“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the cat. “We’re all mad here.”

To be clear, this bit of on-brand pumpkin carving is not a design of my own invention, but I liked how it came out so much I wanted to share the results. If you, too, are a fan of Lewis Carroll and would like a mischievous kitten of your own to keep you company during this spooky season, the pattern is here. For those who lack the patience to actually cut out and trace the design onto the squash of their choosing (stares at shoes), it’s also very friendly to freehand sketchers.

The Cheshire Cat-Lit Up

Now, when I was a kid my dad would make me an ingenious pumpkin carving tool of his own invention out of a piece of saw blade screwed into a stump of dowel rod. (Well, I think it was his own invention. My dad and I “invented” a lot of things it turned out later others were already on to, but that never let the air out of our tires!) Anyway, this petite saw-knife was a brilliant way to slice out detailed designs with minimal blood, sweat, and tears. The cheap plastic Pumpkin Masters Pumpkin Carving Kit I spotted on sale at Rite Aid for $2 made it through the job this year (though barely) but I do recommend sourcing a blade with a little more nuance than a steak knife (my otherwise normal default). I don’t know what they are feeding the pumpkins in the patch this year, but they are beasts–thick walled and not messing around.

The neighborhood pumpkin carving contest broke up before all the monsters were complete, but I think Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat is at least still a contender. Now, when is It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown going to be broadcast this year?

UPDATE!: Dad has unearthed our original, ground-breaking precision pumpkin carving tool!

pumpkin carving precision tool