Stack all pumpkins on the fence post.

How to make a pumpkin totem pole.

Learn how to carve and assemble your own pumpkin totem pole.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2015

Emily Fazio, 2015

Give trick-or-treaters a thrill by making a jack o’ lantern totem pole. By day they look adorable, but lit up at night they create a spooky glow. 

Step 1

Cut and Gut

Use a knife or jigsaw to cut away the top of the pumpkin, as you would for any jack o' lantern carving project. Give the tops a fairly wide diameter because you'll be drilling hole in the top to remove the stem. 

Remove the seeds and guts from inside the pumpkin.

Step 2

Remove Stem and Bottom

To make the pumpkins stackable, you’ll need to remove the stem. Identify one pumpkin to be placed on the top of the totem – leave the stem on top of that pumpkin.

Use a 2” hole-saw bit on a drill to cut the long stem out of the top of the pumpkin. If the pumpkin is thick, you may need to manually cut this circle deeper with a knife.

Step 3

Drill Bottom

Use the hole saw to cut out a hole in the bottom of the pumpkins, too. With one opening on top of the pumpkin and one on the bottom, you will be able to thread the pumpkins onto the fence post.

Step 4

Carve the Pumpkins

Get creative with your pumpkins and carve faces, your house numbers, or a word – like BOO! Carving with a jigsaw makes the job easy, but if you’re using regular knives, use a serrated knife for the most speed and accuracy. Plan to put the heavier pumpkins on the bottom of the totem. 

Step 5

Install Fence Post and Lights

Anchor the fence post by pressing its base into the ground. Wrap the post top to bottom with the strand of white lights, making sure that the electrical plug access emerges at the bottom and can reach the outlet or an extension cord.

Step 6

Assemble Pumpkins on Post

Thread each pumpkin and its lid down the fence post over the lights. Place the heavier pumpkins at the bottom.

Step 7

Stack and light the pumpkins for a creative outdoor display.

Make a carved pumpkin totem pole for outdoor Halloween decor.

Carve and stack pumpkins onto a fence post to make an unique pumpkin totem pole.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Light Them Up

Enjoy your customized pumpkin decoration and celebrate the season.