Pumpkins are so last year. Carve a watermelon Jack-o-lantern this Halloween.

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This Halloween save a pumpkin, and put a fun twist on the holiday with a watermelon Jack-o-lantern. (You can eat the watermelon as you carve it – bonus!)

Why you should carve a watermelon this Halloween.

  1. A Watermelon Jack-o-lantern adds a unique touch to your Halloween party. Be a trend setter!
  2. Little kids prefer to carve a watermelon because it’s not as “yucky” to touch as the innards of pumpkin, and a lot more fun to eat!
father and little girl scrapping out pumpkin for jackolantern
Little ones don’t like the feel of the pumpkin innards.

To get more carving ideas and instructions, visit www.watermelon.org. Photos and instructions by National Watermelon Promotion Board

Carving Tips

  • Have the watermelon at room temperature when you carve. The cuts will be easier to make. You can chill the watermelon in the refrigerator after cutting and before serving.
  • After you’ve drawn the design on the rind, insert toothpicks in key places to use as guides for your cuts.
  • Use a sharp knife with a pointed tip – the sharper the knife, the easier and cleaner the cuts will be.
  • When attaching cut pieces on the watermelon to make your design, use round toothpicks or skewers. Flat toothpicks will often break due to the weight of the piece or the thickness of the rind.

Watermelon Jack-o-lantern

Tools & Supplies

  • 1 round watermelon
  • Melon baller
  • Pen
  • Knife
  • Toothpicks
watermelon jack o'lantern


how to carve a jack o melon
  1. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of watermelon to provide a stable base.
  2. Cut circular piece of the rind from the top, big enough to reach into to remove the flesh. Carefully remove that top section and reserve for later to be used as a lid.
  3. Remove the flesh from inside the watermelon using melon baller, reserving melon balls for snacking or a fruit salad.
  4. Once flesh is removed, drain any excess liquid from inside watermelon. 
  5. Using pen or knife, draw or scratch the outlines of eyes, nose, mouth, hair, ears or any other feature you want on the side of the watermelon, using a template as a guide. Then, following the outlines, cut the features into the watermelon and remove excess rind. To create a 3D effect with the features after you have cut them, push gently on the flaps of rind from inside the watermelon. (You can use toothpicks to prop the rind, if you want.)
  6. A safe, battery-operated lamp can be firmly placed inside the watermelon to provide a haunting glow.
  7. Place the circular piece of rind that you reserved back on top of the watermelon and your Jack O’Melon is ready to be displayed.

Want more Halloween watermelon carving?

4 spooky watermelon carving tutorials for halloween

See all 4 of our Halloween watermelon carving tutorials.

Did you make a watermelon jack-o-lantern?

Did you find the instructions easy? Did you use the face suggested or work your creative magic on a new face? Show us a photo with your comment!


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Pumpkins are so last year. Carve a watermelon Jack-o-lantern this Halloween.Pumpkins are so last year. Carve a watermelon Jack-o-lantern this Halloween.

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