Oct 16, 2023

Halloween simply wouldn’t be the same without iconic jack-o’-lanterns grinning from the porches and windows of homes. Pumpkin carving is a popular tradition that allows kids and adults alike to get creative and express their spooky side. If you’re tired of the same old triangular eyes and jagged mouth, though, it may be time to take your carving game to the next level.
In this blog, we have compiled some of the best tips to help you create unique jack-o’-lanterns that will leave your neighbors and trick-or-treaters in awe.
Carve from the bottom
Do you ever have problems getting your candle to stand up inside your pumpkin? Well, try carving your pumpkin from the bottom instead of the top. Simply cut out a circle from the bottom and throw it away for good. Your candle will then sit flat on the ground, with the pumpkin surrounding it. This tip will also make scooping easier, as gravity will cause much of the pumpkin guts to fall out the bottom hole. Keep in mind, though, that without the top hole for ventilation, you will not want to burn a candle longer than 30 minutes.
Use stencils
         Stencils are a great way to carve more intricate designs and ensure you don’t cut in the wrong place. There are numerous free stencils online that you can print off and use. To keep your stencil from slipping around, try taping the edges to your pumpkin while you trace the design. Also, instead of using a permanent marker, trace your lines with a dry-erase marker instead in case you make a mistake. After all, it’s easy to slip up on a pumpkin’s slick, uneven surface.
Incorporate craft supplies
         Don’t limit yourself to only using the pumpkin as you plan your jack-o’-lantern. Pull out your box of craft supplies and incorporate them into the design. For example, black pipe cleaners can be used to turn your pumpkin into a long-legged spider, yarn can be used as hair, or paint can give your pumpkin an artistic flair. The sky is the limit here, so be creative!
Use power tools
         Whether you’re wanting to save some time or are just not a big fan of knives, using power tools can make pumpkin carving a breeze. Drill beautiful patterns of light into your pumpkin, following the lines of your stencil or free styling it. For a little extra flair, you can even string Christmas lights or fairy lights through the holes to really make your pumpkin explode with radiance.
Fix mistakes with toothpicks
         If you accidentally cut off a piece of your pumpkin that you didn’t mean to, don’t worry. Simply use toothpicks to stick it right back on. You can even use this method to get creative with your design. For example, save some of your carved scraps to create 3D pumpkin features such as eyes, eyebrows, ears, or mustaches!
Preserve your pumpkin
         Once you break the skin of your pumpkin, it will start to rot within a few days. If you want it to be fresh for Halloween, consider waiting until just a couple days before the holiday to start carving. If you’re too anxious to wait that long, coat all cut surfaces with a bit of petroleum jelly, even the scooped-out inside. The petroleum jelly will seal in the pumpkin’s moisture and slow the dehydration process.
         By following these pumpkin carving tips, you will be well on your way to becoming a jack-o’-lantern master. Just remember to be creative, have fun, and enjoy the process of transforming an ordinary pumpkin into a Halloween work of art.
Several of our store locations offer pumpkins this year. Please give us a call before you head that way to confirm availability. Maybe you’re even interested in growing your own pumpkins for next year — we can help with that too! Find the nearest store location here.
For more content like this, check out the latest issue of The Cooperator.

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