Thursday, October 18, 2018

How To Carve a Pumpkin

It’s October, and everyone knows what that means: Halloween! As soon as this month starts scary costumes and makeup start flooding stores, and all you can see everywhere are scary (at times too graphic) Halloween decorations.

So we decided why you should stay behind? There is no reason for you not to take part in the Halloween spirit. While we know that you may not want to invest a lot in Halloween decorations, there is no harm in making some on your own.

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when we say, Halloween, or even fall? Pumpkins, right?

PICKING OUT THE RIGHT PUMPKIN

The first step for carving a pumpkin is picking out the right pumpkin in the first place. It is best to shop at a local produce shop, farm or a supermarket that may be offering such pumpkins for sale. Try not to buy those pumpkins that have been shipped from distant areas as they might have bruises on them, and your decorations may get spoiled in a short period of time, which is not something you want! It is best to use mature pumpkins, and the way to identify a mature pumpkin is by pressing your fingernail lightly into its skin: if the pumpkins skin is punctured, it is not yet mature enough. Before you start carving, remember to wash the pumpkin really well to get rid of any germs that might be on the skin as you don’t want them getting on your hands!



 

THE TOOLS YOU’LL NEED

Other than a large mature pumpkin, you’ll need a few more tools actually to carve the pumpkin properly. You’ll need a serrated knife (for bigger cuts) or a long-handled knife, a small ice cream scoop, a smaller knife for more delicate cuts, an apple corer (for making holes), tiny saws and an awl. Don’t worry if you don’t know what these tools are; you don’t necessarily need all of them, this is just a general list of tools needed for carving pumpkins. If you are doing this for the first time and don’t want to buy all these new blades, the bare minimum you need is:

  • A long-handled knife
  • An apple corer
  • A small, sharp blad


NOTE: It is best if you don’t involve children in this process, especially if you are not using safe tools. As much as the kids might want to participate in this fun activity, it is best they are kept away!

CARVING YOUR PUMPKIN STEP BY STEP

CUT THE LID: Draw a hole around the stem of the pumpkin, the whole should be big enough for your hand to fit through easily. Cut out this hole

SCOOP OUT THE CONTENTS: You do not want your pumpkin to go bad in a short period of time, so use a small ice cream scoop to empty the pumpkin completely. Then use a napkin to dry out the inside of the pumpkin completely.

DRAW THE DESIGN YOU WANT: Draw, using a black felt tip marker, the design that you want on your pumpkin. You can even easily use design templates available online. Just make it as scary as you can!

CUTTING OUT THE DESIGN: Use a small, sharp knife to cut out the details of your design. Make sure to make deep cuts, to keep the cutting as neat as possible, and wherever you need to make a circle cut (such as for the eyes), use the apple corer.

MAKE YOUR LANTERN SHINE: Once you keep you cut and carve your pumpkin, all you need to do it make sure it is nice and shiny and appears polished. You can use normal household cleaners, but the best thing to do is to soak the pumpkin (after cutting) overnight in a tub of water, in which borax is dissolved (one tablespoon of borax per gallon).




ILLUMINATING YOUR PUMPKIN

To give a creepy effect your pumpkin, you can illuminate in a number of different ways. For the scariest effect, use tea light candles that are operated by batteries, or ordinary candles in a glass case to prevent them from blowing out. You can also use strands of fairy lights placed inside the pumpkin, to make them glow from inside.


TAKE CARE!


Be careful while using sharp knives, and keep children away from this process!

Make sure that if you use candles, you take proper measures to ensure that the flame remains under control.

Take care not to waste the pumpkin seeds, and roast them and consume them as they are rich in protein.

Pumpkin carving is perhaps the best DIY activity for Halloween and the fall season in general. Don’t miss out on all the fun you can have carving pumpkins, and let your inner artist loose, and be creative with your carving and decorating this fall!