Pumpkin carving is one of the many fun Halloween traditions families look forward to. The crisp fall weather and autumn leaves make a perfect backdrop for carving a pumpkin together.
There are many free pumpkin carving patterns online, or families can carve freeform designs into their gourds. A fun Halloween craft is for each family member to carve their pumpkins.
Small children do better with painting pumpkins rather than carving, as carving tools can be dangerous in the hands of children of course. Here are some easy tips to help make your pumpkin carving experience easy and fun.
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With a pencil, draw a circle on top of the pumpkin all the way around in order to begin your Halloween jack-o-lantern. This will be the lid. Slowly and carefully cut through, facing the carving knife toward the center and slightly downward.
Then, remove the pumpkin top and scrape out all the seeds, strings, and innards of the pumpkin. Make sure the side you will be carving is only about an inch thick. Save the seeds so you can make roasted pumpkin seeds later to enjoy as a snack!
Then, either trace your jack-o-lantern template or draw a face on the pumpkin. Holding a carving tool or sharp knife like a pencil, make slow sawing motions to cut through.
After you are finished carving your Halloween pumpkins, you will want to light them. Traditionally, people place candles in their jack-o-lanterns. A tip is to first cut a small hole in the back of the pumpkin so the smoke can escape.
Another tip is to illuminate your pumpkin with a fall-scented candle. Cinnamon or pumpkin pie scents are excellent choices. Also, sprinkling cinnamon on the inside of the pumpkin lid will create an autumn aroma. Another option for a lit-up pumpkin that is safe for kids is using a battery-operated LED light or flameless tea light such as this on here:
A strand of battery-operated LED lights in purple or red can make your jack-o-lantern stand out too:
To keep carved pumpkins fresh for Halloween night, take them in at night and store them in the fridge. Dried-out pumpkins will gain a new lease on life by soaking them in cool water for a couple of hours.
You can also place Vaseline on cut edges of a jack-o-lantern to slow the oxidation process which makes pumpkins shrivel.
Wiping down the inside of your pumpkin with lemon juice helps keeps bugs away and keeps it from spoiling.
Pumpkin carving at Halloween is something our family looks forward to every year. It has become an easy and fun fall tradition. Maybe it will become yours, too!