Cool Carvings ~ Your neighbors’ jack-o’-lanterns will be jealous when you put one of these creative creatures on your front steps. Scroll through for some creative inspiration.
Mummy Madness ~ Carve an opening out of the top of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Cut pumpkin horizontally all the way around, 1 inch below the opening. Repeat until you’ve carved the whole pumpkin into 1 inch circles all the way around. Keeping the top and bottom pieces the same, restack the others in a different order. Rotate the pieces until you get a shape you like, enlarging the carvings for eyes or mouth if desired. Start from the bottom, lift each level of pumpkin, insert four toothpicks onto the level below, then press down to secure in place. Continue with the next level up until secure.
Happy Whale ~ A tall pumpkin works best for this guy: Slice off the bottom third and carve the tail out of it. Cut a simple, smiley face in the larger section. Pop off the stem and attach it, upside-down, as a spout. Place the whale head and tail on a tray. Cover the tray with candy.
Frog Choir ~ Cut each acorn squash in half crosswise, curving upward for a mouth. Carve out the bottom of the mouth (save some rind for the eyes); smooth the edges with a peeler (use a shaving as the tongue). Reassemble the parts with toothpicks, and set on top of leaf feet.
Spooky Sweathearts ~ Draw and carve out the lovey-dovey faces on this duo. Save some of the rind from the male pumpkin’s mouth to create his partner’s 3D pout. Lightly scrape in lines for eyelashes, eyebrows and lips.
Scary Scarface ~ Draw eyes, mouth and scar on the pumpkin with the marker. Following the scar line, cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds; discard. Insert many half-toothpicks into the bottom part of the rind; replace the top part, pressing into the exposed toothpicks to hold the two parts together. Carve out the eyes and mouth; slice into the scar shape at an angle to make it more visible. Wipe off remaining marker. Using a skewer, puncture pairs of holes opposite each other half an inch apart along the length of the scar. Bend a Q-tip into a U shape; press each end into a pair of holes.
Elephant-itis ~ Carve an opening out of the bottom of the medium pumpkin (save the piece you’ve cut out) and scoop out the seeds. Turn pumpkin on its side and using a vegetable peeler, cut out two eye holes above the trunk. For ears, slice a long oval on one side of the medium pumpkin, as thick as the pumpkin rind at its fattest point. Repeat on opposite side. Poke four to six toothpicks partway into area on one side where the ear has been cut; press ear piece onto it, about 1 inch down from the top. Repeat on other side. Insert two toothpicks into four mini-pumpkins; lower larger pumpkin onto “feet.”