Pumpkin Carving 101
It’s almost as if nature knew ahead of time in order to thwart the disappointment of shorter days, cooler nights, and the impending takeover of a winter landscape, it gave us the pumpkin. While shades of brown, and even more brown take over the landscape there remains a bright orange light defying the oncoming winter. As it so happens this spunky squash knows how to lift spirits and ward off the bad ones. At least that’s what the Irish legend tells us.
As Irish immigrants moved into North America they brought their peculiar carving habits with them. Previously the Irish had used turnips for their scary artwork, but in North America, the plentiful pumpkin became an excellent substitute. Before they knew it, pumpkin carving took on a whole new group of fans and was integrated into Halloween celebrations around the country.
Though the legend of Stingy Jack remains, it’s not uncommon to see all kinds of creative artwork displayed on pumpkins everywhere. No longer relegated to warding off evil spirits, pumpkin carving displays happy, goofy, sad, and scary creations.
If you’re interested in carving your own pumpkin, just follow the handy instructions below. When you’re done, take a picture and click HERE to upload and you’ll be a part of the My Mutual Pumpkin Carving Contest!
Here are some of the tools you will need for your jack-o’-lantern project.
- Knife (A thinner shorter knife works best and is the safest option)
- Large Spoon
- Marker and Tape
- Stencil (Need a fun stencil? click HERE)
Begin by cutting around the stem at the top of the pumpkin. Take care to position the knife at a slight angle. This will create a “plug” that is wider at the top than the bottom helping it sit much better.
Take your big spoon and start scooping out the inside of the pumpkin. You don’t have to scrape too far, just remove the stringy stuff along with the seeds. You can even save the seeds, season and bake them for a very interesting snack!
Take your stencil and cut out the dark areas with a scissor. Tape the stencil onto the pumpkin and trace the cutout areas with a marker. If you don’t wish to use a stencil it can be helpful to use a marker to design what you would like to do before starting to cut.
Very carefully begin to cut around the marked area. Be sure to cut outside the line or else you will have a leftover marker on your pumpkin when you’re done. If you’re not using a stencil, make sure you don’t cut out too much of the pumpkin. The more pumpkin you remove the weaker it becomes. If you remove too much your pumpkin may fall over!
Once you have cut out the areas you have marked, you can put a candle or flashlight inside the pumpkin and watch your creation come to life! Find a dark area in your home or wait until nightfall to test out your new creation! If you are going to place the pumpkin outside you may want to bring it in overnight. If the temperature gets too cold it may weaken the pumpkin and it may start to sag or droop.
My Mutual wishes you and your family a safe and fun Halloween. We’re looking forward to the creations you decide to make! Don't forget to click HERE! and upload your picture.