Pumpkin Week – Day 1: Jack-O-lanterns & Creepy Carvings

October 19, 2009 - Filed under Halloween, Holidays, How-to

Flickr is your friend when it comes to getting inspiration for your Jack-O-lantern. There are so many great pumpkins on there it can almost be overwhelming when deciding on a design.

Creepy Jack-o-Lantern

Once you’ve decided on your design you can either free-hand it on to your pumpkin, or draw it out on a piece of paper first, then transfer it to your pumpkin by placing a piece of carbon paper between your design and your pumpkin, and then tracing over it (I’ve also done this without the carbon paper… just push a bit harder with your pencil and you’ll leave a slight indent in the pumpkin’s surface).

To hollow your pumpkin, draw a circle around the top of your pumpkin, giving it a slight notch so that later you can easily place the top back in the same place. Also when cutting the top off, cut into the pumpkin on a slight angle. Once your pumpkin is carved it will start to dry out and shrink over several days. By cutting the lid on an angle, you’ll give yourself more time before the lid shrinks enough to fall all the way through. Scoop out all the insides (saving the seeds for roasting later!) and use a plastic spoon to scrape the sides clean.

When carving your design, use a small serrated blade (comes with most pumpkin carving kits) to cut all the way through. To cut only partially through use a linoleum cutter (the same thing we used to carve stamps with back in May). In order to have the partially carved sections illuminated, they should be about 1/4 to 1/2 and inch thick.

To illuminate your pumpkin, use a couple of votive candles, a string of mini Christmas lights, or a battery operated nightlight. If you use votive candles, places them inside a small glass holder filled with a little bit of water so they’ll go out safely. For additional spookyness cut a hole in the back of your pumpkin and blow fog through it with a cheap fog machine (check the Halloween section of Walmart, or Target)

Get creative and have some fun, invite some friends over and have yourself a little pre-Halloween party. And remember if you’re carving skills aren’t as great as you’d hoped you can always go for quantity over quality!


Images from left to right: Burning Jack-O-Lantern; Country Living; Pumpkin Way; Firey Jack-O-Lantern; Multi-Eyed Pumpkin; “Jack”; Ray Villafane

Posted by: kelly

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