Thursday, October 3, 2013

Jack 'O Lantern Fun Part I: Carving Utensils

I'm the kind of pumpkin carver that no one else wants to carve with. People complain I take too long--and I'm willing to agree that some years, yes, it has taken a really long time. But what those people don't understand is that I wait all year for Halloween to come around so that I can revel in my favourite day of the year and all its pumpkin glory!

Carving 2012

If your new to the world of pumpkin carving, you don't really need anything hi-tech to carve your pumpkin, but you might want to pick up one of the Pumpkin Masters sets that include a few patterns and some basic carving tools.

The scoop is really helpful for scraping the side of your pumpkin to try and get rid of as many of the little strings as you can. These strings can become really annoying when they hang down preventing the light from properly shinning through any small cut-out sections.
The little poker/punch is really helpful for punching out your pattern to transfer it to your pumpkin. Because the punch is so small your hand might get quite cramped up if your pattern has a lot of detail, so make sure to stop every few minutes to stretch it out!
The carving knives that are included in most pumpkin carving sets are a simple jig-saw blade style edge, and because these are so small they allow you to carve very intricate areas that you wouldn't be able to manage with your standard kitchen knives.
Some extra items that you're going to want on hand include scotch-tape to attach your pattern to your pumpkin, some paper towels to dry it off as necessary to make seeing your pattern easier, a permanent marker or pen to "connect the dots" of your pattern transfer, and 2 bowls to empty your pumpkin contents into--one for the goop and one for the seeds! I also like to put some newspaper down on the table before I begin to make clean-up at the end that much easier!
Now... the kid friendly part! Older kids might be interested in helping you to draw a pattern on the pumpkin with a marker, and even older kids might be able to do some basic carving with close adult supervision. But what about the wee ones? They get the most fun job! They can help you scoop out all the pumpkin goop with a large spoon. Kids love the feel of the cold and slimy pumpkin innards and it's a great way to get them involved.
Do you use patterns when carving your pumpkins?
Or do you stick with the traditional Jack 'O Lantern faces?


  1. I love Pumpkin carving! It's one of the best parts of fall! Especially when you pick your own pumpkin. You see it there on the patch and think to yourself- I can't wait to stick a knife in that one! (lol)

    1. You should make sure to check back tomorrow then when I post Part II! I'll be taking a look at some of my favourite pattern sites and showing off some of my recent carvings! :)

  2. I agree when you wait so long to do your next pumpkin it needs the time to make it fabulous

    1. That's right! And it's always been worth the wait at the end. Tomorrow I'll be posting some of my recent carvings.