Etching is pumpkin carving made easy. The process, which uses a linoleum cutter rather than a knife, makes sophisticated designs simple, even if you're a beginner. Peruse the magical pumpkin designs that follow, then Amazon Prime over a lino cutter stat—you're going to want to make every single one.
What's the Difference Between Etching and Carving?
While carving requires cutting all the way through the pumpkin, etching involves shallow slices with a linoleum cutter tool to remove just the top layer of skin. It's much easier to make intricate designs and curves when etching, especially if you're no pumpkin pro. You also won't need to get elbow-deep in guts and pulp when etching. (Unless you want to add a candle, or roast some delicious pumpkin seeds.)
What Tools Do I Need?
For $12 you can get a Speedball Linoleum Cutter, along with 5 cutter tips in various sizes. It's the only tool you'll need to get started, but be careful, the blades are sharper than you might think.
Curling vines and textured ginkgo leaves are perfect specimens for etching. Find the templates for the design above on Martha Stewart.
Etching your initials into a pumpkin is like the grownup version of carving your name into a tree. Get the how-to on The Wonder Forest.
The best way to give a bouquet, via HGTV.
Leave it to Coastal Living to imagine a sea-themed Halloween. The designs above were created using a Dremel drill, but you can also use their printable templates and a linoleum tool.
These faux bois swirls would never be possible using a regular old paring knife. Get the line-by-line how-to on Country Living.
For gorgeous contrast, try etching a gray pumpkin. When etched, the bright orange flesh glows against the dark neutral background. Living at Home etched the leaf and vine designs with a lino cutter, and created the berries using a drill.
Thank you, BHG, for finally creating the pet pumpkin stencils we've always wanted.
Pro Tip: If you etch a pumpkin this year, cover the etched areas with petroleum jelly to keep them looking fresher longer.