How to Carve a Haunting, Glowing Cat Pumpkin


Photography by: Gentl and Hyers

Black Magic

Carved with a well-honed blade and the simplest of spells, ordinary gourds become glowing heralds of the night. This cat pumpkin gets a startingly spooky makeover with a coat of black paint and a simple cat silhouette. The blackened pumpkin will fade into the night, letting the fearsome feline take the lead.


Tools and Materials


Large pumpkin

Keyhole saw

Large metal spoon

Plaster scraper

Masking tape

Black floral spray

Cat template

Awl or T-pin

Miniature saw

String lights



Cat Pumpkin How-To


1. Cut it.

Using a keyhole saw, cut an opening in the top, bottom, or side of your pumpkin. 


2. Scoop it.

Remove the inner flesh with a large metal spoon. Use a plaster scraper or fleshing tool to thin the pumpkin walls to a thickness of 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Don’t toss the pumpkin seeds! You can use those later for one of our pumpkin seed recipes.


3. Spray it.

Wrap masking tape around the stem and coat hollowed pumpkin with black floral spray. Let dry, then remove tape.


4. Trace it.

Photocopy or print out our cat template (enlarged as desired to fit your pumpkin). Tape template to pumpkin, and use an awl or T-pin to poke holes to outline the design. Remove template. (After you complete the cat pumpkin, try one of our other pumpkin templates. You can have a menagerie of black-magic characters.)


5. Carve it.

Carve out your cat design with a miniature saw, using the holes as a guide. 


A Note About Safety

It is always important to keep safety in mind when carving pumpkings: If kids are helping with the projects, make sure an adult handles all the cutting tasks. Carving tools seem kind of blunt but can be dangerous nonetheless. When lighting the cat pumpkin, use string lights instead candles — simply wrap the string lights around a glass jar and lower the jar into the hollowed-out pumpkin. That way, there’s no fire hazard and you don’t have to worry about swapping out the candles — ever!


The More You Know

Want to learn more about carving pumpkins? Wathc this video to learn more about finding the right pumpkin for your carving project and to get pumpkin-carving tips and techniques from artist Michael Natiello.