As we enter into the month of October, we can’t help but think about all of our favorite Halloween activities. Decorating your home with spooktacular designs is one way to get the Halloween fun started! If you want to set your home apart from others in your neighborhood, you will need creative Halloween décor, like a one-of-a-kind carved pumpkin! So gather the whole family together, and enjoy lots of laughs, as you each create your own special jack-o-lantern. To help provide a bit of inspiration, and get those creative juices flowing, here are some helpful pumpkin decorating tips!
The Right Tools
For any successful pumpkin design, you will need the right tools. First, start out with a selection of stencil designs and pencils to plan out your design. Many stencil designs can be accessed online for free or a minimal fee. You may also purchase stencil kits in stores, or create your own design from scratch! Many times, pumpkin carving kits come with stencils that the whole family can enjoy.
If you are carving pumpkins with little ones, you can purchase more “child-friendly” kits. These kits supply tools that appropriately fit small hands, providing the most control for carving. For young children too young to carve, consider alternatives like painting a pumpkin or decorating one with colorful craft supplies. Regardless of how your child chooses to decorate their jack-o-lantern, they should be supervised each step of the way.
Prepping Your Pumpkin
Choosing the right pumpkin is the foundation for the perfect jack-o-lantern. Select a pumpkin that is medium sized—not too small and not too large (much like Goldilocks’ conundrum!). If you choose a pumpkin that is too large, the prepping and design of the pumpkin will require a great deal of time and labor. A pumpkin that is too small will be difficult to carve your design into. In addition, avoid extremely round or oddly shaped pumpkins. Adhering a stencil or adding a detailed design to these pumpkins can feel quite impossible.
Once you’ve chosen a pumpkin, clean the pumpkin to rid the surface of any dirt or other residue. Next, cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin and lift off the top—save this part of the pumpkin for later! Your little ones will need assistance for this part. Using gloves, remove all the pumpkin seeds and strands. With the scoop tool, remove all of the remaining strands and seeds. Once your pumpkin is hallowed out, you will be ready to carve your pumpkin! If you choose to decorate your pumpkin with paint or other crafting supplies, there is no need to hallow out your pumpkin.
Choosing what you carve into your pumpkin or how to decorate your pumpkin is the best part! Be creative and choose a design that matches your personal taste, or the décor of your home. If you are decorating pumpkins with the entire family, consider having a themed bunch of pumpkins. Alternatively, you could show your furry family pet extra love by featuring their adorable face on your pumpkin. With older children, a friendly family carving contest could make the time together even more memorable!
Once you have finished carving your pumpkins, place tealight candles inside of your pumpkin, and place the stem back on top. Voilà! Your pumpkin is ready to be set on your porch or doorstep for all your guests to admire!