ideas.

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How to carve a pumpkin

Carving a pumpkin may seem like a chore, but with these quick and easy steps you’ll have a ghoulish-looking pumpkin in no time.

To carve your pumpkin you should:

1. Choose a largish pumpkin and use a sharp knife to cut off the top

2. Next, use a large serving spoon to scoop out the seeds and fibres and then discard. You will then need to remove some of the pumpkin’s flesh by scooping it out with a spoon

3. Then with a marker pen, draw a simple outline of a face or your chosen design on the pumpkin and use a smaller serrated knife (one with a toothed or saw-like edge) to cut out your design. You should always cut away from you in case the knife slips.

4. Finally, place a tea light or two inside the pumpkin, light it and replace the top

8 pumpkin carving design ideas

Simple pumpkin face

Simple scary face

This simple yet effective design is a classic, proving popular with people carving pumpkins every Halloween.

To achieve this design, first draw two triangle shapes for eyes, a triangle for a nose and then a zig-zag shape for a mouth.

Next, carve out your design and you’ll have your very own spooky pumpkin.

Toothy grin pumpkin

A toothier pumpkin

To put a humorous spin on the first design, simply carve out two triangle eyes and a nose, and then carve out a wide smile, leaving small chunks of pumpkin to create the toothy grin effect.

Jack-o’-lantern line-up

An assortment of scary faces

If you fancy mixing it up a bit, you could get an assortment of different sized pumpkins, squashes, turnips and other root vegetables, and then carve either a different design or opt for the same face on each of the vegetables to create a truly spooky line-up.

Fanged vampire pumpkin

Give your pumpkin a vampire look this year

To create a vampire fanged pumpkin, simply cut out the eyes and nose and then create a wide upward pointing smile, with two fangs at the top of the mouth and then one in the centre at the bottom.

Hungry pumpkin

Try this quirky design

If you fancy getting creative then this is the design for you. Cut out two round eyes and a sweeping mouth which is bigger at one side than the other, making sure to cut chunks resembling teeth.

Next, find the smallest pumpkin or squash you can find and carve eyes, a nose and a mouth into it, place this at the widest part of the larger pumpkin’s mouth so it looks like it’s chomping on it.

Cat pumpkin

This design is bound to delight animal lovers

To create this effect, firstly cut out two rugby ball shaped eyes, with vertical slits for the pupils. Cut out a wavy smile with diamond shaped chunks to create the smile and a cute, small triangle for the nose.

Bat pumpkin

Try this quirky design this Halloween

If you’d prefer to create a bat instead of a cat then this design may be tricky but it’s definitely eye-catching.

Draw out the design you’d like for your bat and then cut out around this, creating a solid and spooky bat pumpkin design  perfect for Halloween.

Vomit pumpkin

If you love both Halloween and nachos then this design is perfect for you. To create this eye-catching design, simply cut out two arrows, both pointing inwards, for the eyes and them cut out a large hole for the mouth.

Next make your guacamole or nachos dip of choice and arrange so it’s spilling out of the pumpkin’s mouth and onto a plate surrounded by tortilla chips ready for dipping.

This is a great design if you’re having a Halloween party and want to incorporate a creative pumpkin design with snacks for your guests.