How to Lose Your Sanity Carving Jack O'Lanterns in 13 Simple Steps

jack o'lanternOnce upon a time I longed to carve a Jack O'Lantern with a child of my own. At last I had that child. And then? I had to carve a Jack O'Lantern with him. And another one the next year. And another one the next year. And I learned why we don't carve Jack O'Lanterns all year 'round. There is a reason why we don't regularly light our homes with squash. It's because carving pumpkins is devilishly difficult. Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult! And it smells weird, and it's messy, and oh here. Let me just show you exactly how to carve a Jack O'Lantern with your kid.


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1. Inspiration: First come up with a brilliant idea for a Jack O'Lantern. No one else's gourd is going to be as gorge as yours!

that is genius

2. Then you have to figure out how to actually execute this genius design. Hmm.

sherlock thinking

3. Sketch out a stencil design.

kid scribbling

4. Cut it out.

edward scissorhands

5. And then trace it onto the pumpkin. Gimmie that Sharpie. I've got this.


6. And we start cutti- No! GIVE MOMMY THE KNIFE! NOW! 

jennifer lawrence knife

7. Okay, that was close.


8. Commence hacking up pumpkin.

chopping wood



i do not feel sexy

9. Now we dig out the seeds and gunk. I mean, I dig out the seeds and gunk. Why doesn't anyone ever want to help with this part?


10. A little detailing... Uh oh... Not sure this actually looks anything like your original design, kid.


 11. You know what? Close enough! It's something. Not sure what, but it's something.

mayan calendar

12. Woohoo! We did it! We did it!

we did it

13. Okay, there you go, kid. Here's your damn Jack O'Lantern. Happy Halloween. Let's not ever do this again.

exhausted gif

How do you feel about carving Jack O'Lanterns with your kids?


Image via Lindsey Turner/Flickr

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