halloween carved pumpkinsWhen Halloween is right around the corner many people’s favorite things about it is seeing the carved pumpkins with their Jack o lantern cutout faces all over the place. Many people really let their creative side come out when carving the pumpkins! You’ll see the creepy scary ones, the goofy silly looking ones, some just plain weird, angry looking, or sad, and some people carve them out to look like animals or even people.

If your plan is to carve an amazing pumpkin for this Halloween, here are some tips:

1. Try to find a pumpkin for carving that has a solidly attached strong stem. Pick it up and thump it a couple times to see if it’s ripe. If you hear a hollow sound it means scooping it out will be easier. You’ll also want a pumpkin that has a nice smooth surface without discolorations or blemishes.

2. When you’re carrying the pumpkin hold it from the bottom and not by the stem. If the stem breaks it will rot faster.

3. Light and heat will help the pumpkin rot faster too so store it somewhere cool and dry.

4. To prevent mold wash your pumpkin with a mixture of one gallon of water and one teaspoon of chlorine bleach before you carve it.

5. Draw out your design on paper ahead of time so if you decide to make any changes you can try them out on the paper first until you have it just the way you want it. If designing a carved pumpkin face isn’t your thing there are templates you can purchase or print out online.

When your pattern is ready tape it to the pumpkin in the position you like. Poke along the pattern lines with a knife or a tool that will leave small marks that you can use as a guide when you start the actual carving.

6. Using a small saw that’s preferably serrated works the best for carving the pumpkin. Slowly saw away using a back and forth motion. Take your time sawing slowly and carefully. It is not recommended to use a straight edge razor. The pumpkin could get damaged and even worse you could get hurt!

7. Carving kits are available that are specifically for pumpkins. They have the tools necessary already included to quickly help you make a great looking jack o lantern face.

8. Acrylic craft pumpkins are a realistic looking alternative to real pumpkins without the mess or bother. They carve easily and after Halloween’s over you can store it away for next year.

9. If you’ll be carving several pumpkins, why not make one that’s a regular jack o lantern face and then get a little more creative with the rest. Mix it up with a ghost, a scary looking cat, a witch on a broomstick, or just a random design that the light looks cool coming out from.

10. Instead of having just one good sized pumpkin on display, create a more dramatic impression for lookerbys by having several smaller ones of different sizes grouped together.

Happy Halloween! Mwaaahaaahaaahaaa