Carving a pumpkin for Halloween is easy and everyone in the family can help out. Parents and older children should be the only ones carving but the younger children can help scoop out the insides and choose or draw the design.
What You Need:
Pattern (either from a book or one you make)
Dry-erase marker or crayon
Carving tools or a sharp knife
Spoon or plastic ice cream scoop
Candle or battery-powered light
What to Do:
- Choose or create a design to carve into your pumpkin. You can make it as spooky or creative as you like. There are books, often sold with carving tools, filled with patterns you can use or you can find some patterns online. Doing this first will give you an idea of the size pumpkin needed as it will have to be big enough to fit the pattern.
- Pick out a pumpkin. When you pick out your pumpkin, choose the nicest and healthiest looking one, making sure it is ripe. It should be without bruises, nicks, and cuts. It is a good idea to choose a pumpkin with a long stem as this will be the handle on the lid.
- Wash the pumpkin off so that it stays healthy longer and allow it to dry completely.
- Put down newspaper on a flat surface. Measure about two inches down from the stem, this will be where you want to cut to make your lid. Carefully cut the lid out, being sure to angle the cuts towards the center so that your lid will be able to sit on the pumpkin without falling in. Remove the lid and scrape off excess filling on the underside to make the surface flat.
- Use a large spoon, plastic ice cream scoops work really well, to remove all of the filling and seeds from the inside of the pumpkin. The more that is scraped from the inside of your pumpkin the better to allow more light to shine though. Try to make sure the bottom of your pumpkin is as flat as possible so that your light will be able to stand easily and not fall over.
- Draw the design or face on the front of your pumpkin with either a dry erase markers or crayon. If you make a mistake you can just wipe off the marker or crayon and start over.
- Start to cut the shapes out of the pumpkin with a sharp knife or carving tool. Carving tools work the best, especially if you have small to cut out, and are readily available at most stores around Halloween. Using a back and forth motion, trace the design you’ve drawn. Take your time, make sure you cut all the way through the shell and remove the pieces you’ve cut as you go.
- When you’ve finished cutting out your pattern, place a candle or a LED (battery operated light) into the pumpkin and watch it glow. This will allow you to see where you may need to make some changes in your pattern.
- When you’re happy with your creation, replace the lid then place the pumpkin outside in the cool air, which will extend the life span of your pumpkin.