How to carve a pumpkin – 10 foolproof steps
TikTok user shares hack for pumpkin carving
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Pumpkin carving isn’t easy, but you don’t have to settle for a basic and boring design just because you’ve never carved a pumpkin before. The team at Magnet have revealed the 10 easy steps to carving a pumpkin, from start to finish.
How to carve a pumpkin – 10 steps
Select your pumpkin carefully
There are many shapes, sizes and colours to choose from when picking a pumpkin.
It’s best to choose one with a surface that’s fresh, and with minimal bruises or soft spots.
A flat base and a sturdy stem are also good key features to look out for.
Cover and prepare your surfaces and equipment before cutting
You may wish to carve your pumpkin on the kitchen counter or dining table.
Wipe down and cover your surface with cardboard, newspaper or a plastic sheet before you start.
Be careful when using sharp tools and always supervise children.
It may be worth having a bowl ready to scoop the insides of your pumpkin into as it can get messy.
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Cut from the bottom of your pumpkin, not the top
Creating the entrance to your pumpkin from the bottom instead of the top allows for you to pull the insides out easier and creates a more streamlined look.
Scoop out as much as you can and thin the side you are going to carve.
Before carving the pattern, clean out all the seeds and strings from the pumpkin.
Scrape the insides with a large spoon, ice cream scoop, or scraping tool and be sure to thin the sides you’re carving the design into.
Aim to thin the wall to around one inch in thickness, this makes the carving easier and cleaner.
Use a template to carve the pattern
You can create your own template by sketching a design on paper, or if you are feeling less artistic, you can also print one online.
Tape the stencil to the pumpkin then trace the design by poking multiple holes along the lines.
When finished, remove the paper and rub flour over your design – this will make your lines easier to see so that you can more easily join up the holes ready for carving.
Don’t be scared to get creative
Taking inspiration from designs online, such as on Pinterest, can be a great way to initiate your creativity.
Consider your tools and abilities when choosing a design.
If you’re more advanced, try shaving parts of the pumpkin at different depths to get different, more detailed effects.
If you want to save the mess and avoid sharp tools, you can even choose to paint your pumpkin instead of carving.
Whatever you do, don’t worry too much about it being perfect, just have fun!
Mistakes can be salvaged
If any pieces come off that were not meant to, don’t panic, you can use cocktail sticks to secure the runaway pieces back into place!
When you’re popping out any piece, push from the inside to dislodge them.
Keep your pumpkin fresh for longer
After carving, soak your pumpkin in cold water with a small amount of bleach. When removed, dry it well to extend its freshness.
You can also spray the pumpkin daily with a water/bleach solution to rehydrate and stop mould.
This should be done by an adult and children should be kept away from potentially harmful chemicals.
Avoid using real candles
The heat from real flames can cook the pumpkin, drying it out and speeding up the decay process.
Using battery-powered candles can provide the same lighting effect without the negative impact. This way, you can also try out different colour lights!
Don’t let the pumpkin insides go to waste
Over half of the 15 million pumpkins produced in the UK are used only for carving – with most going straight to waste after Halloween is over.
However, there are plenty of ways to use your leftover pumpkin insides – from roasted pumpkin seeds to pumpkin dog treats, the internet is full of different recipes.
However, do not eat the pumpkin if you have treated it with bleach.
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