Pumpkin Carving Tips
Since our grassroots beginnings, Pumpkin Masters® has helped families around the world celebrate the Halloween tradition of pumpkin carving and decorating. We listen closely to our customers and remain committed to product quality and innovation. Along the way, our team has picked up a few tricks of the trade. Here are a few of those tricks & tips we'd like to share with you.
Choosing a pumpkin for carving
Selecting the perfect pumpkin can be a tough task considering the different shapes, sizes, and color. Each pumpkin has unique characteristics and, for many people, a personality all to itself. While personality is important, a pumpkin's carving features is another factor to consider.
Here are a few helpful hints for picking the right pumpkin to carve:
- Select an unbruised pumpkin about the size and shape of your design.
- Choose one that is smooth and evenly colored so your design transfers clearly.
- Make sure the pumpkin has a flat bottom so it sits upright.
- Watch out for pumpkin that have mold around the stem. This may indicate potential rot.
- Do not carry a pumpkin by its stem to prevent it from breaking.
- For children, try to select a lighter-colored, softer pumpkin. These don't last as long, but they are easier to carve.
Pumpkin Carving Tips
The Pumpkin Masters® makes it faster and easier to carve your pumpkin masterpiece. Here are some proven tips to help you carve that perfect Halloween jack-o'-lantern.
Draw and Cut Bottom of Pumpkin
- Draw a circle on the bottom your pumpkin.
- Very carefully, cut along lines with the carving saw.
- Angle the blade towards the center of the pumpkin to create a ledge that supports the cut piece and remove.
Clean and Scrape
- Clean out the seeds and strings with the Pumpkin Masters® Scraper Scoop™.
- Scrape inner pulp away from the area you plan to carve until the pumpkin wall is approximately 1" thick.
- Trim the pattern, leaving a 1/2" border around the design. Tape the pattern to your pumpkin.
- Make pattern fit smoothly with small folds at black slash lines. Tape folds in place.
- For long lines, roll the Super Poker™ along design lines from end to end. Use the longer, middle tip to poke along tight corners.
- When all the lines are transferred, remove the pattern.
Sawing your Pumpkin
- Use the Detail Saw.
- Hold pumpkin in your lap. Hold the saw like a pencil and saw steadily with a continuous up-and-down motion.
- Saw at a 90° angle to the pumpkin. Use gentle pressure. These saws are breakable if used incorrectly.
There are many effective ways to preserve your jack-o'-lanterns. If you can carve 2-3 days before Halloween, we recommend the following preservation techniques:
- Prevent your pumpkin from drying out by placing petroleum jelly on the cut edges of your carving.
- Spray your pumpkin with water, cover it with plastic wrap then store it in the refrigerator when it's not on display. This helps prevent premature decomposition.
- Soak or spray the pumpkin with water mixed with a little bit of bleach. This will help ward off mold and kill insects for a longer preservation.
If your pumpkin is showing signs of shriveling, soak it in water for several hours. The more shriveled the pumpkin, the longer it needs to soak. When the pumpkin is removed from the water, dry the inside with a towel as much as possible to impede mold growth. Dried-out pumpkins and melons can be revived almost completely with this technique.
Pumpkin Masters® offers a number of products and techniques to effectively illuminate your pumpkin carving. Here are a few tips for lighting up your jack-o'-lantern this Halloween.
- When using a candle, cut a hole on the upper, back part of the pumpkin. The hole will work like a chimney by allowing the candle's heat to escape.
- If you create an opening from the bottom of the pumpkin, attach the light source to the bottom lid and place the pumpkin over it. Try drilling a hole to secure the candle. This provides a little more stability, safety and balances the flickering effect.
- For a multicolor display, use a battery-operated light with LED bulbs. Check out the Pumpkin Masters® Pumpkin Powered Light. It anchors to the pumpkin and has 3 different LED bulbs to provide a rainbow of colors within your pumpkin.
- A flashing light, like our Ultimate Strobe Light™, is ideal for spooky pumpkin carvings. The lighting effect delivered by 3 flashing bulbs brings the pumpkin to life.
- Create the smell of Halloween spice. Just sprinkle a little cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice on the bottom of the pumpkin lid. Once the pumpkin is lit, it will create a wonderful seasonal scent.
- Cast shadows from the back of your pumpkin by carving a unique pattern. It's a unique effect that will get the neighbors talking. For more details, check out our Sensational Shadows™ pattern book.