Halloween Turnip Carving Fun

In the spirit of the old Irish and Scottish tradition of carving turnip lanterns to ward off evil spirits, today, I thought it would be fun to tackle this twist on the pumpkin Jack O’ Lanterns that I grew up with as a child. And since my sweet sister is here on holiday, what better way for two sisters to have a little Halloween giggle than by having some turnip carving fun!

Here’s what you do.

Step 1:  Decide how you want your turnip to be oriented.  Which end would make the best top and bottom? Which sides do you want to make the front and back?  Are there any scars, warty, or hairy spots that could give character to your Jack O’ Lantern’s face?

Step 2:  With a sharp knife, cut a small amount off of the bottom of the turnip so that it creates a flat base.

Step 3:  Slice off the top of the turnip, leaving plenty of room to carve the face.  Save the lid.

Turnip carving.
A plate full of powdered doughnuts, two mugs of tea, and a carved turnip.
Don’t forget the festive snacks!

Step 4:  Use your knife to score around the inside edge to loosen up the meat of the turnip.

Step 5:  Use a spoon, melon baller, ice cream scooper, or any other implement to scoop out the inside of the turnip. You will find that this step requires a bit of effort, but the result will be so worth it.

A hallowed out turnip and turnip carving tools.

Step 6:  Draw a face on your turnip with a pencil.

Step 7:  Use a small kitchen or crafter’s knife to carve out the face.

Three pumpkins and two carved turnips.

Step 8:  Light a tea light and enjoy your unique Halloween creation!

Two carved turnips lit by candles.