Over the next few nights they’ll start to appear. Pumpkins transformed into funny, spooky, or creative caricatures and shapes. It’s amazing what some people can do with the simple round shape of a pumpkin.
Historically, pumpkin carving was derived from a Celtic tradition. According to the web site Pumpkin Carving 101 “…glowing jack-o-lanterns, carved from turnips or gourds, were set on porches and in windows to welcome deceased loved ones, but also to act as protection against malevolent spirits … When European settlers, particularly the Irish, arrived in American they found the native pumpkin to be larger, easier to carve and seemed the perfect choice for jack-o-lanterns.”
Carving jack-o-lanters was a Halloween tradition in our house, and something I’m happy to continue to share with friends and family to this day. In an effort to help spur some creativity, I drummed up a few tips and tricks to make your slashing experience more fun this year!
Pumpkin Masters is a thorough site dedicated to the jack-o-lantern legacy. It offers tips for every detail, from pumpkin selection to preserving your creation. A good suggestion, use petroleum jelly on the carved out artwork and spray it with water to keep it from drying out.
Mentioned earlier, Pumpkin Carving 101 is another all encompassing resource for the art of carving your perfect pumpkin. It even includes suggestions for proper pumpkin burial.
If you’re looking searching for something a little more unique this season, Better Homes and Gardens has an extensive list of free stencils you can download and print.
And if you’re interested in a visual, Howdini has a step by step YouTube guide to gouging your gourd. Hot tip: try using a fork to poke your design outline into your pumpkin before carving away. I can’t wait to try this one.
Hope these tips come in handy. Happy carving!