Carving Pumpkins for Halloween
Now is the time to consider about the great
pumpkin you'll be carving this Halloween.
As you know, Linus would wait all night
for the Great pumpkin, but I wouldn't take
a cue from Linus. I'd head directly to the
patch with the kids in tow. Once there,
after your children have moved, rolled and
lifted every pumpkin, you're probably in
for a patch-side discussion about the perfect
pumpkin. Whether you plan to decorate with
a row of small and medium-sized gourds or
a single huge one, be sure the pumpkin you
choose is able to rest on a flat surface.
If you can get a hugh
one home, half your battle is over.
In selecting the pumpkin, pass over any
with bruises, cracks or broken stems, because
they tend to rot quickly.
Now it is time to consider a plan for carving
your pumpkin. Should you carve a portrait
or the standard eyes, nose and mouth shape?
The Internet provides many different how-to
articles on carving a pumpkin for the skilled
at heart or for those who just want a simple
pattern. Today, you don't have to grab your
normal kitchen spoon and knife; the Internet
can provide you with a wide assortment of
pumpkin carving tools to assist in carving
Here are some basic steps in carving your
first pumpkin. Keep reading and I will tell
you where you can find out how to carve
a portrait pumpkin of your MOM. Now that's
Carving should be done no earlier than
a day or two before Halloween-jack-o'-lanterns
have short lives, unless you preserve your
Basic Carving Tips
your design on the pumpkin with a water-based
Out of the top, cut the
lid at an angle with a sharp, straight-edged
knife. This prevents the top from falling
into the pumpkin when it shrinks. Remove
seeds and pulp.
hold the knife in a stabbing position.
When carving, keep a portion
of the knife blade in the pumpkin and use
slow, steady saw strokes.
Carve the facial features
closest to the center first and work outward.
Cut out the larger features in sections.
carved portions by gently pushing them into
or out of the pumpkin.
Reattach a section that
is accidentally removed by using a toothpick
to pin it back in place.
Flatten a spot at the
base of the pumpkin for the candle, but
avoid digging too deep because the pumpkin
becomes prone to rot.
Basic Carving Patterns
Have you ever wondered how to carve a pumpkin
portrait? It really isn't that difficult.
Some companies protect the process like
a trade secret, but of course you can find
instructions on the Web. All you need is
photo of something scary like your Dad or
Mom, a scanner or a digital camera and software
from PhotoShop or Paintshop pro.
In my review of several homepages, I was
able to follow the provided steps and I
think I'll give a whirl this year. If you
decide to join me, be sure to read through
the instructions once or twice; then begin
carving and see what happens.
You can make a portrait of a two level
image or you can do a three level image.
A two level image is just like the basic
pumpkin. A three level image uses the skin
as level one, flesh with the skin removed
and reduced in thickness as level two, and
holes leading all the way through to the
center of the pumpkin as level three. These
links include instructions for carving both
kinds of jack-o-lantern:
Pumpkin Lady Patters
Pumpkin Carving Pro on the Net
If you would like to see what a large 800-pound
pumpkin looks like, you need to visit Shellie's
page. These are true works of art.
Most of these links provide additional
information about tools that can help you
in your carvings. Remember to bring your
porch pumpkin indoors on nights when the
temperature is expected to drop below freezing.