Halloween is almost two weeks away and no house is complete without a jack-o-lantern! Carving a pumpkin is a great activity to do with your grandkids, some friends or anyone! We're going to start you out with the traditional jack-o-lantern -- here's how to carve a pumpkin.
- First thing's first - start with a healthy pumpkin. Be sure to select one free of cuts and bruises. Check out the entire pumpkin to guarantee it is a nice, consistent orange color all the way around.
- Sketch out your design on the pumpkin using a permanent or dry erase marker.
- Find a large and flat surface to carve the pumpkin on, such as your kitchen table. Be sure to cover the table in newspaper to avoid a mess.
- Measure a circle with a two-inch radius from the stem. You will carve this out to create your lid. Use a serrated knife to do your carving. When carving, drag the knife back and forward like a saw. Follow the line you created with the knife. Make sure to angle the knife in towards the center of the pumpkin. This will shape your lid in a bowl-like indentation, which will prevent it from falling inside the pumpkin. Slice off the underside of the lid and remove the filling so your lid has a flat bottom.
- Use your hands or a large spoon to remove the filling out the pumpkin. Try to get the inside as clean as possible. You can even save the pumpkin seeds and roast them for a great snack.
- Decide if you need to level out your pumpkin. If your pumpkin is wobbly, flip it upside down and cut off a flat slice from the bottom.
- Carve your design. Use a slow and careful back-and-forward motion to do this.
- Light up your pumpkin. Once your pumpkin is clean and carved out, find a way to light it up! A couple great options are tea lights or flickering LEDs.
Now find a place on your porch to proudly display your pumpkin! Check out this list of jack-o-lantern designs if you are looking for some inspiration.