If you want to carve a Halloween pumpkin, there are some helpful tips and tricks that will make things a lot easier. The big difficulty is to cut the hard pumpkin without hurting yourself. We show you how it’s done.
How to carve a Halloween pumpkin – The first steps
First, you need a large pumpkin to work with; the larger the better. Or if you take a couple of smaller pumpkins, you can combine them in a nicely arranged composition.
- Small pumpkins are usually more difficult to carve. Especially if you are carving a pumpkin together with children, take larger specimens.
- Larger pumpkins have softer pulp. This makes it easier to detach.
- To hollow out and carve the pumpkin, you need a good carpet knife, pillar candles or tea lights, gloves, vinegar or hairspray and a waterproof felt-tip pen. A large spoon or ice-cream scoop are also needed.
- First remove the lid. This is best done with a large and sharp kitchen knife.
- You should guide the knife diagonally inwards so that the lid does not fall into the pumpkin later.
- Leave the pumpkin green as a handle on the lid. Drill a small hole through the lid. This will later serve as a ventilation hole.
- Then remove the pumpkin pulp with the spoon or ice cream scoop. You can use it to make soup or pumpkin pie.
- Also dry the seeds. You can roast and enjoy them as a small meal in between or – if possible – sow them again in the spring.
Carving the pumpkin’s face
Large motifs are easier to carve than small ones. So, the smaller the pumpkin is, the harder it is to work with.
- You can either draw a face on the pumpkin by hand or use a stencil.
- Once the face is painted on, you can carefully cut out the individual facial elements with a carpet knife.
- If you start with the mouth, you can better estimate the proportions of the eyes.
- To make the carving easier, you can dot the painted lines with the tip of a knife.
- Fine lines are best done with a linoleum knife. With this technique you should only scratch the hard outer surface of the pumpkin.
How to protect your carved pumpkin from spoiling
In order for you to enjoy the scary pumpkin faces for as long as possible, you should protect them well from mold and rotting. This is best done with vinegar or hairspray.
- You should dry the carved pumpkin well to prevent mold from forming.
- To protect the pumpkin from the inside, you can rinse it with vinegar. Dry it well and spray it from the inside with hairspray.
- Then let the pumpkin dry again. This is extremely important! If the hairspray does not dry completely, it could cause a fire if you put a candle in the pumpkin. Hairspray is highly flammable.
- If you feel unsure, you can also skip the hairspray.
- Finally, grease the cut edges of the pumpkin with Vaseline to seal them.