It is pretty amazing how fast time goes… It seems like it was only yesterday that we were cleaning up snow and planting annuals… Last week I walked into a store and felt like I was on fast forward!! They already had aisles and aisles of Christmas decor on display!!
Every year around the first week of October out of the blue there will be these pumpkin patches which appear at strategic locations around town… you walk in pick a nice pumpkin, bring it home, carve it, light it and you have your own Jack ‘ o’ lantern!!!
I have been making one (and sometimes 2) every year since I moved to the US, so this is my 10th year carving Jack’o’lanterns, and based on this experience I thought why not write a blog 🙂 This year am yet to venture out though pumpkins showed up as usual on time, will mostly do it over the weekend. So my steps to a Jack”O”Lantern are as follows:
First and foremost look for a pumpkin without dents,cuts scrapes, dried patches etc…
To carve a pumpkin the first thing to do is clean it out, I use an ice-cream scoop 🙂 it really makes it very very easy and it also is easier on your hands. To access the inside we need to cut either the top or the bottom, I normally cut the top,try doing straight lines to get a hexagonal or a polygonal shaped cut. It will sit back as a lid better and it will also be easier to cut.
See the tools I use. For the details I use a smaller knife and I use the larger one for the main cuts. The icrcream scooper as I told you helps to clean out the inside.
Okie, Once I make the cut and remove the top I use the scooper to scoop out the seeds and the innards. Scrape the insides until it is around an inch thick. Once you clean up the inside it is time to pick a design. When starting it is better to use a simple design like this one…
I use a sharpie to draw the outline (sharpie/any permanent marker) I sketch freehand you can use a print out, paste it over the pumpkin using duct tape and draw over it using an empty ballpoint pen, once complete remove the paper and go over it with a sharpie. Once you have the design on the pumpkin start cutting.
Start with the smaller parts like in this design I start with the windows, then the door, then the outline and then the main outline. Cut using a sawing action. When you finish cutting a piece push it out from inside.
Once done clean the edges. Take a candle (or you can use a battery operated light) scoop out a bit from the base part to fit the candle. Light it and cover the top let it burn for a few minutes now remove the cap and drill a hole where the flame hits, this will allow heat to escape and keep your Jack’o’lantern burning longer.
This is my Jack O Lantern from 2008!! I am yet to go get my 2010 one and will update once am done with it.
Enjoy Halloween, don’t forget to blow off the candle when you are leaving your Jack’O’, Leaving a candle unattended can cause a fire.Happy Halloween everyone!
Some simple designs which you can download and use: (Click and it will take you to another website)
Video from DIY network on how to carve a pumpkin: