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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Complete jack-o’-lantern creations guide

Photo by Infographic by Jennifer Walter ([email protected])

With Halloween just around the corner, decorations are a great way to get into the holiday spirit. From skeletons, to goblins, to jars full of candied eyeballs, Halloween has a lot to offer in the world of decoration.

One of the most tried and true decorations is the jack-o’-lantern, which can be a great way to decorate a dorm while enjoying a fun Halloween activity.

Eliana Reed, a resident assistant and a sophomore in the College of Communication, clarified that students are allowed to display real pumpkins outside their dorm room on Oct. 26 for HALLoween, but that is the only day they may do so.

“If you want to keep them inside your room (afterward), that is totally up to you,” Reed said.

Ideal places to purchase a pumpkin on a college budget are from stores such as Target, Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market. Each store offers a variety of pumpkins, ranging from small to large, for about $5 to $10 each.

After purchasing a pumpkin, storing it until it is ready to carve can be difficult. Living in a dorm can make storing a pumpkin an especially difficult task.

“Last year, my roommate in Cobeen bought a pumpkin and left it on her desk for about a month, and it eventually exploded all over her desk and the bottom of her lofted bed,” Claire Keyes, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said. “It was overwhelmingly disgusting.”

The best way to store a pumpkin is to keep it in a cool, dry place, away from the sun and covered with a towel.

According to, an informational website from Jack Creek Farms, a pumpkin should never be placed directly on a wooden table or carpet.

For dorm living, place a pumpkin under a bed on top of cardboard in order to keep it preserved.

Once the pumpkin is ready to be carved, tools like stencils, Sharpies and carving knifes are essential to begin carving. Carving tools can be purchased in packs of three from stores such as Party City, Walmart and Target for around $10.

Carving knives and items of that nature can be tricky when living in the dorms.

“The only rule against knives in the residence halls is that they cannot be carried around as weapons, but there’s no rules against using them for food or pumpkin carving,” Reed said. “I think if the resident was carrying around the knife in a manner that concerned me, then I’d have to talk to them about it. But there’s no problem with carrying one around safely to carve a pumpkin.”

Once a pumpkin is carved, the only thing left to worry about is the seeds and flesh that need to be pulled out of a pumpkin, otherwise known as the guts.  The guts have a strong smell that (if left out) can smell up a room.

“What we had to do is double bag the exploded guts in garbage bags then toss them in the basement trash can to avoid the strong smell,” Keyes said.

For Reed, the messiness might be a deterrent from carving.

“I was thinking of doing something where we could draw on pumpkins, or I saw a really cool idea on Facebook where you can use chalkboard paint on your pumpkin and decorate with chalkboard markers,” Reed said. “I think that’d be something fun to do and it’s less messy.”

Once carved to perfection, small battery-operated candle lights from Target are cheap, cost $6 and illuminate the inside of a jack-o’-lantern.

Whether outside the dorm room, in front of the door or on a window ledge, pumpkins are a great way to spice up a dorm room for the Halloween season.

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