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Top tips for carving your pumpkin!

by Well Polished York, Oct 2018

It is that time of year again, where we spend time searching and hunting for the perfect sized pumpkin.

These days, the local farms have cashed in on Pumpkin Picking, allowing you and your children to pay over the odds for part mouldy pumpkins, but, hey it’s still an experience and the kids love it.

However, we tend to head to a local super market and choose the smoothest, middle sized pumpkins for a reasonable price. To coincide with this tradition, we then have a family annual carving competition. I always lose. One thing needed to carve a good pumpkin is patience (I lack that) and a whole lot of creativity. Have you seen Pinterest these days?? When I was young, triangle nose, angry eyes and a wide jagged mouth was all you needed to create the perfect pumpkin. These days, if you havn’t created a 3D masterpiece, with shadowed detailing and a comedy element, have you carved a pumpkin at all??

Anyways, although I may not be an artist when it comes to pumpkin carving, I still join in as it’s tradition and reminds me of yesteryear when I was a child and Halloween was one of my fave times of year; I mean, dressing up, pumpkins, free sweets, what’s not to love?!

Therefore, when I am attempting to carve my pumpkin, there are a few easy top tips I have learnt over the years. I thought I would share them with you, so you can have the best shot if you decide to start an annual, family carving comp like us!

  1. Choose your pumpkin wisely – As mentioned, a smooth surface (no green bits) is good, unless you are going to use the grooves to create witches wrinkles for example!
  2. Use a template for your spooky design – Create your own or find inspiration from the many websites dedicated to pumpkin prettying. Secure your chosen style to the front of your pumpkin and carefully trace the image by poking holes along the lines. Once finished remove the template and gently carve. Voilà! You didn’t think people carved free hand did you?!
  3. Carve the back – This is a pinterest favourite, it’s pretty simple, by poking holes or creating a different pattern in the back, it allows you to light up the wall behind! Winner.
  4. Use every day items around the house for sprucing up your pumpkin – Create a face from nuts and bolts, use white reflective tape as bandages or simply chop off the top and add flowers for your own spooky vase!
  5. Painting your pumpkin – This is great if you have little ones in the house, there is no need for sharp instruments, and they can look great in the day time!
  6. Mix it up – As well as orange pumpkins, full green ones can look great, or perhaps try a water melon one year! A display of different coloured ‘kins can look great!
  7. Reinvent the candle – Instead of the traditional tea light, we use fairy lights for a different effect, some times we even use red bike lights set to flash for a really sinister look!
  8. Fancy designs – If scary faces just arn’t your thing, and you consider yourself with more air and grace than an undignified lit up face, then why not try doing simple stars or drilling holes in for an elegant but effective design. Different shaped cookie cutters can work a treat too!

I hope this helps any of you, who like me, lack creativity.

Don’t give up on trying to carve your pumpkin, it is something we have done for years. There’s nothing sweeter than watching the dark nights draw in, with flickers of orange pumpkins everywhere. It is  the true mark of winter being on the way.


Happy Halloween 🙂