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How to carve your own Shakespeare pumpkin this Halloween

  The trick or treat season is upon us, so why not add a touch of Shakespeare to your jack-o’-lantern this year?

2 minute read

A silhouette of Shakespeare's face carved into a pumpkin.

Nothing is more satisfying (or messy!) than creating your own carved pumpkin this Halloween. From super scary evil faces, to magical characters, there’s a wealth of creative designs for your very own piece of jack-o-lantern art. And for the Shakespeare fans? Well, how about trying a Shakespeare pumpkin! Here’s how to carve your own like a pro…

You will need:

A pumpkin
A bowl for the gruesome guts
A spoon
Sharp knives
A scalpel or thin sharp knife for carving
A bradawl, or something sharp you will be able to poke holes with, like a cocktail stick
A sheet of tracing paper
A sharp pencil
A felt-tip pen
A roll of masking tape
A tea-light and matches


Cut a hole around the stalk of your pumpkin to create a lid – make sure you keep this for later!

Scoop the pumpkin’s gruesome guts out, making sure you scrape the sides.

Now you have the insides of your pumpkin ready, it’s time to start on the Shakespeare design!

Create your Shakespeare stencil by tracing his silhouette onto a piece of tracing paper with a pencil. Stick this to the side of your pumpkin with some masking tape.

Using your bradawl (or cocktail stick), poke holes along the lines of the stencil, creating a dot-to-dot effect on your pumpkin.

Join the dots with a felt-tip pen to form the outline of the stencil on the pumpkin.

Take your scapel or thin sharp knife (be sure to ask an adult for help!), and begin to carve the insides of the stencil.

Take note: when carving the eyes, gently scrape the top of the pumpkin skin off, rather than cutting the whole way through; this creates a nice shadowing effect!

Ask a grown-up to light a tea-light for you, and place inside your pumpkin. Turn off your lights, and voilà! There you have your very own Shakespeare pumpkin.


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