Pumpkin Carving – Halloween Inspiration
The spookiest night of the year is just around the corner, and a certain vegetable has started to take over the supermarket isles. Pumpkin carving is a super family activity, fun for all ages and a chance for everyone to get creative (and maybe a little competitive!). We don’t know about you, but we’re already dreaming up designs to ensure we have the most perfect pumpkin possible, ready for the festivities. We’ve put together five simple steps to get you started, along with a little inspiration to take yours to the next level…
The pumpkin fun can begin a few days before Halloween with the selection. Choose wisely. If you’d like to keep things simple, choose a large ripe pumpkin with a nice smooth surface suitable for carving. Children will enjoy hunting for weird and wonderful shapes for their creations so let their imaginations run wild. Opt for a variety of sizes, colours and types of pumpkin (not forgetting gourds and squash) to mix up in a really interesting display.
When you’ve got them home, start by cutting off the tops of the pumpkins with a large serrated knife. Scoop out the insides using a large serving spoon – this is a great job for the children or grandchildren. Don’t forget to save the insides as there are lots of delicious autumnal pumpkin-based recipes to try out afterwards.
Now it’s time to get creative. If your decoration is fairly simple, use a marker pen (something more complex may require a pencil or fine liner) to outline your design on to your pumpkin. Don’t forget to carry your design right the way around the pumpkin for extra impact later when you’ve added light. A traditional spooky face always goes down well, but if you want a little originality you could choose a midnight scene or an intricate geometric pattern. Pinterest is a great place to seek inspiration. If you’re feeling artistic, try downloading a stencil on the internet, which you can place over the pumpkin and use as a guide.
The cutting. Follow the pen or stencil lines very precisely, taking your time and remembering to cut away from your body. You might also like to try painting onto pumpkins so little hands can join in the fun too! Step back, admire your work and pop a small tea light or torch in the bottom to light it up, adding a little extra spook. If you’re sticking decorations on to your pumpkin go for a battery operated tea-light, a safer and transportable option that will still provide a flicker and a touch of magic.
After admiring your own handy work, why not show off your designs with the rest of your town or village as well as getting ideas for next year, at a Pumpkin Trail. They take place all over the country, so find your nearest, wrap up warm and take your creations on tour. After all the excitement, come back to a cosy home and settle down with a warm bowl of pumpkin soup or a steamy hot chocolate and enjoy it in your soft and snuggly sofa.