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How to Carve a Terror-Ific Jack O' Lantern

Oct 09 2019
We’ve officially entered into the most bewitching and spookiest season of them all! With Halloween right around the corner, now is the time to take your jack o’ lanterns to the next level. 

Pumpkin carving is a really fun activity that showcases just how far your imagination can really go. Will you go for the classic triangular eyes and toothy grin? Something that reflects your personal interests? A reference to one of your favourite tv show or movie? Your favourite Maple Crest show home

Whatever design you land on, if you want your jack o’ lantern to look as good as what you’re picturing in your head, you need to know what goes into carving the perfect pumpkin. Here are some tips.

Looking for the Great Pumpkin

Your first step to carving a boo’tiful jack-o’-lantern starts with choosing the right pumpkin. You want to make sure that your pumpkin stays fresh for as long as possible and is easy to carve, so try to pick one that will rival that of the Great Pumpkin.

You’ll also want to choose a pumpkin that is even in color without any significant imperfections. Be sure to pick a pumpkin that is the ideal size for the design you want to carve on it. 

Prepare Your Pumpkin

Ideally, the best area to carve your pumpkin will be outside, depending on if it’s still warm out or not. However, this can still be done in the comfort of your kitchen or dining room. Wherever you are, make sure you have enough space to work in.

Get your tools ready. You can buy cheap pumpkin carving kits at most grocery and department stores, as well as online such as from Amazon. The tools that are included in kits tend to be safer to use when compared to the everyday kitchen knife. 

While you’re at it, be on the look out for templates and designs that you want to carve on your pumpkin. More on that below.

One of the most time-consuming parts of the pumpkin-carving process is removing all the pulp and seeds from the pumpkin. Pro Tip* Cut the pumpkin open from the bottom rather than the top, as the majority of the pulp and seeds will come rushing out since most of the inner pumpkin is attached to the bottom. Plus, it’s much easier to place the lighting from the bottom rather than reaching into the pumpkin from the top. 

Carve Your Spooktacular Masterpiece

It’s finally the time to bring your concept to reality. We mentioned earlier about templates and designs to look out for. If you’re having trouble finding a design, you can find plenty of free templates on the internet. 

Whether it’s a scary face, popular movie or TV characters, a logo, or even simple patterns like polka dots, the only limit to what you can carve is your ability to do so.

If you bought a template or if one came with your carving kit, tape the template on your pumpkin. Make sure the template is not loose and secured enough as you will be doing a lot of movements. Start by using the punching tool that came with your carving kit to poke the design into the skin of the pumpkin. Then, remove the template and make simple, rough cuts along the dotted lines you created. You can always go back and clean up the edges later.

Use a smaller knife to carve out the finer details. Remember to be mindful when dealing with any pieces that are thin or delicate. If you accidentally carve out a piece that you didn’t intend to, you can use a toothpick to stick it back on.

Show Off Your Creation!

The final step is deciding how you want to light your pumpkin. Candles are traditional way of lighting jack o’ lanterns but it’s also a pain to deal with burn out candles from the wind. LED tea lights or glow sticks are an easy and safe alternative. You can also find battery-operated lights specifically made for lighting jack-o’-lanterns.

Set your pumpkin out on your doorstep, light (or turn on) your candle and get ready for all the trick-or-treaters who are ready to marvel at your creation. Happy Halloween!