There’s no bigger Halloween tradition than carving the pumpkin. (Granted, kids may disagree.) Actually, this annual event goes back centuries here in the US, as Americans are believed to have started carving pumpkins in the 1800s, following European tradition.
Traditions aside, though, these gourds sure tend to be messy, and they also can be a challenge to maintain. So give yourself a treat: follow the 5 tips below to make your pumpkin-carving experience easier—and enjoy the holiday to the fullest!
Cut the hole in the bottom of your pumpkin instead of the top.
Ready to turn your pumpkin-carving experience upside down? Then consider cutting your hole in the bottom instead of the top. When you are ready for your pumpkin to light up the night, simply lift it up, place a lit candle on the ground, and then carefully put the pumpkin back over it. This method not only makes the design of your pumpkin look cleaner, but also makes candle lighting so much easier!
Use a metal ice cream scoop to scrape out the seeds.
If you’ve experienced the frustration of trying to get all the seeds and stringy mess out of your pumpkin, you’ve surely thought that there has to be an easier way. There is: use your metal ice cream scooper. It’s stronger and bigger than those plastic scoopers in pumpkin-carving kits, so you’ll get more done with less effort.
Draw your design using a dry-erase marker.
You use dry-erase markers in everyday life because of they are easy to use, right? So use them for Halloween preparation as well! Unlike other writing utensils, these markers won’t harm your pumpkin; and unlike permanent markers or pen ink, the ink from these markers can be removed quickly and effortlessly with and a simple baby wipe.
Use toothpicks for structural support when necessary.
If attempting to remove the seeds isn’t the most trying part of pumpkin carving, then accidentally cutting off part of your pumpkin is. When this happens, just reconnect the pieces with a toothpick, which is easy to conceal and will provide support to the connected pieces. (Bonus tip: Once you’re finished carving your pumpkin, rub plenty of Vaseline around the edges to keep it from drying out.)
Rub some ground cinnamon inside your pumpkin.
There are a few good reasons to add some spice to your pumpkin carving. First, it will add a strong scent of the season to your pumpkin with its wonderful autumn-like smell. In addition, if you’ve ever had trouble with critters like squirrels feasting on your Halloween pride and joy, then cinnamon may be your best friend, since its strong scent has been known to repel such animals.
Now that you have some ideas for how to maximize your pumpkin’s shelf life, have some fun with your pumpkin! Download one out of this trio of terrifying (OK, maybe not-so-terrifying) templates to make your pumpkin stand out this Halloween:
Why carve out the same old triangle-eyed, smiling pumpkin, when you can give your pumpkin tons of personality? Your kids will crack up at this fun face template, which features a goofy take on the traditional pumpkin face.
No critter says Halloween as much as the cat, so if you want to ditch the smiling pumpkin this year, this would be a great alternative. If you’re a fan of felines, this cool template of a cat with a full moon sets the tone for Halloween.
If you really want to be unique and have people gasp at your gourd, then this spider template is for you. It takes the silhouette of the creepy eight-legged creature and enhances it, so when you light up your pumpkin, it stands out from the crowd.
Halloween is always exciting because it’s the unofficial start of the end-of-year holidays. To get more ideas to use throughout the holiday season, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/holidays.