31st October is the time for Halloween costumes, scary movies and sweet treats, and there is no reason you can’t get involved regardless of your age. This spooky time of year is famous for pumpkin carving and turning big orange squashes into works of art and ghoulish faces. Whether you’re having a Halloween party at home, spending time with the kids or just want to set the tone for trick-or-treaters, pumpkin carving is a family fun activity to get you into the Halloween spirit, and a great way to express your creativity. Scary faces, funny faces, a Halloween quote or even a painted pumpkin here are some of our favourites carving ideas and easy to follow steps to carving your own jack-o-lantern.
Tools You’ll Need
A large serrated knife, a smaller sharp knife, a large spoon, marker pen, lemon juice and tealights.
How To Carve
1. Place your pumpkin on a firm and flat surface. Put down newspaper as it can get messy.
2. Use a large, serrated knife to cut off the crown and put the crown to one side. You choose to carve from the bottom up too.
3. Take a large spoon and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Then remove some of the inner flesh.
4. Using a marker pen, draw on your chosen design or face, or stick on a printed template.
5. Using a smaller knife start carving out your design. Take your time and always remember to cut away from you in case the knife slips. Safety first!
6. Rub some lemon juice on the exposed carved areas to help stop them turning brown.
7. Place a couple of tea lights inside your finished pumpkin, light and replace the crown.
Top Tip: Keep the pumpkin seeds to roast later for a healthy snack and keep the pumpkin flesh to use in soups and pies. You can always freeze your pumpkin flesh and use later.
Carving Ideas & Inspiration
Smiling Pumpkin: Keep it simple but fun with a modern take on a classic jack-o-lantern.
Friendly Ghost Pumpkins: Think Casper the friendly ghost and carve up some butternut squashes instead.
Decoupage Pumpkins: If carving isn’t your things then show you creative flair and decoupage a pumpkin. All you need is some colourful, patterned paper or tissue, some decoupage glue, varnish and a brush. Tips on how to decoupage.
Scary Pumpkins: When all else fails, go for an oh-so-scary monster look with a zipper mouth or a wicked pumpkin eating another pumpkin.
Googly Eyed Monster Pumpkins: Cute or scary monsters, you choose! You might want to get some additional tools, such as googly eyes, cotton balls, and paint, for this project.
Painted Owl Pumpkin: Combine painting and carving for added creativity. Carve out the eyes, and paint a floral pattern around the eyes in a design that you love. To finish it off, stick some flowers through the top of the pumpkin.
Halloween Quote Pumpkin: If scary face isn't your thing, try carving out a classic quote to get in the Halloween spirit.
For more creative How To inspiration take a look at the following guides:
How To: Crafts For Adults
How To: Upcycle Old Garden Pots
How To: Make Homemade Ice Cream