Everyone loves the iconic Hallowe'en decoration - but carving them can be hard work, and what to do with all the scooped-out pulp? Read on for our top pumpkin tips.

pumpkin carving - remove back and topCut out the back as well as the top, to make scooping out the inside much easier. Cut the top in a wedge shape, so the lid doesn't fall back in later. An ice-cream scoop is better than a spoon, but some people recommend using scissors to snip at the stringy pulp, blitzing the insides with a paint-mixer attachment on a drill, or even investing in specialist tools. You might also choose to wear rubber gloves, for improved grip and a more pleasant experience - the pulp can feel quite slimy, although that's perfect for Hallowe'en! Idea and image from Makezine

Perfect pumpkin pieKeep the pulp and make... pretty much anything except for traditional American pumpkin pie! The classic pie is best made with tinned pumpkin (difficult to get in the UK), 'culinary pumpkin' (which isn't the sort you carve for Hallowe'en decorations) or even butternut squash. Click here for Felicity Cloak's detailed investigation and definitive recipe.

pumpkin soupUse the pulp as an alternative to squash or carrot in your favourite Autumn recipes - try pumpkin cake, pumpkin soup, pumpkin and ginger tea bread, pumpkin and chickpea curry or pumpkin and spinach lasagne. Recipes and image from BBC Good Food

Biscuit cutters - pumpkin carvingUse biscuit cutters to carve your design - if you have a small pumpkin, you can push them straight through for the easiest carving ever! We have a great range of Hallowe'en biscuit cutters to make great spooky designs, including bats, cats, witches and ghosts. Idea and image from Built by Kids

fairy pumpkin carving with drillEven easier - but best for adults only - is using a drill to create your design. Make star patterns, shape outlines, or carve a fairy and use the drill to add a sparkly trail. Idea and image from Decorating Your Small Space and Instructables

painted pumpkin decorationFor a final faff-free idea, forget the carving and use paint, paper and glue to decorate your pumpkin instead. Idea and image from Country Living and It All Started With Paint

LED candle setSafety first! Use battery-powered LED candles to light your carved pumpkin, rather than tealights. As well as being safe around children and pets, they're much easier to light and will last longer.