Tips on pumpkin carving: Get more out of your pumpkin

Brittney Robertson/JSU - The finished product. See step 10.
Brittney Robertson/JSU – The finished product. See step 10.

This past weekend, my sister and I decided to have some quality sibling time by carving pumpkins.

Now, most people would carve their pumpkin in the traditional sense with triangle eyes and noses, and a smiling mouth with about three or four teeth. Alternatively, it could be a bit scarier or more artistic depending on how each carver’s preferences.

My sister and I are not very traditional. Instead, this year we carved The Little Mermaid and Supernatural into our pumpkins.

Here are some steps to follow.

1.Choose your pumpkin. Make sure it’s a good size pumpkin with a semi flat surface to carve on. Most of the time it’s a good idea to clean the face of the pumpkin you will be cutting on for a reason we will discuss later.

2.Cut open the top. When you cut the top open, cut in at a slanted angle so that the top can be replaced later.

3.Gut the pumpkin. Some people save the seeds in order to roast them later. Roasted, the seeds turn into a pretty delicious snack.

4.At this point, find a photo that you would like to carve into your pumpkin. For first time pumpkin artists, try something simple, that doesn’t require not cutting all the way through the wall of the pumpkin.

Brittney Robertson/JSU - Making an outline of holes using a push pin. See step 7.
Brittney Robertson/JSU – Making an outline of holes using a push pin. See step 6.

5.Print the picture and tape the picture to the front surface of the pumpkin. Basic tape will work; it just needs to hold your design in place.

6.Using the printed photo, poke an outline of your picture into the pumpkin. By using a push pin or something similar, make a light outline of the photo, almost like you’re creating a connect-the-dots picture on your pumpkin. This is the longest part but will help in carving your design.

7.Remove the picture carefully. You will need the photo for reference to complete the carved pumpkin.

8.Cut along the outline you made with the photo taped to the pumpkin. Be careful not to cut yourself. Usually, it’s easier to cut out the larger pieces with a larger and longer knife and then go back with a smaller knife for the more intricate parts of the design.

Be sure to keep an eye on how well the design on your pumpkin matches the photo.

To put darker areas in, don’t go all the way through the wall of the pumpkin while carving. Instead, cut layers out of the wall until you get the desired depth. The deeper the layer, the more the light will shine through the pumpkin.

9.Remove the pieces you’ve cut. If needed, go back with a smaller knife to make small changes in the final design, making sure to clean up after each cut.

10.You’re done now, so light that bad boy up. Putting vaseline on the outside of the pumpkin can help make it last longer.

Brittney Robertson
Staff Writer

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