If you haven’t yet carved your jack-o-lantern for the season, this weekend is the perfect (and, well, last) opportunity for you to express your artistic abilities before Halloween! I don’t recall much about pumpkin carving as a kid other than I liked to use a pencil to draw my shapes, and my dad was in charge of the carving knife. Fast forward to last year when I carved my very own pumpkin for the very first time. All by myself. It was quite fun. The hubster, who has carved pumpkins for years, went at his like a pro and it was a lovely way to celebrate Halloween (especially because we had nary a trick-or-treater in our midst). Following are a few tips that the hubster and I recommend for carving jack-o-lanterns with ease:

  • Before the fun gets started, wipe your pumpkin so that it’s dirt-free. It’s okay to be thrilled about this.
  • Jack-o-lantern carving is messy fun. Plan on carving outside on a sunny day, or put plenty of newspaper on the table or floor so clean-up is minimal.
  • When cutting the top off, cut at a slight angle to prevent it from falling into the pumpkin.
  • Use the biggest spoon you own to scoop out the insides of your pumpkin.
  • To separate the seeds from the pulp, put the pulp with seeds into a sink full of cold water. The seeds will float to the top, and your hands can help with the process. Dry your seeds and then plan on roasting some pumpkin seeds.
  • It’s easiest to draw on a pumpkin using a felt marker.
  • Express caution when carving. Be familiar with the knife you’re using and be sure you can control it with ease. If your hands are slippery, a dish towel will be a helpful item to have nearby.

Wishing you and yours a very happy Halloween!

* Photo by Logistically Leah

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