Use a ballpoint pen, to trace the outline on the pumpkin instead of a marker. A marker will tend to pick up moisture from the pumpkin and dry out.
Can you really carve mini pumpkins?
With the help of sharp tools, and a little patience, you can carve mini pumpkins.
Wear a work glove to protect your hand, because unlike a regular sized pumpkin, there’s not much mass there to protect your hand from the blade.
With a very simple template design, carving a small pumpkin is very doable! But if your design has any narrow lines, keep in mind that making full cuts through a tiny pumpkin can be difficult.
Narrow lines allow little room for error and one small slip can have you cutting off a crucial piece of your design. The solution? Etch carving!
What is etch carving a pumpkin?
Etch carving a pumpkin allows you to use more intricate stencil design patterns, especially if you want to carve a mini pumpkin.
You can get much more creative with your designs by carving the surface, rather than cutting through.
If you are going to etch-carve your pumpkin, then you don’t need a pumpkin carving set.
I recommend using a linoleum carving set or wood carving tools instead, which I have listed in the materials below.
Here’s a photo from a tutorial of the cat mini pumpkin I carved by etching, lino cutting-style.
Some of the links on this page have been provided as a convenience for finding materials. These links may also be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you.
If you use a candle inside, you should cut the top of the pumpkin when you remove the pulp. This way the candle can breathe and won’textinguish itself.
If you want to use battery powered lights or plug-in lights, cut the bottom of the pumpkin for a cleaner look, and especially to hide the cord.
If you opt for a paper printable type of pumpkin pattern instead of an actual mylar stencil, then you won’t use a marker to draw your lines. Instead, use straight pins, a push pin or an awl to prick polka dots through the paper to create the outline of the pattern.
Hang on to the pumpkin seeds after removing the pulp from the inside of the pumpkin. The seeds from minis can also be cooked up for pumpkin seed snacks.
To keep a carved pumpkin from drying out and getting that puckered look, use oil, like baby oil or vegetable oil and lubricate all the cut areas. This will make the pumpkin look better, longer.
You aren’t necessarily looking for the best pumpkin in the pumpkin patch, but you do want one that doesn’t have soft spots because it’s a sign of rotting.
Tips when shopping for a Mini pumpkin stencil
Unfortunately you won’t find many stencils specifically made for carving mini pumpkins.
But the good news is that stencils for decorating cookies, cappuccinos and for face painting are sized similarly for mini pumpkins.
And the best part is that these types of stencils are reusable!
Some pumpkin carving patterns are intricate so choose a pattern that matches your skill level. If you are new to pumpkin carving, you may want to select one with a simple design.
Be sure to know the size of your mini pumpkin before choosing the stencil.
Check the date the seller lists as the arrival for your stencil. If it’s getting close to Halloween, make sure that date gives you enough time to carve your pumpkin.
Double check the listed sizes. Most sellers list the sizes for the actual full stencil sheet, not the actual image. The sizes listed below are my approximation of the actual image and not the stencil sheet.
Some stencil materials are more flexible than others. The ones that are more durable, tend to be less flexible. For these stencils, you may need to bend the stencil as you draw, rather than taping it to the pumpkin and drawing it all at once.
Not all sellers are located in the US. So if you are in the US, check the shipping prices and compare with the overall price once you put the item in your basket.
Be wary of sellers with 4 star reviews or less. Each seller listed at the time of writing, has 5 star reviews.