Project tutorial

DIY Pumpkin Luminaries

Project cost
1 hour
Estimated time

Illuminate your walkway or front steps with bright and beautiful pumpkins! These luminaries are easy to create. Using your drill to punch holes in the gourd, you'll be done in about an hour. Keep things simple with a strand of white lights or get festive with bright colors like purple or green.

(This article originally appeared in This Old House magazine. Photos // Wendell T. Webber.)

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Step 1

Hollow Out Pumpkin

Use a knife to carve a large circular opening into the bottom of your pumpkin. Clean out the inside thoroughly, scooping away the pulp and seeds with a spoon.

Step 2

Transfer Your Pattern

Rough out a design on paper first, then mark the dots on the pumpkin with a permanent marker. Find a free template online, try a swirling or geometric design, or randomly space dots on the pumpkin shell.

Step 3

Drill Holes In the Pumpkin

Gripping the gourd securely near the stem and using a drill/driver, bore holes where you made markings. Be sure to hollow out all the dots you drew for your pattern.

Step 4

Pop In the Lights

Insert a string of small lights through the pumpkin’s bottom and push a bulb halfway through each hole. Run the lights’ cord from the bottom of the gourd to an outdoor receptacle.

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