But then I married my husband and found out that pumpkin carving can be serious business…
I loved this headless horseman from last year.
I asked my husband to share some of his favorite pumpkin carving tips just in time for Halloween. And here’s what he had to say:
- Cut the circle out of the bottom of the pumpkin when hollowing it out. It’s much easier to light the candle that way. Yes we still use candles.
- Thin the side of the pumpkin you will be carving by scraping it with a metal spoon. He tries to thin it to about 3/4 inch thickness. If you thin the surface too much the pumpkin will be weak and prone to breaking. Leaving it too thick makes it hard to carve an intricate design.
- It’s my job to stipple the design onto each pumpkin before carving. I like to attach the design with masking tape, it sticks better than Scotch tape.
- There are lots of free resources to find templates online… I love the ones from Martha Stewart. There are also a few site that provide wonderful patterns for a fee. You can also draw a picture or find a scary scene and make your own template.
- Always carve the most intricate areas first.
- After carving, save your pumpkins in a tub of cold water (even throw in a few ice cubes) to keep them fresh for Halloween night. This helps rehydrate the pumpkin so it doesn’t get shriveled and allows you to carve a day or two ahead of time.
- If you have a very intricate design, and need your pumpkin to last you can even coat the carved area with Vaseline to seal in the moisture.
- And of course, save your seeds and toast them! Yum!