Dress up the front porch for Halloween with glowing pumpkins.

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As soon as September rolls around, prepare for pumpkins galore at garden centers in the South. The stacks of orange, white, warty gourds can mean only that it’s finally fall. Porches around the neighborhood will start pulling out festive seasonal decor for their front steps, with colorful containers of blooming mums and the glowing grins of carved jack-o’-lanterns’ taking center stage.

Celebrate the start of spooky season with pumpkin carving, a fun craft the whole family can enjoy. Prep the porch for Halloween and boost fall curb appeal by displaying homemade creations. The possibilities for unique designs are endless—stick with a scary pattern (think: ghost) or try a traditional template like leaves. The key to successful pumpkin carving is all about having the right tools. This year, we’re buying Amazon’s No. 1 best-selling pumpkin carving kit to bring our bright ideas to life (BUY IT: Comfy Mate 2020 12-Piece Pumpkin Carving Kit, $22; amazon.com).  

Amazon Pumpkin Carving Kit
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

This 12-piece kit is a best-seller for a reason—all the tools you could possibly need for carving the perfect pumpkin are included in this handy, budget-friendly kit. (Another plus: The handbag’s slim design makes for easy storage in the off-season.) Sturdy handles with firm grips won’t slip out of hands when scooping pumpkin guts or cutting through the thick exterior. Each tool touts durable, sharp, stainless steel blades that you can rely on year after year.

Instead of a cereal spoon, use the kit’s scooper to hollow out the inside and the scraper to clean the walls (which will help prevent the pumpkin from rotting). Use the drill to outline your design on the outside of the pumpkin, and grab a sharp saw to carve it out. Six professional double-sided detail sculpting tools can help bring elaborate creations to life. If you need more inspiration, flip through the kit’s online Ebook with over 1,000 template design ideas. After carving, try one of these easy methods to lengthen the lifespan of your pumpkins. Shop the popular carving kit on Amazon now.