7 Tips for Carving the Perfect Pumpkin

Halloween is almost here, and it’s time to put the finishing touches on your scary décor! That means you should be sharpening your knives for jack-o-lantern carving. Check out our tips below for carving the perfect pumpkin and have a happy Halloween!


Pick the perfect pumpkin.


Find a fresh gourd without any spots or bruises, and make sure it has a flat bottom so it won’t roll. Also, get a pumpkin with a thick stem because it also will have thick walls that are more suited for carving.


Don’t be afraid of weirdly shaped gourds, either. They can spark your creativity!


Don’t cut around the stem.


Many people make “lids” out of the top of their jack-o-lanterns, but it’s best to cut a hole out of the bottom or back of your pumpkin instead. This will help prevent your pumpkin from caving in later.


Get creative with your carving tools.


You don’t have to stick to the tools that come in a carving kit. Try other items like lemon zesters, paring knives, and clay sculpting tools.


Clean out your pumpkin REALLY well.


Scoop ALL of the pumpkin goop out of your gourd. You can use the claw-like tool that comes in carving kits or even an ice cream scoop to clean it out. Then, thin the walls of your pumpkin to about an inch thick where you plan to carve so it’s easier to pierce.


Sketch your design.


Draw a pattern or choose one from a carving book and tape it to your pumpkin. Poke holes down the lines that you want to carve. Then, make big, rough cuts through your pumpkin skin. You can go back later to clean up the lines and make the more intricate cuts.


Keep your pumpkin as fresh as possible.


There are many ways to help your pumpkin stay fresher longer. You can spray it with water while carving to help it retain moisture. You also can seal it up tight with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge or rub petroleum jelly on the inside and along the carved edges to keep it from drying out too quickly. You can spray the gourd daily with a mixture of water and a very small amount of bleach, as well, to help kill mold and add moisture to the jack-o-lantern.


Think about your lighting.  


Your pumpkin will last longer if you use LED lights because they will illuminate it without giving off heat, keeping the jack-o-lantern as cold as possible. However, if you choose to use candles, you can sprinkle cinnamon along the top, and the jack-o-lantern will smell like pumpkin pie when lit.


Finally, if you do choose to light your pumpkins with real flames, you’ll also want to make sure your house is protected in case a visiting trick-or-treater knocks one over.  Call us at 270-554-2105 to make sure your home has proper coverage against fires.