7 Amazing Pumpkin Carving Tricks From the Pros
It's true that triangle eyes and a jagged grin are the classic jack-o-lantern face—but did you know your pumpkin carving can result in magical works of art?
Professional pumpkin artists (like these) spend their days transforming the humble squash into incredible carvings. Here, the team of talented artists offer a few insider tips so you stray from the norm and create your very own Halloween pumpkin masterpieces.
- Pick a pumpkin with a great-looking, healthy stem. Not only does it make your pumpkin look picture-perfect, but it provides nutrients that extend your picked pumpkin’s life.
- Since this is going to be your pumpkin pièce de résistance, take a moment to sketch your design on paper, then copy it onto your pumpkin. Not keen on sketching? Print off a cool design or pattern.
- Don’t carve just yet! Wipe your pumpkin off; it has been sitting in a field of dirt after all, and you don’t want any muck interfering with your art.
- The pros use all kinds of tools when carving—from paring knives to lemon zesters. You can pick up a basic pumpkin carving tool set at the store, or open up your kitchen drawer and get creative.
- When you’re ready to get started, don’t cut around the stem to access the innards (see #1 for why). Instead, make a hole in the bottom or the back, then start scooping. The best scooper? According to the experts, it’s the inexpensive orange scoop that comes in a kit.
- Once your masterpiece is complete, keep your pumpkin looking its best. If your pumpkin starts to wilt, firm it up and keep mold at bay by soaking it for several hours in a bath of ice water mixed with a capful of bleach. You can also extend your pumpkin’s life by wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap when not on display.
- Instead of candles, illuminate your art with something a little stronger (and safer). The team at Maniac Pumpkins custom fit their pumpkins with LED bulbs, and you can get the same great effect using battery-powered LED lighting.
Now that you've got the scoop from the pros, you're ready to go! Get some friends together, get some snacke (chips and guac and queso are a great start), and you’ve got yourself a pumpkin carving party!