How to Carve a Cool Pumpkin for Halloween

Pumpkin carving tips

Photo courtesy of Maniac Pumpkin Carvers

Unless you’ve been living under rock, you’re probably well aware that Halloween is knocking at the door. With that being said, if you haven’t already carved your pumpkin, you better get to it. Rather than rolling out the same old design, we’ve shared a list of tips for carving a better Jack O’Lantern, courtesy of Erin McCarthy for Mental Floss, below. Happy Halloween!

  1. Get a Pumpkin with a Stem: McCarthy says a pumpkin without a stem has probably been handled a lot. To ensure you get a fresh pumpkin, look for one with a green stem. The greener the stem the better. Also, a thick stem means thicker walls, which makes the pumpkin better for carving. McCarthy recommends avoiding pumpkins with blemishes, soft spots, or bugs.
  2. Don’t Miss a Weirdly-Shaped Pumpkin: Pumpkins come in many different shapes and sizes. Awkward pumpkins can inspire unique designs, McCarthy writes.
  3. Have a Plan: Before making a cut, have a plan for what you want to do, writes McCarthy. You can print out some inspirational images and then draw the design with a pen on the pumpkin. Next? Carve away!
  4. Wait to Carve – But Work Fast Once You Start: You can buy the pumpkin whenever you want, but wait until you want to display it before carving, writes McCarthy. Pumpkins are perishable so once cut into it, it starts to decompose. At home, carve it within 2-3 days of displaying just to be safe.
  5. Keep a Water Bottle Handy: Pumpkins lose a lot of moisture so it helps to constantly spray it to keep it wet and workable, writes McCarthy.
  6. Think Beyond the Typical Pumpkin Carving Kit: McCarthy writes that professionals use whatever it takes to get the job done, including paring knives, lemon zesters, rasps, Exacto knives, saws, and clay sculpting tools. For scooping, the little orange spoons in pumpkin carving kits will work but you can also use big, wide spoons as well.

To read the rest of McCarthy’s pumpkin carving tips, click here.

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Pumpkins are just one part of your decor for Halloween. Whether it’s for personal amusement or you’re throwing a party, you can find Halloween party rentals for your spooky Halloween party through Rent It Today.