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How to use Dry Ice in a Pumpkin

How to use Dry Ice in a Pumpkin

Using dry ice in a pumpkin can create a spooky and eerie effect, especially for Halloween. Dry ice, which is solid carbon dioxide (CO2), produces a dense, fog-like smoke when it sublimates (converts from a solid directly into a gas) as it reacts with the air. Here's how to safely use dry ice in a pumpkin:

Materials you'll need:

  1. Pumpkin
  2. Dry ice 
  3. Carving tools
  4. Water
  5. Glass cup 
  6. Tongs or gloves to handle dry ice


  1. Safety First: Dry ice is extremely cold (-109.3°F or -78.5°C) and can cause frostbite or burns if not handled properly. Always wear gloves when handling dry ice.

  2. Prepare the Pumpkin: Start by carving a hole in the top of the pumpkin, similar to how you would when making a jack-o-lantern. Remove the pumpkin's top and scoop out the seeds and flesh from the inside.

  3. Design Your Pumpkin: Use a marker to draw a spooky face or any design you like on the front of the pumpkin and carve to your desired look. 

  4. Dry Ice Container: Place a small container (such as a glass cup) inside the pumpkin. This container will hold the dry ice and keep it separate from the pumpkin's flesh. Make sure it's securely placed in the pumpkin.
    Pumpkin Prep

  5. Add Dry Ice: Using tongs or gloves, add dry ice pellets into the pumpkin!

  6. Activate the Dry Ice: Carefully add a small amount of water to the container inside the pumpkin. You can use a turkey baster or a small measuring cup to do this. Only add a small amount of water at a time, as the dry ice will start to sublimate immediately upon contact with water, creating the foggy effect. You can control the intensity of the fog by adding more or less water. We used warm water to really get it smoking! 

  7. Replace the Pumpkin Top: Once the dry ice starts producing fog, quickly replace the top of the pumpkin. 

  8. Enjoy the Effect: As the dry ice sublimates, it will produce a dense, eerie fog that spills out of the pumpkin's mouth and eyes, creating a spooky atmosphere.
    Pumpkin with dry ice

Important Tips:

  • Ventilation: Ensure that there is enough ventilation to allow the carbon dioxide gas produced by the dry ice to escape. Cutting a small hole in the top or using a carved design that allows for airflow can help prevent a buildup of gas inside the pumpkin.

Dry Ice In YETI

  • Never Touch Dry Ice with Bare Hands: Always use gloves or tongs when handling dry ice. Direct contact with dry ice can cause severe frostbite.

  • Store Dry Ice Properly: Store any unused dry ice in a well-ventilated cooler. Do not store it in an airtight container, as the sublimation of carbon dioxide can cause pressure to build up.

  • Supervision: If children are around, make sure they are supervised when working with dry ice and educate them about its potential hazards. 
    Dry Ice kids project

Using dry ice in a pumpkin can create a fun and spooky Halloween decoration, but it should be done with caution and safety in mind.


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