This weekend is the perfect time to carve your pumpkins, you’ll be able to enjoy them through the week and they’ll last long enough to make it to Halloween. I love the smell of fresh pumpkin and getting my hand all slimy with pumpkin insides, so round up your kiddies and get ready for some pumpkin carving, made easier with these tips!
You can approach making a jack-o’-lantern in one of two ways, you can either find the perfect pumpkin first then find a design to match it, or the reverse, pick your design then find the pumpkin which works best with it.
When thinking of designs you really have three options:
- The Classic – this design is an upright pumpkin, carved from the top down, with a removable, replaceable lid. A face or other design is then carved into the side of the pumpkin and a candle is placed inside.
- The Sillouhette – this design is also upright, carved out from the top or side to hollow and gain access to put in a candle, but it’s unique in that there are no holes carved to make the design, the carver peels away the skin of the pumpkin and some layers of flesh.
- The Character – this type of jack-o’-lantern is a pumpkin turned on its side, with the stem used as a nose or other part of the design. Unlike a traditional design you don’t remove the lid or the pumpkin and you may use other smaller pumpkins or gourds to complete the design.
Do you want to carve a pumpkin? Follow these steps:
- Pick out your design;
- Find the perfect pumpkin;
- Get your tools ready, you should have a sharp knife to use safely, a marker, a smaller paring knife, a tea light, lighter and a strong spoon to act as a scoop;
- Lay some newspapers or paper towel, cover your work surface to make for easier cleanup;
- Draw your design on your pumpkin, include an outline for the lid and remember to make a notch in the lid to easily put it on and take it off;
- Be careful! Never cut toward your body, or toward your non-cutting hand;
- Take off the lid, use the paring knife to trim the underside of the lid;
- Scoop out the guts! And consider saving the seeds for a snack;
- Cut out your design and use your paring knife for detailed work, remember to be careful and patient;
- Put in your candle, light it and turn off the lights! But remember to keep an eye on things, and watch for smoking or charring.