How to Carve a Pumpkin

By: Tracy V. Wilson  | 

Preserving and Displaying Your Pumpkin

Learn a few easy tips and you can keep your jack-o'-lanterns lit for the whole season.
Image courtesy Wil Wheaton. Pumpkins carved by Wil and Nolan.

After you finish your jack-o'-lantern, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to all of the cut surfaces and any area from which you've removed the skin. This will help preserve the jack-o'-lantern by keeping it from drying out. If your jack-o'-lantern starts to dry out, you can soak it facedown in cold water for a couple of hours to help it last a little longer. You can also extend the life of your pumpkin by refrigerating it during the day.

Many people use candles to light their pumpkins. Short, squat candles like tea lights or votive candles work well because they're less likely to tip over. If you'd prefer not to use candles, you can use glow sticks, electric holiday lights or battery-operated lights made specifically for jack-o'-lanterns.


Check out some of our favorite jack-o'-lanterns in the next section.