Resource: Extreme Pumpkins

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Tom Nardone wrote Extreme Pumpkins: Diabolical Do-It-Yourself Designs to Amuse Your Friends and Scare Your Neighbors because carving pumpkins is something he’s always enjoyed, but his designs are hardly your traditional jack-o-lantern carvings for children. His carvings are shocking, funny, and gross–geared to adults who want to have their own kind of fun at Halloween. Nardone wants to take Halloween back to its outrageous, “anything-but tame”origins.

To start off, Nardone discusses the “extreme toolbox” of power tools that make carving much easier and explains his “ninja pumpkin-carving techniques” like scalping and gutting a pumpkin. He gives you the recipes for fake blood and a bloodbath, different types of flames and other special effects.

He describes his “renegade design strategies” for coming up with carvings that are truly terrifying, extremely gross, genuinely funny and undeniably cool. Then he includes 20 examples of wild and crazy carvings complete with full-color photos and instructions. These range from Brain-Surgery Pumpkin and Worm-Infested Pumpkin to Crime Scene Pumpkin and Cojoined Twins Pumpkin.

Extreme Pumpkins designs are not for the faint of heart or young children; they made me draw back a bit and say, “Oh, my!” But I definitely know folks who would think these were absolutely the coolest!!

I can see using these carvings as a perfect party activity or contest for men or for anyone who loves the bizarre.  I can envision extreme carving contests becoming a neighborhood tradition that participants plan for all year!

Nardone also has written Extreme Pumpkins II and Extreme Halloween. Visit Nardone’s website,, to see much more of his wacky sense of humor, instructions on pumpkin carving, free patterns, and many photos of extreme pumpkin winners.

This book is available online.




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