There are a few basics to throwing a party: make sure your guests are comfortable, ensure you have enough to eat and drink, maintain the right atmosphere, etc. But what about a themed party—and not just one for costumes? What if everyone were there to get into the fall spirit and carve pumpkins?

That’s right! Parties are a great way to share fun activities with loved ones while learning a few things along the way. Here are a few key pointers to remember when throwing your pumpkin carving party.

Tools and Supplies

The first thing you’ll need is a pumpkin. Pumpkins vary in size, weight, type and color, and some are better than others for carving.

While you can get smaller pumpkins, stay on the side of cantaloupe-sized for the smaller variety. If you want a traditional pumpkin carving, go for one of the larger ones. Just keep in mind that the size of the pumpkin will directly affect the amount of cleanup you have to deal with after the party. Likewise, you can also task guests with bringing their own pumpkins to ensure they have the size, shape and color they want.

Next, bring in the carving tools. You can buy kits specifically designed for pumpkin carving or do a quick search at your local kitchenware store for carving knives. Make sure you use a knife or carving utensil that’s comfortable in your hand and fits the contours of your palms and fingers. You’ll also want tools that can be maneuvered well and are sharp enough to cut into the pumpkin. Be sure to incorporate a spoon or other scooping utensil when removing the innards of the pumpkin, especially if making a lantern, and don’t forget the marker to draw the design on the pumpkin’s surface.

Last, it’s time to spruce up your squash. Some folks like to paint the exterior of their pumpkin after carving to give it more depth. Others enjoy using crafting supplies to make the outside more unique. Another group may enjoy just leaving a tea light inside the pumpkin and moving on to another activity. Regardless of the niche, make sure that you have a wide variety of external decorating tools and supplies available for your guests.


All activities have some level of risk. Pumpkin carving is no different. Ensure that tools are properly handled, cutting gloves and protective eye gear are worn and basic first aid materials are available in case someone knicks a finger.

Guests should also have enough room to work on their pumpkin without worrying about interfering with, or possibly knocking over, someone else’s craft. Ensure a five- to six-foot diameter for each station, and set up small trash containers to help with an easier cleanup after.

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