4 expert tips for carving a spooky pumpkin

September 14, 2016

Although it seems like common sense, we've all done it before: carved a pumpkin that turns out looking pathetic. If you want to carve a jack-o'-lantern that's unique and scary this Halloween, these tips will help you get some pretty impressive results.

4 expert tips for carving a spooky pumpkin

1. Choose a good pumpkin

Despite what you may believe, not all pumpkins are good carving pumpkins.

  • Select pumpkins that are tall, rather than wide, since tall pumpkins are more reminiscent of a facial shape.
  • Whether the pumpkin is wide or tall, choose one that has a flat surface so that you have plenty of room to carve an image.
  • To make the carving process easier, pick a pumpkin that also has a smooth surface without any blemishes.
  • Look for brown, mushy spots on the surface. They suggest the inside may be rotten – or just starting to rot – which makes carving more difficult if the pumpkin is soft.

2. Look down

Expert pumpkin carvers know that the easiest way to create an image on the surface of a pumpkin is to look down at it, instead of straight at it.

  • When it comes time to create the face or picture on the pumpkin, hold the pumpkin so that you can carve in a downward motion.
  • Using this angle allows you to apply the appropriate amount of pressure and ensures that you can see every detail of the carving.

3. Use the right tools

Although any kitchen knife can cut through a pumpkin, you'll want to buy tools made just for pumpkin carving.

  • Many companies produce knives and other cutters specifically designed for pumpkin carving.
  • Buy a pumpkin saw, scrapers, carving knives and pokers to help you create the best pumpkin carving.
  • These tools will help you clean out the pumpkin and will allow you to easily cut through the surface to make clean, straight cuts.

4. Cut slowly and gently

The best pumpkin carvers say the trick to getting clean lines and even cuts is to saw the pumpkin gently.

  • Pumpkin cutters are serrated saws, so don't try to make a straight cut through the pumpkin.
  • You'll find that the knife easily cuts through the surface if you move it back and forth like a saw.
  • Cutting with too much force can damage the pumpkin and going too fast can cause you to miss lines and curves of your image.

Carving a pumpkin with friends and family is all part of the fun of Halloween. With these tricks, your pumpkin will be the spookiest one on the block this year!

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