Top 10 pumpkin carving tips

Make your pumpkin stand out from the crowd with our top ten pumpkin carving tips. With fearsome faces and coloured lights, these scary squashes will impress all trick-or-treaters.

Because, however you choose to celebrate the 31st of October, there is one tradition that will always beat other festivities. Pumpkins are a staple of Halloween, but how will you make yours stand out?

Here are our top ten pumpkin carving tips for giving your pumpkin a touch of magic.

1. Choose your pumpkin wisely

Pick a pumpkin that’s undamaged, with a sturdy stem, no bruises, and a flat bottom so it won’t roll while you carve. Remember to always be imaginative, for example the lines on the skin could form witch’s wrinkles?

2. Wipe your pumpkins to keep from rotting

Before carving your pumpkin, wipe down the outside with a diluted bleach solution, this will remove microbes that cause decay and will ultimately stop your pumpkin from rotting.

3. Cut from the bottom, not from the top

There are many pros’ to cutting the lid from the bottom of the pumpkin. Firstly, you can maintain the pretty pumpkin shape and prevent the pumpkin sides from caving in later. Also, a lot of pumpkin guts settles at the bottom over time, so when you remove the opening, much of the pulp and seeds will come out, making it much easier to clean.

4. Clean out the insides

Use a large metal serving spoon or an ice cream scoop to scrape the insides. Thin the inner wall of the ‘face’ areas to 1 inch think, so it will be easier to pierce the shell.

5. Use a template to perfect your spooky design

When designing anything, it’s always a good idea to plan out your design before jumping in. Print out or draw the pattern on a piece of paper. Secure your chosen template to the front of your pumpkin, then carefully trace the image by poking holes along the lines. Once finished, remove the template and carve.

6 Use your scraps creatively

Make a tongue, pipe, or hair accessories out of discarded piece of pumpkin shell.

7. Paint your pumpkins instead

Painting your pumpkins can work wonderfully, especially if you want to keep little hands away from sharp objects. They’ll look great in the daytime, either paint a design over the whole pumpkin, or use paint to add accents to an already carved squash.

8. Use everyday items to bring your pumpkin to life

Create a face from nuts and bolts, use white reflective tape as bandages or simply chop of the top and add some colourful flowers for your own spooky vase.

9. Make your pumpkin shine from the inside out

Use multi-coloured Christmas lights to add a new dimension to simple styles, or try using a red bicycle light, set to flash, for a really sinister touch.

10. Funny faces and ghoulish grins not your thing?

Try making simple shapes like stars or spooky creatures with cookie cutters, or drill bits to add polka dots for a more grown up pumpkin.

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