A Quick and Easy Pumpkin Carving Hack

This post was originally published in October 2016 and was updated in October 2018.

To kick off October, Andrew and I had a little fun pumpkin carving! And in not-so traditional fashion… using our new power drill! To make it even more fun, we live streamed it on Facebook. It got a little messy and we ran into a few bumps, but no surprises there!  😆


Tools (this list contains affiliate links, which help me keep this blog up and running – more on that here):

  • Pumpkin(s)
  • Serrated knife
  • Power drill (I LOVE our Ryobi!)
  • Drill bits of your selected size
  • Newspapers
  • Buckets for pumpkin guts

pumpkin carving power tools materials needed

Prepping the Pumpkins

As per usual, the first step is getting the pumpkin cleaned out. I found a tip online about cutting out the bottom of a pumpkin (and throwing it out!) instead of the top. Apparently, it helps the pumpkin keep its moisture longer. It’s also easier/safer to light the candle and place the pumpkin on top vs. having to set a candle down inside.


Also, don’t you dare throw away those seeds! I easily roasted them for a tasty snack, which I’ll cover in a little bit. For now, get the insides scraped out and set the guts aside.

Next, choose your pumpkin carving design and use a marker to make a few guiding points. For our jack-o-lantern, we made dots on the corners of the eyes, nose, and mouth. We used a Sharpie and the dots didn’t wash off very well, but you could use a washable marker for more robust guidelines and wash them off afterward.

Carving the Pumpkin

Before you get started, keep a few things in mind:

  1. Don’t let the drill spin too fast or pumpkin will fly everywhere!
  2. Be careful when spacing your holes – if you place them too close together, the pumpkin might give out.
  3. Try drilling smaller holes in between larger ones for added detail (like our “R” pumpkin below).
  4. Make sure your drill bit is secure, or it might fall off like our first try:



After drilling, most of the holes had some pumpkin guts in them. They were tedious to clean out with a skewer, so I ended up blowing into them. I felt like I was giving “Charlie” CPR. Or as Andrew added, “Cheating on your husband?”  😆  Hey, it worked!

blowing out holes pumpkin carving drilling

Viola! No jagged edges, just a cleanly drilled pumpkin. I really appreciated not having to use a knife and risk cutting myself. While the gut-scooping took about 10 minutes, we drilled BOTH pumpkins in less than 10 minutes! I’ll take it.


After we drilled the holes we rushed to light up our new jack-o-lanterns, but the candles started to dim when we put the pumpkins over them! To remedy this, we drilled a few additional holes in the back of the pumpkins to increase the airflow.

carving pumpkins drilling holes air flow


Now, for their “shining” moment! Ha.

carving pumpkins with a power drill - night picture carving pumpkins with a power drill - night picture

Don’t Forget About the seeds!

Beautiful, scrumptious seeds. I had never roasted pumpkin seeds myself, but I have fond memories of my brother making them when we were younger! Then he would eat all of them and not share.  🙄

I found this simple recipe from Food Network:

  1. Separate out the seeds from the guts.
  2. Rinse the seeds in a colander with cold water and shake them dry.
  3. Spread them over a greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes (this helps dry them out).
  4. Toss the seeds with a little olive oil (I used the olive oil spray), and add in seasonings. I used some garlic salt, basil, thyme, and oregano, but there are a million options out there.
  5. Bake for another 20+ minutes until golden brown.
  6. Eat!!

carving pumpkins pumpkin seed recipe

I hope you give the power drill a try on your pumpkins this year (and eat your seeds!)! If you do, let me know in the comments. Happy Fall!!

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how to carve pumpkins with a power drill

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