Turnip Jack-O-Lantern

Grab your materials and cozy up to the past. We’re dipping a toe back in history for this autumnal craft.

The Story

“The original Jack-O-Lantern was far from the bright orange pumpkin of today’s time. Steeped in Irish folklore that dates back centuries, Jack-O-Lanterns were originally turnips or beets, carefully carved and then strategically placed around the home to ward off any trespassing spirits. Often hung from fences or gate posts, these delightful little root vegetables are just as easy to carve, if not easier, than an actual pumpkin. Plus, there’s no mess. Consider using a small flameless candle or tea light to illuminate.

– Trace Barnett

Turnip Jack-O-Lantern



Sharp Knife

Sturdy metal spoon or melon baller

Sharpie marker or pencil

Flameless candles or tea lights

Floral Wire



  1. Purchase turnips that are medium or large in size to ensure enough carving space. Wash turnips and dry thoroughly.
  2. Carefully use a knife to remove the top and bottom of the turnip so that it sits upright. Use a sturdy metal spoon or melon baller to hollow out the interior of the turnip and discard contents. 
  3. Use a pencil or marker to trace a face onto the turnip. On a cutting board, and facing away from hands, use the knife to carefully cut out the face. For a bold effect, outline face in marker.
  4. Use scissors to cut desired length of floral wire.Insert floral wire into each temple of the turnip. Twist to secure. 
  5. Fill with flameless candle or tea light to illuminate. 

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