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5 Reasons to Cut Your Pumpkin From the Bottom

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I love everything weird and colorful in this world, and I try to live a life that will make the world a little better once I'm gone.

Here's an idea that may sound shocking: Carve your jack-o-lantern from the bottom rather than the top! Find out why this method works better.

Here's an idea that may sound shocking: Carve your jack-o-lantern from the bottom rather than the top! Find out why this method works better.

Is It Better to Carve a Pumpkin From the Top or the Bottom?

You know how to carve a pumpkin. You've been doing it for years. But have you ever stopped and asked yourself if there is a better way? Is cutting the stem off to make a lid really the best way to do it?

I open my pumpkins from the bottom. I think it looks nicer without the cut lid, but there are several other benefits besides that. I know this bottom-cutting approach might come as a big change—it's not what your folks taught you—but if you have an open mind, you just might change your style.

Why You Should Open Your Pumpkin From the Bottom

  1. You Won't Risk Cutting the Lid Wrong
  2. You Have More Space to Carve
  3. You Can Level a Wobbly Pumpkin
  4. You Won't Get Burned When You Insert the Candle
  5. You Can Use Wired Lights
This pumpkin's lid is already starting to sink as the pumpkin shrivels. It won't be long before it falls right in.

This pumpkin's lid is already starting to sink as the pumpkin shrivels. It won't be long before it falls right in.

1. You Won't Risk Cutting the Lid Wrong

Anyone that has ever carved a pumpkin (from the top) knows that you have to cut the lid at an angle so it doesn't fall in. Sometimes you just don't cut it correctly, and your lid falls in. It might fall in immediately. Other times, it might seem okay, but a few days later, as the pumpkin rots and shrinks, the lid can't hold on anymore and falls through.

When you cut your hole into the bottom of the pumpkin, you should also cut toward the center of the pumpkin so it sits firmly on the bottom. However, if your cuts don't work out, it's not as big a deal, because the pumpkin can still sit without the cut-out bottom part.

By cutting your hole in the bottom, you don't risk having a bad lid, and you don't have to start all over if you goof up.

Creating a lid uses up a lot of precious pumpkin real estate! This carver would've had room for eyebrows and other flourishes if they had cut from the bottom instead.

Creating a lid uses up a lot of precious pumpkin real estate! This carver would've had room for eyebrows and other flourishes if they had cut from the bottom instead.

2. You Have More Space to Carve

The cuts for the lid reduce the amount of space you have to carve. This is especially true when you're cutting a smaller pumpkin, since you have to cut the lid large enough to fit your hand through.

By cutting the hole on the bottom, where you can't see it, you have more space at the top to carve without hitting the lid.

Is there nothing left in the pumpkin patch but misshapen, wobbly pumpkins? No problem! You can level them up when you cut from the bottom.

Is there nothing left in the pumpkin patch but misshapen, wobbly pumpkins? No problem! You can level them up when you cut from the bottom.

3. You Can Level a Wobbly Pumpkin

Not all pumpkins are naturally inclined to stand straight up. Some want to lay on their sides, and some just lean over a bit.

By cutting the pumpkin on the bottom, you can give it a flat bottom. This is also handy for tipping the pumpkin's "head" up a little bit.

When you have control over how the pumpkin sits, you can use pumpkins that you wouldn't have considered carving with a lid. This means you have more choices at the pumpkin patch, and sometimes you can get a better deal. Plus, if you've procrastinated and find that the pumpkin patch has slim pickings, you can still use one of the lesser-quality pumpkins that are left.

When you cut from the bottom, you can simply place your pumpkin over the lit candle instead of trying to light the candle from above. No more burns!

When you cut from the bottom, you can simply place your pumpkin over the lit candle instead of trying to light the candle from above. No more burns!

4. You Won't Get Burned When You Insert the Candle

This is a simple issue of safety. When you reach down into a pumpkin to light it, the flame comes right back up toward your hand.

By cutting your hole in the bottom of the pumpkin, you take away this possibility completely. Instead, you can simply place the candle where you want the pumpkin to be, and then set the pumpkin over it.

Read More From Holidappy

Safety Tip: If you do decide to cut your pumpkin from the top, make sure to use a long match or a lighter to start the candle. Nothing ruins Halloween like a burn.

If this carver had cut the hole from the bottom, they could tuck away the cord of these wired lights so no one would ever see it.

If this carver had cut the hole from the bottom, they could tuck away the cord of these wired lights so no one would ever see it.

5. You Can Use Wired Lights

A candle is certainly the most popular light for a carved pumpkin, and its natural flickering is extremely beautiful. However, you might be concerned about kids or pets touching or knocking over the candle, causing burns or a fire.

By cutting your pumpkin from the bottom, you can use wired electric lights in your jack-o-lantern. Having the hole on the bottom means you can subtly run the wire into the pumpkin, which wouldn't be possible with a lid. Electric lights can be used year after year and give off better light than the small, battery-powered LED candles that are sold for pumpkins. You may want to use a timer to turn these wired lights on and off each night.

Fun Carving Ideas for Pumpkins Cut From the Bottom

Guestbook

cellphone holdershop on October 31, 2020:

If we were carving pumpkins this year, I would give your idea a try. Your reasons make a lot of sense.

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on October 31, 2013:

If we were carving pumpkins this year, I would give your idea a try. Your reasons make a lot of sense.

Violeta Naruseviciute from Bristol, England on October 22, 2013:

Thank you for a very useful lens. I hope you do not mind for me including a link to it at my blog post here: http://badasscontent.com/fun-ideas-for-halloween-2...

changrcoacher on August 14, 2013:

Good grief! Did you think this up on your own? What a fascinating mind you must have. I think that innovation is as important as creation. Thanks for sharing...

Northerntrials on August 05, 2013:

It is hard breaking traditions but when it works it is not breaking a tradition but starting a new one... Awesome. Like when I stared making my own pizza starting with a layer of cheese instead of sauce. Pick up a slice cooked this way the toppings stay - not sliding off onto your lap. Start a new tradition.

NC Shepherd on April 12, 2013:

Great idea! I'll pass it along to my daughter for her next year's halloween pumpkin.

DLeighAlexander on October 31, 2012:

Good points for cutting the bottom instead. Have a blessed & Happy Halloween!

Nightcat on October 31, 2012:

Great point about more design room. My desoign is a tad large this year, so might try this. Thank you and blessed! :)

Tom on October 30, 2012:

I was wondering why you would cut the bottom instead of the top. I would still cut the top though.

anonymous on October 30, 2012:

nice! don't forget the vampire fangs. nice lense!

Kerri Bee (author) from Upstate, NY on October 30, 2012:

@anonymous: I think it's just the angle of the picture.

Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on October 30, 2012:

I never considered this option for cutting a pumpkin - I think I'll give this a try!

anonymous on October 29, 2012:

LOL! The man in the photo near the top of the page has smaller arms than the woman. Either one is a wimp, or the other is a fatty - maybe a combination of both?

soaringsis on October 29, 2012:

I have to try cutting from the bottom. Thanks for sharing.

JZinoBodyArt on October 29, 2012:

You've made me think differently about pumpkin carving forever. Thank you for this great lens!

miaponzo on October 27, 2012:

That is a great idea... I've never even heard of it before! Blessed!

rjvader on October 27, 2012:

I've heard of cutting a hole on the side of the pumpkin (opposite your carving side), but never thought of using the bottom. I'm tempted to convert to this method mainly because of step 2, I'm tired of walking on eggshells when I start cutting too close to the lid.

Pastor Cher from United States on October 27, 2012:

A much smarter way to carve a pumpkin. Great idea. Thanks for sharing it.

KidsToyTeaSets LM on October 25, 2012:

Very interesting. Thank you!

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on October 25, 2012:

People have been carving pumpkins all these years and it doesn't appear anyone thought about this until now. It's one of those "why didn't I think of this?" moments.

Bob Zau on October 25, 2012:

I'm calling the "Pumpkin Police". This is tantamount to saying the world is round.

olmpal on October 25, 2012:

Sometimes a simple trick makes the difference! Thanks for sharing!

Kerri Bee (author) from Upstate, NY on October 24, 2012:

@anonymous: Sure - you just need a timer like this one: GE 24-Hour Mechanical Timer

You plug this into the wall, and then plug your light into it and set what times you want it to go on and off. Also handy for your Christmas lights.

anonymous on October 24, 2012:

on your last point, the one about electric lights, you mentioned that you can put a candle on a timer. Could you explain how to do this?

Lisa-Marie-Mary on October 24, 2012:

Cutting from the bottom is a GREAT idea! I never even considered it. Kind of one of those "I coulda hada V8!" moments! ha! ;-)

treehousebrando1 on October 24, 2012:

I'm thinking about making a jack-o-lantern this year, and these tips will definitely come in handy. Maybe I'll make one of each to see which I like better!

Marc from Edinburgh on October 24, 2012:

Sounds like a good idea, glad you mentioned about needing a vent hole if using candles...very important!

fullofshoes on October 23, 2012:

Terrific idea that I'd never even considered but it all makes sense. Excellent lens... I'm definitely going to give this a try.

lilymom24 on October 23, 2012:

We always cut our pumpkins from the top and had never thought about cutting the bottom. We're buying some this weekend so I'll have to give it a try. Thanks. =)

flycatcherrr on October 21, 2012:

I had never considered this issue before, but you do make excellent points. Consider me a pumpkin-carving convert.

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