It’s that spooky time of year. It’s the time of year when all of the little ghosts and goblins come out looking for some treats. And, you’d better be ready…because you don’t want to get tricked! It’s also time for all of us to head out to our local pumpkin patch and pick out that perfect pumpkin to take home and carve. Then what do we need to do? We need to take our large carving knives, cut a hole in the top of our large fruit that is in the same family as squash, and then stick our hands in it and pull out all of the slimy, ooey, gooey mess. Now if that isn’t great family fun…I don’t know what is!
Scary or Silly Pumpkin Face?
It is a debate that has stood the test of time. It is a hotly debated topic along with those such as: should the toilet paper roll go over or under and should you put your socks on in the order of sock, sock, shoe, shoe or sock, shoe, sock, shoe. Of course we all know which of those is correct…don’t we. So, which side do you choose? Does your family carve a scary face or a silly, fun, happy face on their pumpkin? Or, better yet, are you one of those really creative families that can carve an entire Halloween scene into their pumpkin?
No matter what side you choose…I thought some tips on the best way to carve a pumpkin would be helpful. Let’s look at some great ways to make your favorite gourd from the pumpkin patch look and stay great!
Tips for Carving The Perfect Halloween Pumpkin!
- Start out by picking a pumpkin that is large enough to handle the design that you have chosen. Also, consider if the pumpkin is stable and can stand on its own. You really don’t want it rolling around everywhere.
- Begin carving by cutting a hole in the top or the back (see below for a clever lighting idea). If you will use a candle, cut the hole in the top and be sure to make the hole smaller as you cut into the pumpkin so the lid won’t fall in. It is also a great idea to cut a notch in the lid so that you can see exactly how the lid fits into your pumpkin (this just saves a lot of spinning the lid around looking for that perfect fit later).
- Scoop out all of the “guts” of the pumpkin. You will want it pretty clean in there. The pumpkin carving kits that you can find for sale in many stores are pretty good. If you need a better scoop, I have heard that a small tin can – like a tuna can – may work well.
- Transfer your design onto your pumpkin. You will want to tape your design onto your pumpkin and then use a tool to simply punch the design onto the skin of the pumpkin. You aren’t trying to carve it yet…just transferring the pattern onto the pumpkin.
- After the pattern is on your pumpkin, begin carving your pumpkin by actually cutting out the sections following along the lines that you have patterned onto your gourd.
- It’s done and it’s perfect! You want to keep it looking that way. Zombiepumpkins.com tells us to preserve those great looking pumpkins there are several things we can do:
- Rinse the carved pumpkin in the sink for some quick hydration
- Coat the edges with petroleum jelly
- Store the pumpkin in a cool place
- Cover the pumpkin with plastic wrap
- And, if your pumpkin begins to shrivel, soak it in water for a few hours
- Finally, admire your results! Put a light source in your pumpkin and take a photo. I really like an idea for lighting from Martha Stewart. Click here for a fantastic idea using small lights around a jar instead of a candle. If you do this, you will want to carve a small hole in the back of your pumpkin for the cord to come through.
Trick Or Treat!
So, no matter what you carve into your pumpkin, I hope you and your family have a blast this Halloween. I also hope these tips will help your design turn out and stay looking spooky and great! Have fun and Happy Halloween!