With Halloween right around the corner, now is the time to carve a pumpkin into the perfect Jack-O-Lantern to display by your front door! Here are some basic instructions, as well as a few tips and tricks to getting your pumpkin looking just right.
Large serrated knife
Pumpkin carving kit from the store
- When you pick a pumpkin, make sure that it has at least one smooth, unblemished side to carve; the less than perfect sides can always be hidden against the wall or by some extra decorations.
- Cover your work area with newspaper to make cleaning up easier. Place your pumpkin on the newspaper and proceed to cut around the stem at an angle; be sure the hole will be big enough for your hand and candle to fit through! WARNING: If the hole isn’t cut at an angle, the stem will fall into the pumpkin and you won’t be able to cover the candle when you’re finished.
- Scoop out all the seeds and pumpkin guts, making sure to scrape the sides for any remaining strings. Don’t forget to do the same for the stem! TIP: You can toast the seeds for a snack while you work! Clean them up, spread them on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees. Add a bit of salt, cinnamon, or any other spice for a tasty and healthy fall treat!
- Once your pumpkin is clean, you’re ready to carve! TIP: You can either have a design drawn on paper and use a pin or small nail to transfer the outline onto the pumpkin in a connect-the-dots fashion or you can use a dry erase marker to draw your design directly on the pumpkin and simply erase anything that remains after you’ve finished carving.
- After you’re finished carving, it’s time to put a candle into the pumpkin and set it outside to show everyone how fabulous it looks!
There are so many creative designs for Jack-O-Lanterns; you’re limited only by your imagination. Sometimes the funny shaped pumpkins can make the best jack-o-lanterns! Be sure to stop by The Family Tree to pick up your perfect pumpkin before Halloween!