All October posts are part of the Countdown to Halloween!
“How do we carve pumpkins?” My friend Nyssa messaged me this question in early October – and with good reason. She and her husband are NYC transplants originally from Melbourne, Australia. Nyssa and I became Internet friends more than a decade ago thanks to loving a band, and for as long as I can remember she’s celebrated Halloween.
For you U.S. friends who might not be aware…Halloween isn’t quite a THING in the rest of the world like it is here. So the fact that Nyssa celebrates is super fun to me.
This is her first Halloween season in the U.S., and she and her husband wanted to do it up right! So she asked the expert (her words – I’m flattered!) for pumpkin carving advice.
Since we are in prime pumpkin carving season and as your resident pumpkin guts lover, I thought I’d share a few of my tips with you.
Here’s my 7 tips for carving pumpkins:
Look for a good stem
If it’s extra long or curvy, you get bonus points. Not only does this add character to your jack, it also makes it a heck of a lot easier to open the lid.
Pick one that sits steady
When you think you’ve found the perfect pumpkin, take it to a flat spot and make sure it sits steady. Nothing is worse than getting your precious pumpkin home only to discover it’ll roll away as soon as you light it up for the evening.
Don’t pick a perfect pumpkin
I mentioned the other day that Halloween is a holiday for misfits and weirdos. Don’t let your pumpkin be the exception! It might sound silly and a little too Linus-in-the-great-pumpkin-y, but I look for a pumpkin that “speaks” to me rather than hunting down one that is perfectly round. Look for a jack with a little character!
Never ever buy those pumpkin carving kits
They are crap and will break. You don’t need any special tools for pumpkin carving – you have everything you need in your kitchen! I use sharp knives right out of my drawer and metal spoons for cleaning out the pulp.
Of course, if you’re carving with kiddos please use tools appropriate for their abilities or carve for them. Not trying to send anyone to the hospital here!
Practice your face or design on paper
I can still remember my mom and dad drawing practice faces on the newspaper we laid down for pumpkin carving when I was a kid. It’s something I still do to this day – it helps me perfect my design before I put in on the pumpkin.
When I am ready to draw it on the pumpkin, I use a pencil. It doesn’t leave behind lines like a permanent marker will, and it helps make a slight indention to get your carving started.
Cut your lid at an angle
When you’re ready to open up your jack, insert the knife at an angle rather than straight up and down. This way, your lid won’t fall into the pumpkin!
Use a real candle
Look, I get the safety concerns around an open flame, and I’m certainly not suggesting you put your home or well-being at risk. But if you are monitoring your jack, use a real candle. It’s just so much more fun when that face is flickering at you from a real flame. #halloweenpurist
Looking for some creative ideas for your pumpkin carving this year? I’ve got plenty right here on Pinterest, including a ton of no-carve ideas if that’s more your style!
If you’re looking for some simple templates you can download, check out this post from Personal Creations.
Or subvert all expectations and try out this super cute pumpkin cooler with instructions from fix.com!
Source: Fix.com Blog
What’s your best pumpkin carving tip?
I love hearing your suggestions, so tell me what tip I left off the list in the comments!
And don’t forget, there’s just one day left in my final giveaway before Halloween, and my How to Plan a Killer Halloween Party e-course is only available for six more days before it disappears until 2017! Check out both before you leave.
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