Have you started your preparations for Halloween? Are you ready for the spookiest event of the year? Make sure your pumpkin stands out from the crowd with our top tips for pumpkin carving. This tradition is a pivotal figure of Halloween, the Jack ‘O Lantern. Everyone knows what they look like but how can you make yours grab the spotlight.
Here are our top tips for making sure you give your pumpkin the best makeover of them all! We have also included some stencils for you to print off as a little bonus.
It’s fairly easy to go to a supermarket and choose any old pumpkin, but do you know how to pick the best of the bunch? We suggest looking for a pumpkin with the greenest stem and to make sure the stem is thick! The thicker the stem, the thicker pumpkin walls. Which is better for when you’re carving. The design of your pumpkin is just as important to the pumpkin you choose. There are hundreds of stencils to choose from online and we have included a few for you in this post. Depending on what design you want to go for will depend on the size and shape of the pumpkin you choose.
Red light. Green Light.
You may think that once you buy your pumpkin that you have the green light to immediately start carving it. However, pumpkins tend to last around 8-12 weeks which gives you plenty of time to pick out your design. We recommend carving your pumpkin up to around 5 days before Halloween to maximise its freshness. There is nothing worse than spending all your time and effort on your best pumpkin for it to start decaying right before Halloween.
The right tools for the job
Now that you have selected the perfect pumpkin, it is time to select the correct tools you will need to create your masterpiece. The first tool you shall need is a knife, one that is long and strong enough to cut through the top of the pumpkin. Then we recommend buying a pumpkin carving tool kit, you can find these in most supermarkets and they are fairly cheap too. There are also other tools and equipment around the house you could use such as a spoon or a lemon zester.
Channel your inner sculptor
Once you’ve got your tools, pumpkin and design at the ready, it’s the moment you have been waiting for. It’s carving time! Firstly, cut out the lid of the pumpkin which is located at the top with the stem. Here you can choose whether to cut it out in a zigzag shape or a circle, there is no right or wrong answer. Next you will want to scoop out all of the inside flesh and seeds of the pumpkin. Don’t let the seeds go to waste as you can set them aside ready to plant for next year.
There are a couple of options of how to get your design onto the pumpkin, the first one is by using a pen and drawing the design onto it. The other option is to tape the printed stencil onto the pumpkin and then use your carving tools to prick holes where the stencil sits on the pumpkin. After your design is on your pumpkin, you can start cutting it out, be vary careful when handling sharp tools as you can easily cut yourself.
The Final Product
Now your pumpkin has been carved to perfection, it is ready for a tea light candle to be placed inside. Pop the lid back on and you’re done! Everyone will now be jealous of your pumpkin and some may even be scared depending on the design.
We hope you have enjoyed following our tips for carving your pumpkin, why not send us your marvellous creations to our Facebook page. From everyone at The Craft Store, Happy Halloween!