Step 1

Draw the Design

Use a pumpkin that is taller than it is wide. This will provide more space for the pumpkin's explosive hair.

Use a dry erase marker to draw tall spikes all the way around the top of the pumpkin. Make each spike unique by varying the height and width.

Draw the face. Go for a shocked expression with big open eyes, a button nose and a gapping mouth with big teeth.

Step 2

Cut the Hair

Use a carving tool or knife to cut above each spike from tip to tip. Make your way around the entire pumpkin then remove and discard the lid. Use an ice cream scooper to scrape out all the pumpkin guts.

Cut each spike individually. Start at the bottom of each spike and work your way up, cutting triangular pieces out from between each spike. Make your way around the entire pumpkin.

Step 3

Cut the Face

Decide which parts of the facial features will be removed completely and those that will be left behind as 3-dimensional details. Use a carving tool or knife to cut out the areas that will be removed. For the eyes, remove the whites but leave the iris intact. .

Use a razor blade or electric rotary tool to shave the 3-dimensional details; the irises of the eyes, the nose and teeth. Shave about a quarter of an inch from these areas leaving at least one half the thickness of the pumpkin’s wall. This will ensure that these pieces are strong enough to stand on their own. If you make a mistake and a piece breaks off, use a toothpick to reattach it.

Step 4

Use Household Cleaner to Preserve Pumpkin

Preserve Jack O' Lantern with Household Cleaner

Spray a Perservative

To preserve your creation, spray it down with a household cleanser that contains bleach or use a mixture made of three parts water and one part bleach. This doubles the life of the pumpkin while keeping bugs and mold away.

Step 5

Lit Pumpkin With LED Flashlight

Illuminate Pumpkin With LED Flashlight


Cut a hole in the back of your pumpkin just large enough to fit an LED flashlight. Stick the flashlight into this hole when you’re ready to light the pumpkin. Use a bright LED flashlight to achieve the best effect.