Pumpkins are such an iconic symbol for Halloween that they might as well be synonymous with the holiday.
They're one of the first things we buy when fall comes, and it's a creative way for us to decorate for Halloween.
Create impressive Halloween pumpkins to decorate your home with our four easy tips. If you've followed our helpful advice, we're sure you've been able to create a masterpiece of jack o' lanterns for your yard and spook and delight your guests!
Picking the Right Pumpkin
Before you can carve a pumpkin you have to pick one! Here are the two big things to consider when you're picking one out.
Too small and your pumpkin will be impossible to carve; too large and the skin will be too thick to cut through! Pick average sized pumpkins that are about 1 foot tall for ideal carving.
You can still choose a variety of shapes to add character to your pumpkins, but more oblong, oval-shaped pumpkins are the easiest to carve faces on.
Tools You Need to Carve a Pumpkin Properly
Once you have the right pumpkin, you"ll need the right carving tools for success. We're fans of this all-inclusive carving kit by PumpkinMasters.com.
You can find these almost anywhere, but pick one that includes the scraper, carver and designs you can use on the pumpkin. Here are two tools you won't want to go without for sure!
Forget the old-school method of using a spoon; craft stores and supermarkets (and even many pumpkin patches!) sell sturdy plastic scoopers that will make the unpleasant job of gutting the pumpkin much easier.
A trick to easy carving is to pick the side of the pumpkin you want to carve and use the scraper to scrape down the skin of the pumpkin so its much thinner. This will allow you to carve quickly and easily since you dont have to cut through thick skin.
For the actual carving, dont use a knife - kitchen knives are too sharp and dangerous, and silverware knives are too dull and clumsy. As with the scooper, pick up a carving tool at the store - its a thin, small serrated blade attached to a plastic handle.
The small blade lets you go wild with the details and the serrated blade cuts the pumpkin easily.
How to Carve a Pumpkin Best
Having the correct carving tools is half the battle. Choosing what to carve is the other half!
Go online and find Halloween shapes you like: Scary faces, a cat, a witch hat, candy corn, etc. All you have to do is print the image out ona single sheet of paper and enlarge to the size you'd like it to be on the pumpkin.
Connect the Dots
Then, tape the sheet of paper into place on the face of the pumpkin. Using a knitting needle or metal skewer, poke small holes along the lines of the drawing so it leaves behind a dotted line of the picture on the pumpkin.
Finally, carve out the pieces using your little carving tool. Voila! You have an impressive pumpkin.
Pumpkin Decorating Idea for Kids
If you have young kids or don't want to use the carving tool, paint your pumpkins instead!
If you're using paint or paint pens, draw the design onto the pumpkin first using a pencil, and then paint or color over the lines. It's a foolproof way to ensure your finished design looks great!
It's best to use an acrylic paint and avoid all water-based paint like watercolor or tempra - if the latter two get wet or dewy, your pretty paint job will run and be ruined.
Another fun option is to use permanent marker art pens. These come in a rainbow of colors and are easier to use than a paintbrush! If you've followed our helpful advice, we're sure you've been able to create a masterpiece of jack o' lanterns for your yard and spook and delight your guests!
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