By: Ashley Lamb
Pumpkin carving: a staple tradition of the Halloween season. You decide that this is the year you’re going to participate in the art of carving those silly yet spooky pumpkins. The glowing faces of jack-o-lanterns are sure to welcome any trick-or-treaters that come up to your door. Or better yet, you can showcase them at the Chadds Ford Carving Festival taking place on October 19th, 20th, and 21st. However, there’s one problem preventing you from reaching your pumpkin potential: you don’t know where to start. This article will help guide you through the process of carving the perfect jack-o-lantern.
The first step, and perhaps one of the most important, is to find a good pumpkin. It’s the base of what makes your pumpkin look good. The definition of a perfect pumpkin varies depending on what you’re going for. However, my general recommendations would be to get one that:
- Isn’t lopsided, lumpy, or bruised
- Has a strong stem
- Is flat on the bottom so it won’t tip or roll
After selecting your pumpkin, your next step is to get carving tools. You can get a good set on Amazon with various sizes and varieties used for different types of pumpkin carving. However, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy; a simple knife and something to scoop with will do fine.
A good pumpkin carver would also make sure to sketch their idea before digging into the pumpkin. If you’re feeling confident, you can use a Sharpie or dry-erase marker to draw straight onto the pumpkin. If you’re not, you can sketch out your design on a piece of paper first, and then redraw it on your pumpkin once your design is final. A classic pumpkin generally has three triangle shapes for both the eyes and the nose. It also has a smiling mouth with indents for the teeth. You can use the picture below for a reference if needed. Or, you can get creative with your design and do something else.
Once you have your design, you can finally begin digging in. You must remove all the pumpkin goop and seeds from the inside, so you’ll need to cut an opening. You can cut your pumpkin open from either the top or the bottom. Either way, I’d recommend cutting it at a slight slant. This is so that the top can sit back on the pumpkin and not fall through. With your scooper, make sure to scrape all the pumpkin inside out so you can have a good, clean-looking pumpkin.
Next, using your knife, you can cut into your design. Follow your sketch and make sure to push the knife all the way through. After cutting each shape, you can pop out the piece of pumpkin that you had cut. It’s okay to make changes to your design along the way as well. You also want to add a flameless candle to the inside of your pumpkin so that it will glow. After this, your perfect pumpkin will be complete. Happy carving!