HalloweenHow To Carve A Pumpkin

Jolly jack-o’-lanterns are a traditional welcome for trick-or-treaters – an invitation to stop by for a Halloween surprise. Carving a pumpkin takes more tenacity than skill. The flesh of a fresh pumpkin is very firm, so grab a sharp knife and get carving.

Steps :

  1. Select a fresh pumpkin in a shape that pleases you. Some folks prefer their pumpkins low and round, while some like them tall and oval-shaped.
  2. Using a knife or a pumpkin-carving tool, cut around the stem end of the pumpkin. Use a back-and-forth slicing motion to cut through the thick, tough skin. ( Image a.)
  3. Make an opening large enough to get your hand inside. ( Image b.)
  4. Remove the stem end to create a cap, making sure you scrape off any seeds or pulp. ( Image c.)
  5. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from inside the pumpkin, using a large spoon. Hold the spoon by its bowl to get extra leverage while scooping.
  6. Draw a pattern for the face on the clean pumpkin with a felt-tip pen, or scribe the features into the flesh using a pencil. Be sure to make the eyes, nose and mouth large enough to get the knife blade through the tough skin. ( Image d.)
  7. Follow your pattern to cut out the features of the pumpkin.
  8. Cut all the way through the skin and rind of the pumpkin. ( Image e.)
  9. Push the cut-out features gently with your fingers and discard the pieces.
  10. Place a votive candle inside the pumpkin to create an eerie glow through the eye sockets

Tips :

  • If you are new to pumpkin carving, remember that straight lines are easier to cut than curved lines.
  • Make a 1-inch notch in the cap so that the candle has enough oxygen to burn inside the pumpkin.
  • Clean up any ragged edges after you have finished with the initial carving. A small, sharp knife works well for this step. Line the cut edges with cooking oil to keep your jack-o’-lantern fresh for a longer time.
  • The pumpkin seeds can be dried out and salted for a tasty snack.
  • Rub cinnamon into the pumpkin lid to create a pleasant aroma while the candle burns.

Warnings :

  • Working with any sharp tools should always be done with adult supervision.
  • Avoid leaving burning candles unattended.

Get into the spirit of Halloween by setting the right mood inside your home. A touch of autumn, a dab of scary music and lots of spooky crafts will do the job.

How To Decorate Indoors For Halloween

Steps :

  • Use gourds, pumpkins and autumn leaves to decorate mantles and tables.
  • Hollow out one large pumpkin, fill it with water and add floating candles.
  • Make spiders, bats and tissue ghosts (see Related eHows) and use dental floss to hang them from the ceiling. Use a small fan to make them flutter in the air.
  • Hang some Halloween cobwebs around the house, or improvise with yarn or soft cotton.
  • Set the mood by keeping the lights dim – use candles, lanterns, small lamps and Halloween lights.
  • Add some scary music and sound effects. You can even make your own sound effects and tape them. If you don’t have scary tunes, an opera might do the trick.
  • Improvise. Make coffins out of old cardboard boxes and gravestones out of Styrofoam packing inserts, or disassemble old store mannequins for body parts.

    Tips :
    Check out your local dime or dollar store for inexpensive props such as plastic or wind-up spiders and old sheets to use to make ghosts.Â

    Warnings :
    Never leave burning candles unattended.