How to Carve a Pumpkin
Carving pumpkins is a classic Halloween activity. Families and friends can come together to create amazing scenes and faces out of pumpkin while enjoying each others company in a family friendly environment. The creations from pumpkin carving can be fun Jack-o'-lanterns or they can be complex Halloween scenes.
The first step in pumpkin carving is to choose the perfect pumpkin. What type of pumpkin you want depends greatly on the type of carving you plan on doing. If you want to create a face you can use almost any shape of pumpkin. Sometimes long skinny pumpkins work best for your face, other times large round pumpkins are great. If you instead would like to create a complex scene, you need to select a pumpkin that has a large enough surface that isn't too irregular to carve your scene on.
After choosing your pumpkin you will need to make sure you have all of the right carving tools. You always need to have a small saw to cut through the top of the pumpkin and carve any face shapes, as well as a large spoon to scrape out the insides of the pumpkin. If you are really into pumpkin carving you can find a wide variety of tool kits specifically designed for the purpose. These kits include scraping tools, small saws for precision carving, punches, and even little tools that can scrape off the rind of the pumpkin, while leaving the flesh below. The little rind scraping tools can create an interesting effect where you can see the light through the exposed flesh of the pumpkin.
If you decide to invest in a carving tool kit you will likely get certain templates with your kit. If you already have the tools for carving and you would like to find some inspiration for your pumpkin carving you can find a wide selection of templates and examples of carved pumpkins online. You can use these as inspiration to create your own amazing pumpkin, or you can even print out templates to follow while you carve.
Now that you have the pumpkin, the tools, and perhaps a template, it is time to start carving. First, lay down a thick layer of newspapers on your carving surface, this will make clean up much easier. Next find a large bowl to place all of the pumpkin scrapings and scraps in. Now you are ready to start carving.
First, use a saw to cut out the top, around the stem of the pumpkin, so you can reach inside. You can cut the top of the pumpkin round, or you can cut a notch in it so it's simpler to remember how the top and the pumpkin fit together. Once your top is off, reach inside with a large spoon and scrape out all of the seeds and slimy insides of the pumpkin. You will need to scrape all of the insides off of the walls of the pumpkin. You can save the seeds to toast if you would like, or you can compost or throw away these part of the pumpkin.
When all of the insides are scraped out and the inside of your pumpkin looks clean, you are ready to start carving. If you wish you can use a pen to draw your pattern onto the pumpkin so its easier to carve or you can freehand your design. The most important part of pumpkin carving is to be creative and have fun.
After your pumpkin is carved it is time to put it outside and light it. You can use actual candles inside your pumpkin, which gives it the spooky, flickering quality that is best on Halloween. You can also use the mock candles that are battery powered rather than actually on fire.
Finally, on Halloween night your fantastic pumpkin creations will amaze all of the trick-or-treaters that stop by your house. Hopefully, you have fun carving pumpkins with all of your favorite people and sharing your creation with the world.