pumpkin carving

Pumpkin Carving Isn’t Just for Halloween

Devote the fun, artsy activity to the entire fall season, not just the spooky holidays.
November 22, 2021
6 mins read

Traditionally, when you think of pumpkin carving, you think of the jack-o’-lanterns you see on Halloween night. Most of them have spooky, sinister-looking faces, while others are more innocent. Jack-o’-lanterns are a widespread symbol of Halloween, and it’s customary to place them on your doorstep as a decoration. That being said, pumpkin carving often gets reduced to a Halloween activity. However, a little-known fact is that pumpkin carving is its own art form. People moved beyond the spooky faces and often carve intricate designs into their pumpkins, ranging from floral patterns to images of sailing ships.

The custom of carving pumpkins on Halloween is often associated with childhood. Pumpkin carving as an art form is more for older teenagers and adults, as it takes a level of knowledge and skill that young children do not possess. A lot more planning is involved in artistic pumpkin carving than in jack-o’-lantern making, as there are an infinite number of designs to choose from.

An article from SheKnows offers a bunch of examples of pumpkin art inspired by popular culture. Some of the different designs include inspirational quotes, book-themed imagery, tributes to pop stars and celebrities and symbols from television shows. SheKnows serves as a list with links to templates, but depending on your fancy, there are other sites out there that offer more specific patterns.

Want Your Pumpkins to Display a Bit of Humor?

Good Housekeeping offers an extensive list of funny quotes that can easily be carved into a pumpkin. The quotes range from simply mentioning pumpkins to humorous pumpkin puns. There are many advantages to carving a quote into a pumpkin; it lightens the mood and can easily bring a smile to people’s faces. It also brings about a bit of originality, as it sharply contrasts to traditional pumpkin designs.

The first part of the article is all quotes and song lyrics that include the word “pumpkin.” Although most of them are relatively well-known, they still manage to be cute rather than giving off the effect of someone trying too hard to be funny. The fact that people will immediately get the joke is what makes this clever and fun. Quotes carved into pumpkins are perfect for the cuteness and humor factor, which is often a big consideration when decorating for a specific season or holiday.

Want Your Pumpkin to Showcase Your Love for Literature?

A Bustle article provides a list of ways to make a literature-inspired pumpkin. However, the purpose of a book-themed pumpkin is not to showcase imagery from an obscure novel that only English majors know about, but to represent popular books that viewers would recognize. An example that this article provides is the mockingjay symbol from “The Hunger Games.” Everyone would recognize it, and the bird would definitely resonate with older teenagers and college-aged kids who likely grew up reading the books.

If your goal is to make your pumpkin more family-friendly, the face of a recognizable children’s book character is the way to go. The article recommends “Alice in Wonderland” characters, specifically the Cheshire Cat, but pretty much any well-known children’s book characters would work. To turn pumpkin carving into a family activity, let your younger sibling or little cousin choose the character. Chances are they’ll come up with a really good idea that the adults in the family might not think of.

Want To Make a Unique Tribute to Your Celebrity Hero?

Those looking to add an even bigger, more unique touch to their carved pumpkin can use the face of a famous person as their design. E! Online has a few examples of famous faces that people can put on their pumpkins, such as Daniel Radcliffe and Gene Simmons. Of course, you’re not limited to depicting someone who’s recognizable by everyone. If there’s an up-and-coming actor or musician you admire, feel free to make your pumpkin a tribute to them. It’s bound to be a great conversation starter, and you never know: You might meet another fan!

Lastly, Are You Looking To Show Off Your Art Skills?

If used as an everyday fall decoration rather than a Halloween-specific one, carved pumpkins don’t necessarily require a theme. Instead, individuals have the option to make a distinct and creative piece of art out of their pumpkin. The technology site DesignBolts compiled a list of floral patterns that can be carved into pumpkins. If you’re not all that into flowers, Pinterest also features a ton of images that can be used for inspiration. Some of the most common ones are fall leaves, which would be perfect for your Thanksgiving table, and lighthouse scenes, a good idea if you’re actually putting a candle inside the pumpkin.
Don’t limit your pumpkin carving creativity to Halloween festivities. Instead, extend the pumpkin carving fun to all of fall!

Noir Galvin, Arcadia University

Writer Profile

Noir Galvin

Arcadia University
English and Creative Writing

I am a senior at Arcadia University graduating in December 2021. When I’m not in class or studying, I can be found working on an art project or writing short stories for fun.

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