Pumpkin lantern lit from the inside featuring frog design

Proud Pumpkins: making sustainable choices

Large pumpkin photographed over white background with moth stencil ontop in yellow

Follow our top tips on how to use and dispose of your pumpkin in a sustainable way; looking after you and the planet.

Plus, we’ve got four awesome autumnal animal stencils and a step-by-step guide for carving your own pumpkin lantern.

Sustainable pumpkins

There’s plenty of things to do with the leftover seeds and fibres after pumpkin carving. Here’s some top tips on where to get started:

  • Flying pumpkins. Think about where your pumpkin has been grown, and how far it has travelled to get to you. Choosing locally grown pumpkins can help to cut down on carbon emissions.
  • Save the seeds! Wash the pumpkin fibres from the seeds using cold water and follow a recipe of your choice for a healthy, tasty snack.
  • When pumpkins give you pulp, make soup! The stringy, fibrous insides of a pumpkin can be excellent for making soups and broths. You could even mash it all up for a muffin or bread recipe.
  • Compost creature food. After all of the fun is done, do not throw your pumpkin in the bin. A pumpkin is excellent food for compost creatures and birds. Place it into a compost bin or make a pumpkin bird feeder to give this feast back to nature.

Carving your pumpkin…

You will need:

  • Carving pumpkin
  • Marker pen
  • Big spoon
  • Knife (please have an adult with you when you do this)

Simply click on the images to download and print an autumnal animal stencil:

  1. Using a sharp serrated knife, carefully cut a large circle out around the stem to create a ‘lid’.
  1. Scoop out the seeds and pumpkin fibres in the middle using a spoon.

Top tip: Keep the seeds to be toasted later for a tasty snack!

  1. Cut out the black areas on your stencil.

  1. Using the marker pen and a stencil, if you like, draw your design onto the pumpkin.
  1. Cut out the design using a serrated knife. Cut with the knife pointed away from you in case it slips.

Tip: For our stencils, the black areas need to be cut away, leaving the white areas behind.

  1. Pop a tealight candle or torch inside, replace the ‘lid’ and see your design light up.

Share your Crafty Creature makes with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by tagging us or using #OpenYourWindowBingo.


The Woodland Trust shares their pumpkin tips here: what to do with pumpkins

Observe the animals that make use of your recycled pumpkin and make a wildlife film using our quick guide here: Make a Wildlife Film

Thank you to our collections manager Matt Lowe for carving and modelling his frog pumpkin.

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