9 Tricks for the Perfect jack-o’-lantern
Making a perfect jack-o’-lantern is not nearly as tough as it once was. With all the great kits that can be bought that shorten the process, even the most inexperienced carver can create works of art to boggle the imagination. A jack-o’-lantern is unique to it’s creator. Everyone has their own take on what looks good and what doesn’t. That said, there are some things that we all can do to increase our odds of making one that we will proud of. Here are five important jack-o’-lantern carving tips to get your Halloween season started right:
Pick the right pumpkin
One of the biggest mistakes we can make is not knowing what type of pumpkin we need for our design. This means, of course, that we have to choose our design idea first. A scene that depicts a landscape for example will need a shorter, wider pumpkin. A tall skinny face will require the opposite. Think of what you want to create and pick the pumpkin based on that.
Carry the pumpkin from the bottom
Carrying a pumpkin by the stem will damage it before you even get started. Why mess up your jack-o’-lantern before you even get started? Carry it instead from the bottom and keep the pumpkin sitting upright until you are ready to carve it up.
Wash your pumpkin thoroughly
This will allow you to have a pumpkin that lasts and will not mold. Again, these are meant to last the entire Halloween season and we all have seen how they can fall to pieces as the season goes on. If you wash the pumpkin well with bleach and water you will have a pumpkin and jack-o’-lantern that lasts the entire season. It also will cut better and take shape easier.
Yes, you can carve your jack-o’-lantern with a kitchen knife and whatever is handy. That said, a good carving kit will allow you to do things you might not otherwise be able to do. Having a good carving kit will teach you tips and tricks as well because they always include a nice direction sheet. Why struggle to make those tough cuts when you can invest a few dollars and make it easy to do?
Check out these Professional Pumpkin Carving Tool Kits on Amazon! They aren’t that expensive and they work much better than the Plastic Ones you buy at Walmart.
Use a stencil
Finally, you need to go online and find a stencil that you like if you are not creatively inclined. Some folks simply are not able to draw. Some people simply don’t want to draw. Others still are creative but find that working with pumpkins are too difficult. Whatever your situation, use a stencil if things are not going as planned or you simply know that you will struggle. If you can freehand it, by all means go for it. The best pumpkins are ones you will not see anywhere else and jack-o’-lanterns can be done a million different ways.
We have over 700+ Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns that you can check out! This is a huge list with just about everything included. You shouldn’t have to pay for a pattern or stencil unless you need something specific.
Use Silica Gel Packets
We post a tip a few years ago on How to Make Your Jack-O-Lantern Last Longer, You can use the Silica Gel Packets that come inside purses and shoes inside your pumpkins to help keep them from spoiling as fast.
Make a Sanitizing Spray
You can mix 1 Tbsp. of Bleach with 1 Quart of Water in a spray bottle and spray the inside of the pumpkin. This will help to kill any bacteria and also will help your pumpkin last longer!
Use Cookie Cutters to Carve Your Pumpkins
You can actually use a Cookie Cutter and a Rubber Mallet rather than a knife to carve your pumpkins, this is a great way to avoid using knives especially if you’re working with little kids.
Paint Your Pumpkin
If you’re too stressed out trying to create the Perfect Jack O Lantern using knives then make sure you check out all the cool Pumpkin Painting Ideas on Pinterest, there are hundreds of ways to decorate your pumpkins without using a knife.