Pumpkin Carving

October 22, 2014 by becca.lazar No Comments

I only carved my first pumpkin last year. So through my childhood the toothy grins that stared out from drive ways and windows had a sort of distance to them, bathing their surroundings in a warm orange glow. They are the first things I think of when I think about Halloween as a child thanks to TV and spooky Halloween films, but I don’t remember really seeing one up close.


As it turns out carving a pumpkin is easy. There’s nothing to it, and they’re now readily available in supermarkets around this time of year. Making a Jack-O-Lantern is a great little family activity too. A quick Google image search will present you with some crazy and intricate designs if you’re looking for inspiration: there are Spiderman pumpkins, Star Wars pumpkins, you-should-really-see-the-dentist pumpkins and even a pumpkin with the poster from Les Miserables intricately etched into it if you scroll down a little way.


This year we bought our pumpkins from the local supermarket for £2 each. Two days later and they have been reduced to £1.50! According to extremepumpkins.com the best pumpkins are taller rather than wider, so you can make a better face. You should also check for any bruises and marks that might mean the pumpkin is damaged and reduce the lifespan of your design.


The tools needed for job are all available in the kitchen: a sharp knife, a spoon and a pen to map out your pumpkin design. This time round I was feeling a little ambitious and wanted to peel off some of the skin from my pumpkin so used a craft knife to peel the skin off: definitely a job for an adult.


1. To cut off your lid, the knife needs to be pointing inwards, towards the pumpkin’s middle at a 45-degree angle. This is so the lid has something to rest on and doesn’t slip down.


2. Now is the time to scoop out the insides. Keeping a bowl by your side, pull out the seeds and the stringy part of the pumpkin before using a spoon or ice cream scoop to get rid of some of the flesh – particularly from the side you are going to carve.


3. Next, simply mark on your design with the pen. If you’re going for a jagged, jack-o-lantern face then it can be done with all straight lines, which make cutting out the holes a lot easier and potentially child friendly. Sometimes the more crooked the face the scarier the lantern.


4. I definitely recommend supervising younger children for the carving out part of the process, but once you’ve cut round your designs let the children push the flesh out from the middle to reveal your complete lantern.


5. Finally, add a tea light or two, pop the lid back on and bask in the orange glow of your ghastly creation.


The whole process can be done in as little as half an hour but gives you a whole week of Halloween themed fun. Now you just have to be wary of the trick or treaters attracted like moths to your macabre creation.


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