Selecting the pumpkins you'll carve for your Halloween Jack-O'-Lanterns is
very important. You'll need to pick pumpkins according to what you want to carve on them.
Whether it's simply carving a pumpkin to
sit on the door step or holding pumpkin carving parties and contests, this age old
tradition is a main event for young and old alike.
Depending on the variety, pumpkins can range
in size anywhere from tiny to humongous. Medium sized ones work best for most stencils
that you'll make or buy. Very large pumpkins can be carved with elaborate designs and used
as "center pieces" on your porch or tables. Small pumpkins work fine for carving
traditional faces, they can be done fast and you can have many of them scattered about for
parties, haunts or up your sidewalk as a lighted pathway.
is the key to your pumpkin carving success
First, decide before buying your pumpkins
what designs you will be carving into them. This will allow you to create a shopping list
or at least a mental idea of the shapes and sizes of pumpkins you'll need.
For standard carving without a stencil, decide if it should be tall and narrow, or
more rounded, based on your ideas. Select
pumpkins that are uniformly
orange meaning that are ripe, have no bruises, cuts or nicks.
If you will be using a stencil to carve your
pumpkin, select a pumpkin that is large enough and as close to the same shape as the
pattern you're going to carve. It should be as smooth as possible, and free of scratches,
dents or gouges.
Never carry a pumpkin by its stem; it may
break. If it does break-off you can use toothpicks as a basic patch. Care should be taken
not to bruise during transport or storage, as this will shorten their life-span.
If you find a perfect pumpkin but it's
missing it's stem, have no fear! You can still use it! Just carve the bottom out for
the opening the same way you would do the top. Then, you just sit your light source
on the cleaned bottom piece and sit the pumpkin over it. Works great and you don't need
the stem for a lid handle!