To continue with my fall theme, I decided to talk about how to carve a pumpkin. Now, I know right now you’re thinking, I know how to carve a pumpkin, everybody does! But I’m here to tell you there’s always more to learn! So, to be honest, this post should really be called How to be a Master Pumpkin Carver!
I’ve been carving pumpkins ever since I was little, and it’s always been one of my favorite things to do. Carving pumpkins is really an art form. You have to understand the concept of negative and positives, and figure out how to create a design that still follows the laws of carving. Unfortunately, since getting a pumpkin and everything is a little hard, I can’t include my own video this time, but click the link at the bottom to see one and I’ll do my best to explain it:
Step 1: Choose your pumpkin
You can find a pumpkin almost anywhere at this time of year. Go to a nearby farm or grocery store and you’ll be sure to see some. Pick a pumpkin that isn’t too dark an orange (this means it’s probably under ripe and very hard to carve), or too yellowish (it’s overripe and will be squishy and will rot faster). Also, look for a pumpkin with a good amount of space somewhere on it’s side to carve something. Don’t get one that’s too big, unless you’re willing to pay a lot of money for it. Once you’ve got one, bring it home! Note: If you don’t already have them, buy some pumpkin carving knives and a book of designs.
When cutting off the top, I recommend making it zig-zaged, as this will make it easier to put it back on. Also, circular ones tend to shrink and fall into the pumpkin later on. Use a big, metal spoon to take out the pumpkin guts and scrape against the insides to clean it out as much as possible. It’s messy work, but the better you clean it out, the longer the pumpkin will last, the nicer it will look and the fewer flies you’ll find inside it.
Although carving your own pumpkin can be fun, I really enjoy using designs because they tend to be a lot more fun. Also, it’s really hard sometimes to come up with your own. Choose a design from your design book and, if possible, make a copy and print it so you can re-use the design later. Then, attach it to the front o your pumpkin with tape and use a poking tool (they often come in the pumpkin carving kits) to poke holes along the lines of the design. When you’re done, take off the paper! Note: If your pumpkin is too small to fit the design, there’s often an option on your printer to copy the design and then reduce the size.
Step 4: Carve the design
Make sure to keep your poked design in front of you as a reference as you do this. Choose a bigger carving knife for the larger sections and a smaller one for the detailed parts. Make sure not to bend the knives; they break easily. If you’re carving a particularly large section, cut it out in pieces. If you can’t get small pieces out, use the poker you used before to stab them and pull them out that way.
Step 5: Light up with a candle and enjoy!
Copy and paste this link into your browser to see a how to video: