Tips to Carve a Great Pumpkin

It’s October, candy, costumes and PUMPKINS are now all on sale. This all means Halloween is right around the corner. It’s time to start decorating the house and getting ready for Halloween. Here are a few tips to bring your jack-o-lantern to life, making your house stand out from all of the neighbors.  

 

1. Choose the right pumpkin
Pumpkins come in all sizes and shapes. Perfect round pumpkins are great but don’t be afraid to try the tall skinny ones. The more warts and bumps the pumpkins have the more interesting they look. When you are displaying them try grouping pumpkins of different shapes and sizes. They look good in odd number groups.

2. Make a good lid
When creating the lid on from the top make the cut at a 45 degree angle. This will keep the lid from falling into the pumpkin as it expands and contracts. Also consider cutting also cut a hole in the back instead instead of the top. This makes it easy to insert a Christmas light for lighting.

3. Scoop out all the pulp
Take the extra time to get out all of the strings seeds and pulp. Try to get down to a clean layer of the pumpkin, even scraping a bit of the inner pumpkin meat away is good. This will help in preservation, and just looks cleaner..

4. Get creative and use templates
You can find many templates online for pumpkin faces, designs, or even logos. Print these out on black and white and tack that paper to your pumpkin. Start to cut around the design and carve to your creative desires. It’s a great way to explore more than triangle eyes and a smiley face.

5. Try shaving the pumpkin versus cutting all the way through
You don’t have to cut all the way through the pumpkin to create some cool flesh like effects. Using kitchen tools or custom pumpkin tools you can start to slowly shave away layers of your pumpkin flesh. The deeper you cut into the flesh the brighter the area will be. You can create some amazing highlights and shadows with this technique.

6. Hold the pumpkin when you carve
Don’t be afraid to get dirty. Put the pumpkin in your lap when you are carving detail. This allows you to get a good grip on the pumpkin while carving intricate features. It's much easier on you!  Test as you go by placing a light bulb or candle in your pumpkin.

7. Preserving your pumpkin
Let’s face it, once you start to cut into the pumpkin it’s going to start to rot. But with a quick easy step you can make your jack-o-lantern last longer. When you are finished carving give your pumpkin a nice soak in bleach water. Fill your sink with cold water and put a bit of bleach in it. Dunk your pumpkin in this mixture for 30 minutes or longer. This will help to preserve its moisture and to kill any bacteria. Repeat this step once a week or so to keep a nice fresh looking pumpkin.