Last Sunday I shared tips and tricks to painting pumpkins, I only found it fitting to share my top ten tips for carving pumpkins this weekend!
Ten Tips for Pumpkin Carving
1. Don't cArve too early. A carved pumpkin will only last about 5 to 10 days max once you crave it open. I suggest the weekend before Halloween to make sure it is still fresh for your trick or treaters. Unless you like the spooky look of mold and rot.
2. Clean your pumpkin with bleach. To help your pumpkin last longer wipe the inside of your pumpkin with bleach wipes to minimize the number of mold spores and bacteria living in your pumpkin. These spores and organisms help increase the decomposition process, so the fewer the better.
3. Use a stencil. There is no shame in using a stencil, whether it is a stencil from the pumpkin carving kit or ones you found on Pinterest. Stencils are great to make sure you do not end up cutting off the witches nose or creating an abstract blob. Unless you want an abstract blob then you do you!
4. Use a Sharpie. If you dare to free hand your design, you should at the very least sketch out the design before cutting in. I wrote all about Sharpies and pumpkins last weekend HERE.
5. Take your time. Carving a pumpkin may take several hours so make sure you schedule enough time to enjoy the process. If you have plans to meet someone in an hour, it is not the time to carve a pumpkin. Recommend a slow evening or a lazy afternoon to set up your pumpkin craving shop. Any craft project is stressful when you have to rush, and craving is not any different.
6. Don't Stress. This goes along with taking your time and not rushing to finish. Pumpkin carving is or should be a fun time, to create new memories and share a laugh or two. Don't worry about having the perfect pumpkin and do not stress if you accidentally crave a side unevenly or cut off the witches arm. Enjoy the process and laugh the mistakes away!
7. Use a battery operated tea light. A little fire safety never hurts! With a battery operated lights, you will not have to worry about leaving the lights on all night on Halloween.
8. Make sure to flatten the bottom of the pumpkin. Whether you are using battery operated tea lights or a real candle, a flat bottom is important to make sure the light does not slide to one side of tip over.
9. Zigzag the lid of the pumpkin instead of a simple circle top. I have found that the irregular sizing of the zigzags makes it easier to line up the lid and the base of the pumpkins.
10. Don't waste the pumpkin seeds! Clean the seeds from the pumpkin guts and lay on a greased baking sheet, in one layer. Season the seeds with salt, pepper, and garlic, place in the oven at 425 degrees until toasted. A yummy snack!
Blessings from Birmingham!