Top tips for carving the perfect Halloween pumpkin

We scoured the Internet to find the niftiest, coolest and most innovative tips for carving pumpkins, as well as need-to-knows about the fun Halloween activity. Here are some of our favourites:

  • Larger pumpkins are easier to carve.
  • When cleaning out the pumpkin, save the seeds. Toasted pumpkin seeds are a light and healthy snack. You can use an ice-cream scoop to extract the pumpkin pulp if you want to avoid getting your hands dirty.
  • Before starting to carve (there is no “undo” button on pumpkins!), you can draw – using a pen or marker – or tape the outline of what you want to carve, or use a razor blade, push pin, or a nail.
  • The top is the toughest and hardest part to cut off. You’ll definitely want at least a knife with some teeth. Cut through at a 45-degree angle so the top doesn’t fall through into the pumpkin. Tom Nardone at uses a drywall saw.
  • Some also suggest cutting the bottom of the pumpkin. It’ll be easier to clean and will make the pumpkin bottom flat, making it infinitely more stable and easier to carve.
  • If you’re going to place a candle in your jack-o’-lantern, remember that you need a “chimney.” Keep the lid off or cut a hole in the back, which passersby won’t see, and never, ever, leave a lit lantern unattended. Electric or battery-operated flameless candles are a safe alternative.
  • Pumpkins rot. For a longer life, you can soak the clean, empty pumpkin in water with a little bit of bleach (a blogger at suggested one teaspoon per gallon of water); or you can spray your finished pumpkin with a bathroom cleaner that contains a bit of bleach. This will keep bugs, mold and animals away, according to Nardone.
  • Of course, to avoid all of this, you can just paint and draw on your pumpkins or dress them, without carving them.

What do you do to get your prettiest, creepiest and most festive jack-o’-lanterns? Share your tips with us on our Facebook Page or on Twitter @MtlFamilies.

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