So we’ve donned the must-have hunters and dug out the woolly hat to go on the annual pumpkin pick. We’ve glugged down the obligatory pumpkin spiced latte, that none of us really like and now we’ve got to carve the damn thing into a work of art and the pressure is on!
After our sad effort we’ve done the research (if only we had done this before!) and collated the ultimate guide to pumpkin carving. And if that's not enough there is a link below to a site with free printable Halloween pumpkin carving stencil templates!
Choose a healthy pumpkin: Avoid those with soft spots, bruises, mould & cuts. The greener the stem the better - they will last for longer, and don’t forget, a flat bottom will help when displaying.
Get the right tools for the job: Plenty of places, including the local supermarket now sell pumpkin carving sets but sometimes all you need is a knife for the cutting and carving and a spoon for emptying the inside.
The messy bit: Cut off the crown of the pumpkin at a 45 degree angle, this ensures the lid doesn’t fall into the pumpkin. Completely remove the seeds and fibres plus some of the flesh.
Keep it clean: Away from the children - clean and soak your pumpkin with water and bleach (1 teaspoon of bleach to 1 pint of water). Leave it to dry in a cool and ventilated area (not outside). This kills bacteria and prevents the pumpkin from growing mould too quickly.
The creative part: Pick a design. Attach it to your pumpkin with tape and draw around it with a markie pen.
Keep it fresh: Apparently if you apply Vaseline around the carved edges as well as inside it will help your pumpkin last longer. You could also use WD-40, vegetable or olive oil.
Light it up: All that is left to do is light it up - pop a tea light inside your pumpkin, light it and replace the crown. Alternatively you can add a string of fairy lights - the ones that you can pick up cheaply for a £1 and normally need batteries.
Here’s the link to the site we found that has a great selection of free printable templates:
Not a fan of carving? Paint it! You can try free hand or use a stencil to reveal your design.
Table decoration: We’ve seen some beautiful table decorations where the pumpkin has been used as a vase (or a vase has been put inside the pumpkin) for a autumn floral decoration.