pumpkin carving shortcuts

5 Pumpkin-Carving Hacks You Need To Try This Halloween

Halloween Ideas

From her laid-back, effortless style to a fresh, ahead-of-the-trend beauty aesthetic, Lauren Conrad is a girl after our own heart. So, each week, the born-and-bred California girl and editor-in-chief of LaurenConrad.com will share with us her insider secrets and personal musings. Plus, check out her visually stunning guest pinning hereOut of all the seasonal crafts that the month of October brings, carving jack-o-lanterns has to be the best. Last year, my team and I got extra creative and came up with 10 pumpkin-decorating ideas that were easy, fun, and maybe a little messy.



This year, we fully intend to adorn our porches with even cuter gourds (if that’s even possible). And, we found five pumpkin hacks to help you get into the spirit, too. From tips to preserve your jack-o’-lanterns to carving shortcuts, we want to help make this your best Halloween yet. Keep scrolling for five clever and unconventional hacks that we challenge you to try this year.

The Cookie-Cutter Trick

No, this first pumpkin-carving hack doesn’t involve baking. Carving jack-o’-lanterns can be a bit tricky (have you seen how elaborate they can get?), so this hack is for those of you who struggle in the carving department. You only need two items for this: the cutest cookie cutter you can find, and a rubber mallet. Once you’ve decided what you want your pumpkin to look like, gently hammer the cookie-cutter shape into your pumpkin with the mallet. You can lightly hammer the impression of the cookie cutter into the pumpkin and use it as a stencil, or punch the cookie cutter all the way through.

Petroleum Jelly

Carving pumpkins can be a time-consuming and sometimes laborious activity. The last thing you want to see is your masterpiece shrivel up or start to mold, especially before the holiday is even here. Don’t worry, there’s a hack for that! Not only is petroleum jelly a quintessential beauty product, but it can also be used to preserve your carved pumpkins. After you’re finished carving, coat the inside of your pumpkin with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. That way, your jack-o-lantern will last until trick-or-treating.

Related: A No-Bake Chocolate Tart To Make This Fall

Power Tools

Believe it or not, electric drills make for perfect pumpkin-carving tools. Depending on the drill bit, you can create circles in all kinds of different sizes. One of my favorite ways to use this hack is to make my pumpkins look like disco balls. If you haven’t already, trust me when I say: You should give this method a try.

Artificial Light

One way to cut the life of a jack-o’-lantern short is to use candles. Heat can quickly take your pumpkin from zero to mushy in no time at all. Luckily, battery-powered candles work just as well without causing damage to your pumpkin. If you don’t feel like swapping out batteries, alternatives like solar-powered lights are both energy- and cost-efficient. Another fun way to light up your pumpkins is by using glow sticks. Instead of traditional candlelight, you can change the color of your jack-o’-lanterns and have them cast a spooky, neon glow.


Dry-Erase Markers

Choosing the face that your pumpkin is going to be wearing can sometimes take more than one sketch, and using a pencil can leave a permanent indent — and let’s not even talk about Sharpies. Dry-erase markers are a great way to sketch up a spooky face, especially because you can erase your mistakes and start over again, mark-free. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

Do you have any tried-and-true pumpkin-carving hacks?
XO Lauren