Did you know there are master pumpkin carvers? I had no idea until I saw a snippet of a show on the Food Network. Artists who take days to carve intricate designs and faces into the flesh of pumpkins, akin to a wood carver slowly shaving off thin pieces of wood at a time.
I am no artist my any means. I don’t even know that I could make my own design to carve into a pumpkin. But I have picked up a few tips over the years through trial and error.
- Start with a template
- Google is my favorite place for finding a template to print out. As long as you attach “carving template” to your subject of choice, you should be able to find plenty of options to choose from.
- Some ideas include Disney Characters, Marvel or DC Comic characters, or silly faces.
- Two ways to transfer the template: you can cut the pattern out and trace it onto the pumpkin, or you can use a hole-punching tool to outline the pattern onto the pumpkin. Use a serrated knife for best results.
- The simpler, the better.
- If you have too many lines, you could end up with a giant hole in a pumpkin because you cut the wrong one.
- If you are the official carver, the novelty may wear off long before you are finished.
- Prepare to get messy.
- If you plan on letting the kids help, especially the younger ones, let them scoop out the pumpkin guts. It will wear them out instead of you.
- Save the seeds to roast for a snack another day.
- Thin the side of the pumpkin you plan to carve on.
- You don’t have to thin the whole pumpkin, but if you focus on the side you plan on putting your design, it will make the carving easier.
- Be careful not to thin it too much, especially if there is a lot of detail.
- Oil down the inside of the pumpkin – this helps to slow down the rotting.
- Have candles (or lights) already out.
- There’s nothing like finally finishing the carving only to spend another 30 minutes looking for those tea lights you misplaced.
- Take pictures – you can keep track of your improvements over the years.
Do you have any tips on carving? I’d love to hear them, so leave a comment below! Happy Carving!
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