We all know it to be true, it’s not really Halloween until there is a jack-o-lantern adorning your porch. While carving a pumpkin is not a complicated task, understanding the basic steps can make a real difference. In this guide, we will lay out a step-by-step guide to carving the perfect pumpkin.
Get a Good Carving Pumpkin
Pumpkins come in different varieties, and evidently, not all are good for carving. When you shop for pumpkins thisHalloween season, you will find some pumpkins labeled “carving pumpkin” and “pie pumpkin.” Carving pumpkins are sturdier than pie pumpkins and have fewer seeds. Moreover, the seeds in these pumpkins are grainier, which makes it easier to clean them out. Pick one of these pumpkins and tap on it. If you hear a hollow sound, then you know you have picked a quality pumpkin.
Prep Your Workstation
When you carve the pumpkin, it is going to get messy, so choose a place that you do not mind getting dirty, preferably outdoors. Whether you choose a table or the ground, make sure you layer the surface with newspapers or butcher paper. This will make the cleanup process much easier in the end.
Once you have your workstation ready, gather all the required materials for the job. By doing this, you will make sure that you do not have to go back and forth to get the necessary tools. Listed below are the tools you must have to carve the perfect pumpkin.
- A permanent marker or sharpie
- Newspapers, grocery bags, or butcher paper
- Pumpkin carving kit including carving knife, scraper, and a wire modeling tool
- If you do not have a Halloween kit, you can also use an X-ACTO knife, ladle, and serrated knife
- Kitchen towel
- Two medium-sized bowls
- Tea light candle along with a lighter or long match.
Outline the Lid and Carve it Out
Using a marker, draw a circle around the stem of the pumpkin with a diameter of around 4 to 5 inches. You can include a notch in the back so that it is easier for you to remove the cap once you are done carving.
Use a slim pumpkin carving knife or serrated knife, make a long cut along the outlined circle over the lid. Keep a 45-degree inward angle while cutting so that the lid does not fall inside, and you can easily take it out.
Clean Out the Pumpkin
Plunge your hand inside the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and place them in a bowl. Then, using a scraper or ladle, clean out the rest of the pumpkin until no bits or strings are left inside. Keep the guts of the pumpkin in a separate bowl. Lastly, using a paper towel wipe the pumpkin from outside, so that it is safer and easier to carve on it.
Draw and Carve Your Design
Draw your design on the pumpkin as it will make it easier for you to carve it. Using straight cuts move along the drawn surface while removing the pieces and throwing them as you go.
There you have it; your carved pumpkin is ready to be put on display; all there is left to do is light it up. Open the lid, put a tea light candle at the bottom, and light it up using a long match or lighter. Have a great Halloween!