My kids look forward to Halloween because of all the candy, but I enjoy carving pumpkins much more than eating candy. I’ve never been one to stick with the traditional triangular eyes and nose, with a simple jagged mouth beneath them. I’m all about getting as creative as possible. Here are 5 tips on carving pumpkins you might find helpful this Halloween.
5. Get a Variety of Sizes
I like to have an assortment of pumpkins. We used to get one large pumpkin and take turns working on it. Now that the boys are older, they each carve their own pumpkin and we end up with a little family of Jack-O-Lanterns on the porch. I’ve even used small gourds as well as little pumpkins for carving.
4. Think out of the Box
You don’t always have to cut a hole in the top and carve onto the side. Tilt the pumpkin on its side and use the stem for a nose. Use the dark patch on the bottom of the pumpkin for a puckered mouth. You could even carve something on both ends if you’d like.
3. Draw out Your Design First
I’ve done this both ways; directly onto the pumpkin and on a separate piece of paper. It seems drawing a design onto the pumpkin eliminates the slipping of your design, which tends to happen with a piece of paper. Plus, it’s hard to get the paper to stay attached to the pumpkin in the first place.
2. Try Some out of the Ordinary Tools
I found that a cheap potato peeler makes excellent holes that are perfectly round. You could also get this effect with a Phillips head screwdriver and jam it into various parts of the pumpkin. Carving pumpkins involves a lot more than a carving knife!
1. Have All Your Tools Ready in the Beginning
It’s so hard to try and grasp a new tool from a pile of clean utensils when your hands are coated with pumpkin guts. I gather up anything I can possibly think of and pile it on the kitchen table or out on the front porch. This gives me easier access to anything I might need.
I’m sure you have some of your own techniques that work great for you. I find getting all the seeds and go out of the inside to be the most tedious task of all. Have you come across a method for making this process faster? Do you have any other cool tips for carving pumpkins that you’d like to share?
Top Photo Credit: zannah