It’s Octoberween! Which means it’s time to pick out the best pumpkin and stab it repeatedly and then light it on fire. Or, you know, you could carve a jack o’lantern into a pumpkin, squash, turnip, apple, watermelon, or whatever else you have lying around.
And although carving two eyes and a mouth is a great idea that anyone can do, why not up your pumpkin game this year and do some more well-intentioned carving?
Here’s some ideas to help you get started.
How to Carve an Epic Pumpkin
Pick an epic pumpkin. To carve an epic pumpkin, you must first have the best pumpkin for the task. Many orchards and farm stores will have pumpkins for the carving. Some people choose pumpkins for their weird stems, interesting warty bumps, or asymmetrical shapes. Why choose an ordinary smooth, round pumpkin when you can get an oddball?
But don’t let us tell you what to do. You get to decide which pumpkin is the best pumpkin, so be choosy.
Scoop, scrape, and pull out those guts. Pumpkin carving is messy work, but the more effort you put into it up front, the better it will be. Take extra time to scoop out all of the icky sticky grimy pumpkin guts and clear out the strings that get stuck to the sides. This will give you a better canvas to work with, and give you the ability to do some of the more elaborate
Take Time to Plan, Take Time to Carve. Pumpkin carving isn’t a race! It’s supposed to be fun. So don’t be in any rush during the process. Trace out your design beforehand so that you know what you’re planning to do.
When it’s time to start carving, have your handy toolkit ready (any cheap kit will do, no need to get fancy) and gently put pressure to plan the design. It may be tempting to see the finished product right away, but resist the urge to break through that pumpkin skin until you’ve got things lined up how you want them.
It also helps to pop the pieces out from the inside, as opposed to pushing them inside. It makes it easier to remove the pieces and keep the pumpkin in tact.
Don’t Carve It, Paint It. Don’t have a sharp enough knife or time to scoop out all the guts? Grab a sharpie and some paint and decorate it that way. It’s your pumpkin, do whatever you want to it.
If you have more ideas for carving perfect pumpkins, or if you have carved the perfect pumpkin and want to show it off, send our editor a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.