DIY: How to Carve A Pumpkin

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Carving a Jack O'Lantern on a rustic outdoor table in autumn.

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It’s finally October and Halloween is right around the corner, which means pumpkin carving is upon us. Better Homes and Gardens broke down exactly what to do for a successful pumpkin carve. 

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  1. Pick your pumpkin with a purpose
    Know your design before you go to the store to pick your pumpkin. This way you will know what size and shape your pumpkin needs to be. Also, make sure to avoid pumpkins with any soft spots or surface rotting. These will hinder carving. No one wants a Jack-O-Lantern with a caved in face.
  2. Don’t cut your pumpkin right away.
    Wait to carve your pumpkin until two or three days before Halloween. Pumpkins soften quickly and the more that is cut into the surface, the faster this process is. Waiting will allow the pumpkin to still look nice on the actual holiday.
  3. Cutting and Scraping
    Before starting the carving process, rinse off the pumpkin. After rinsing, cut a round lid on the top of the pumpkin. When cutting this lid, “Better Homes and Gardens” recommends leaving a small triangular notch to help with putting the lid back on after carving is done.

    Use a large spoon in the sink to remove the pumpkin seeds and pulp to make clean up easier. Avoid digging into the walls too much and never send pumpkin pulp down the garbage disposal.

  4. Time to Design

    Draw the design on the pumpkin with a washable marker before carving. This will make carving easier and the washable marker comes off easily with a damp cloth once carving is done. Use a filet knife to carve and push the pieces out from the inside to avoid further damage to the pumpkin.

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