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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

When the air starts to turn crisper and the sun sets a little earlier, you can rest assured that we must be approaching the “spooky season.” For some, this is what they’ve waited for all year—when pumpkins come out, the leaves start to change, and you can start to think about your Halloween costume! 

Image courtesy of Homesteading.

There’s no denying it, autumn has a definite vibe to it, and whether you love pumpkin spice and everything nice, or just want to chill and watch your favorite horror flick, there’s one thing that is a must at this time of year—carving a pumpkin!

Just because you’re in the dorms this year doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy a good old fashioned pumpkin carving session. In fact, because you’re in such close proximity to friends and neighbors, it’s the perfect chance to turn this activity into a great get together! In this article we’re going to highlight:

  • The supplies you need to successfully carve a pumpkin
  • How to set the Halloween mood
  • The basics of carving a pumpkin
  • How to put your new jack o’ lantern to good use

Gather the Necessary Pumpkin Carving Supplies

Make sure you have everything you need to start the pumpkin carving

Before the carving begins, make sure you’ve got all your supplies! Image courtesy of HGTV.

Trust us when we say that you’re never too old to carve pumpkins. But do you know the interesting tale behind why we carve them in the first place? The ancient Celts used to carve vegetables, and this practice was passed down and quickly became a part of Irish culture. The Irish folktale of “Stingy Jack” is where the modern version of a jack o’ lantern gets not only its name, but its familiar pumpkin form. Before many Irish emigrated in the 19th century, they used turnips or beets to carve out their jack o’ lanterns, however, once in the U.S., they found that pumpkins make the ideal silhouette for carving! Traditionally used to keep the spirit of Stingy Jack at bay, today the lighted vegetables also make great additions to any Halloween decor. 

So in order to make sure you properly carve your pumpkin in preparation for All Hallows Eve, it’s essential you gather the supplies you’re going to need.

  • A pumpkin. Of course this is first on the list! If you can make a trip to your local pumpkin patch, do it! Not only will you come back with a locally grown pumpkin, but you’ll get to experience picking it yourself. While you’re at the patch, you can also enjoy other fun fall activities like a hay ride, apple cider tasting, and taking some seriously Instagram-worthy shots of pumpkin picking.

If you can’t make it to patch, don’t worry, from late September on, pumpkins for carving are typically sold at grocery stores and even stores like Walgreens and CVS. So if you’re in a pinch, just grab one from there.

  • Carving kit or knives. Depending on your pumpkin carving skills (no judgment here!) you may want to pick up a pumpkin carving kit. These kits usually come with a couple of tools that help you carve and scoop out the seeds of your pumpkin. Some also come with fun stencil designs that you can use too. If you’d rather just pick up a couple of knives, that’s okay too, just make sure they’re smaller and serrated so you can easily cut through the thick pumpkin flesh.
Image courtesy of OCM Instagram

  • Newspaper. Pumpkin carving can be messy, but that’s part of the fun! Scooping out the seeds and hollowing the pumpkin are a must, but you’re going to need a place to put all that stuff. Newspapers or magazines make a great disposable cover, so you can wrap up the stuff from the inside and easily toss it when you’re done.
  • Bowl. If you’ve ever had roasted pumpkin seeds, you know that saving some from your carving session is a must. Having a bowl on hand to put them in is very convenient, and will prevent you from accidentally throwing them away. 
  • Candles. Since lit candles are a no-no in dorms, make sure to pick up some battery operated candles for your jack o’ lantern. You can snag these at a local craft store or online. You can’t carve a pumpkin and then not light up the inside!

Set the Halloween Mood 

Turn your pumpkin carving session into a fantastic get together with friends

Really set the pumpkin carving mood in your dorm with these essential items. Don’t forget to pick up some candy corn, caramel apples, or some other Halloween goodies to munch on while you’re carving. Image courtesy of 417 Magazine.

So you’ve gathered all your pumpkin carving supplies, now it’s time to set the autumnal mood! We’ve put together a list of some of the basics you can pick up in order to really have a fun pumpkin carving session in your dorm.


You can really get a cozy vibe going with the addition of string lights to your pumpkin carving session. There’s no better way to create some serious atmosphere than with the warming glow of additional twinkling lights. Turn off the fluorescent overhead light in your dorm room and instead put a couple of these strands up where you and your friends intend to carve pumpkins. If you still need a little more light, feel free to utilize your desk lamps or any floor lamps you might have. The point is try and get the soft light you might just mistake for candle light!

Pro tip: In addition to string lights, consider picking up flameless candles of all sizes to light throughout your dorm. You’ll need one for inside your pumpkin, but you can really set the Halloween mood with battery operated candles of all shapes and sizes.


Really amp up your Halloween vibes with a cozy, comfortable blanket! Whether you choose to put it on your bed, couch, or even on your desk chair, this warm knit blanket will never go out of style. Autumn’s weather can be tricky—it might be warm and sunny one day, and overcast and rainy the next day. Never worry about being too cold or uncomfortable again in your dorm room when you’ve got this blanket to snuggle up with.

Pro tip: This blanket is the perfect companion to watching all your favorite scary movies after you carve up your pumpkins! Whether you’re into horror like Friday the 13th, or want something a little lighter and fun like Hocus Pocus, this blanket is made for movie watching.


You can’t get the cozy fall vibes going with just a blanket—you’re going to need some pillows too! These cable knit throw pillows are the perfect addition to your couch, and complement any cozy blanket you choose to pair with them. The neutral colors of gray and ivory will match any dorm room aesthetic, making the perfect addition to your room all year long. Designed to feel like your favorite cable knit sweater, these pillows feature a classic sweater pattern, complete with four cute buttons. When it’s time for sweater weather and pumpkin carving, these pillows are the way to go. Bonus points if you wear your favorite sweater while you carve your pumpkin!

Wall art

While it’s not exactly Halloween themed, you can’t deny the fall-like vibes this Copper and Gold Mountains art print gives off! Besides, if you’re like us, you like to celebrate the dreamy, golden hues of autumn all year long, and what better way to do just that than with some wonderful wall art? This print will fit with any dorm room palette, and you can choose to get in extra small, small, medium, and large—making it super easy to find a place for it when you’re living in a small space. We recommend hanging it up near your string lights, and allowing their warm light to reflect off the vibrant golds and yellows of this print!

Carve a Pumpkin in Your Dorm!

How to carve your pumpkin right in your dorm space

Carve your pumpkin any way you want to and let your imagination run wild! Image courtesy of ThoughtCo.

Now that you’ve got all your supplies and have really set the mood with a couple of must-have items, it’s time for the fun part—carving up your pumpkin! There are so many ways you can go about this, you’re only limited by your creativity! You can go the traditional route, pick up a stencil, or even make a kitty creation complete with attached ears—it’s entirely up to you. We’re going to go over the basics of carving your pumpkin, but feel free to take it in any direction you want. 

  1. Settle on your game plan

As we mentioned earlier, it helps to have a game plan or at least a vision of what you actually want to carve. If you’re going with a stencil, this is a great time to decide whether or not you feel comfortable investing the time it takes to carve a more intricate design. If you’re winging it, consider drawing out your design on the face of the pumpkin in either a sharpie market or a pen. This will help you stay on track as your masterpiece comes to life. 

  1. Take out the seeds

Once you’ve got an idea of how you want your gourd to look, now it’s time to make the first incision! There are two ways you can go about this. You can choose to make a circular cut around the stem of the pumpkin, large enough so that your hand will comfortably fit in so you can draw out the seeds and other innards. You can also choose to make a circular cut on the bottom of the pumpkin and use it to draw out the seeds that way. The benefit of cutting on the bottom of the pumpkin is that with a more level base, it should sit upright much easier. The choice is yours though!

  1. Carve the face

Now it’s the fun part, time to carve your creation! Use your pumpkin carving tools from your kit, or start carving with your serrated knife. If you’re doing this with friends, periodically check on their pumpkins to see how they’re coming along, or save them for a big reveal at the end.

  1. Clean up your space

When everyone is finished carving, now is the time to clean up. Take all the pumpkin innards and any seeds you won’t be saving and roll them up in your newspaper or other disposable covering. This is also a good time to get a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe down the face to get rid of any stray pumpkin. 

Pro tip: If you’re carving the top of your pumpkin, make sure to use a knife to make a clean cut of the “lid” so that it nicely fits in the hole.

  1. Light it up!

Make any finishing touches to your carved holes in the pumpkin so that there’s space for the light to shine through. Now, turn those flameless candles on, and place them in your pumpkin! Then turn off the lights for the perfect Halloween glow. 

Enjoy Your Halloween

Have fun lighting up your pumpkin for the spooky season

Carving pumpkins is one of the best Halloween traditions, and it shouldn’t have to stop just because you’re in a dorm! Now that your jack o’ lantern is ready, it’s time to light it up and gather some friends for a spooky movie fest, or for a fun Halloween party right in your dorm. No one said you can only carve one either, so why now make a whole crew of jack o’ lanterns to really celebrate the season? No matter what you choose to carve, you’re going to have an amazing time doing it. Happy Halloween!