Pumpkin Carving 101, Decorating Ideas and More

(PCM)It’s October and that means it’s time to bring on the festive fall decorations! With just a few weeks left until Halloween, it’s the perfect time to start pumpkin picking! Plain pumpkins are wonderfully festive for the month of October, but as Halloween gets closer, why not go all out and carve them up, or better yet, bedazzle them!

Here are a few tips and ideas on how to add a little pizazz to your pumpkins, from carving to bedazzling!

How to carve the perfect pumpkin:

1. Clean the pumpkin by using a damp cloth or wetwipe. Make sure all the dirt is off and let it dry.

2. Cut the stem off the pumpkin at a 45 degree angle so that the top will fit back on top without falling through.

3. Use a large spoon or pumpkin scraper to scoop out the seeds and pulp from inside the pumpkin. Don’t forget to clean up the stem top too. Don’t throw away the seeds – separate them from the pulp and roast them in the oven with a little salt at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

4. Either draw a pattern with a permanent marker, or trace a stensil.  Zombiepumpkin.com is a great site where you can print some really unique patterns for a reasonable price.

5. Follow the pattern and cut all the way through the pumpkin with a knife or carving kit utensil if you have one. Invest in a good carving kit if you carve pumpkins every year – they aren’t too expensive and are safer to use, especially with kids.

6. Carefully remove the pieces by pushing them from the inside out, and clean up the edges the best you can.

7. Place a battery operated light or candle (in a holder!) inside the pumpkin, and that’s it!

More Tips and Ideas:

Throwing a Halloween party? Instead of using an ice bucket to keep drinks cold, use a pumpkin! Take a large, wide pumpkin, cut off the top third, and scrape out the pulp and seeds. Line the pumpkin with a glass or plastic bowl to keep it from leaking. Finish by filling the bowl with ice and bottled drinks! You can also do the same thing with a tall, narrow pumpkin to keep wine and other bottles of liquor on ice!

Turn your pumpkins into vases and fill with beautiful flowers for a festive, fall display! Just carve a hole in the top, removing the stem and insides of the pumpkin. Place a bowl inside the pumpkin, fill half way with water, and put some fresh cut flowers in it. Keep it out on display well past Halloween – it’s still autumn after all!

Bedazzle pumpkins with glitter, rhinestones, and/or bows! It’s an easy way to make your pumpkins pop – plus they’ll last much longer than carved pumpkins. The only downside is you don’t get to roast the seeds, but you’ll be okay. Clean the pumpkin and make sure it’s completely dry. Paint a thin layer of glue along the pumpkin followed by a generous sprinkling of glitter. You’ll have to move fast so you the glue doesn’t dry and get clumpy.  You can also pour the glitter in a shallow bowl and roll the pumpkin in the glitter bowl if it’s not too large. Once the entire pumpkin is covered in a layer of glitter, let it try completely for about an hour. Tie a pretty ribbon at the stem, or go really diva by glueing rhinestones to it!

And of course, you can always paint your pumpkins for a fun, safe activity for kids. Acrylic paint or permanent felt-tip markers work best.

Have fun and hurry, Halloween will sneak up on you before you know it!

What Do Your Fall Decorations Say About You?

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