Our favorite thing about Halloween is getting the creative juices flowing while carving a pumpkin. You may not know this, but the tradition of carving pumpkins for Halloween can be traced to ancient Irish cultures. This is where the term Jack-O-Lantern first originated. The Irish would carve vegetables, mostly turnips, and leave them on their doorstep during “All Hallows Eve” to ward off the spirit of “Stingy Jack,” an old Irish folk tale.
When the Irish began immigrating to America in the 1800’s they brought with them the tradition. It was in America that they discovered that pumpkins were much better for carving, and the tradition of carving pumpkins on Halloween has stuck ever since! With some inspiration from Taste Of Home, we’ve compiled a list of pumpkin carving tips sure to take your Halloween decorations to the next level.
Tools For The Task
When it comes to tools, we recommend keeping it simple. There’s no need for overspending on tools when this $7 kit from Pumpkin Masters will be more than sufficient.
Pro tip: If you only learn one thing from reading this post, remember this. Always start by carving open the bottom instead of the top. Why? When you pull the plug on the bottom, the seeds and innards will come out and the majority of your cleaning will be done.
Scoop It Out!
Use the metal spoon from your kit to scoop out the innards until the walls are approximately one inch thick. This step is super important if you are using a stencil.
Use sewing paper to create a pattern, then trace your design directly onto the face of the pumpkin that you are planning to carve. Use masking tape to secure your design and then trace it with a ballpoint pen making sure to use enough pressure so that your lines are visible for carving.
Patience Is A Virtue
Once you start, it’s not easy to stop the creativity from flowing, but you must show patience at this step. Sometimes it’s a good idea to step back and rest before tackling a difficult portion of your design. It also helps refresh your mind’s eye. You’ll be surprised what a good night’s rest can do for your creative spirit.
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This is certainly the most important tip of all. Halloween is supposed to be fun, so invite the family to join in. Throw on your favorite Halloween playlist and have some family fun!