Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Tutorial

For this entire month I've been in the Halloween mood, between costumes and pumpkins I just can't be stopped! Well, besides being challenged to create a duck tape pumpkin design I was also given a pumpkin carving challenge. Just so you know, I have NEVER done this before but I wanted to give it a whirl. I have vague memories of jack o' laterns as a kid but I was always given the task of cleaning out the pumpkin. Me and sharp knives? Negative. And that continues today! Unless I am chopping veggies I stay away from sharp objects. I have nightmares about cutting myself and honestly when I watch horror movies knives are more scary to me than any other type of weapon. Anyway, this pumpkin carving is all about a kit. No knives. This is what you will need:

Tape - you can use scotch tape, duck tape, I used shipping tape
Pumpkin carving kit - look Mom no knives!
Trash bag

I laid the trash bag on the table to catch all of the mess. You can also use newspaper or smaller plastic bags. I liked the idea of a trash bag because once I was done I just turned it inside out and all of the pumpkin bits were already in the garbage! 

I started by drawing a circle on the top of the pumpkin, keeping the line that was on the front close to the stem so I'd have enough room for my design. I used the pumpkin carving tool that came with the kit to cut out the top - be sure to angle the tool inward so that the top won't fall into the pumpkin. Next I scooped out all of the seeds and cleaned out the bottom of the pumpkin so a candle can rest on a flat surface. I would have baked the pumpkin seeds but I discovered my pumpkin was bruised inside and I didn't trust that the seeds were edible. Next I chose my design, the pumpkin kit had many.....

But I had something else in mind so I downloaded my stencil from a website and then used my tape to place it on the pumpkin. Using the marking tool, I outlined the stencil by making small holes in the pumpkin. Although this was a bit difficult, I liked the idea of doing it this way because it is difficult to see when merely tracing the design. I'm pretty sure the tool was not intended to make holes but I made it work! 

Once the outline was completed I removed the paper stencil and began to cut out the design with the pumpkin carving tool. This part was tedious but not as difficult as I thought it would be. A big tip - put the pumpkin between your legs or on your lap. You will have more control and be less likely to make a mistake. 
After cutting each piece I gently pushed it inside of the pumpkin and removed it. Here is the final product. The very last step was to place a candle inside. I have no shortage of tea lights so I just placed one inside and........

Voila! My first foray into pumpkin carving was a SUCCESS! Do you like it? 

 No matter who you are voting for I implore you to get out and vote! My pumpkin obviously shows my allegiance but it also has a design that my five year old son will enjoy! I honestly cannot wait until next year to try my hand at different designs. And since we are a few weeks out from Halloween, I will store my pumpkin in the refrigerator during the day and bring it out for night time display!

Disclosure: I am a Walmart mom and have been compensated for sharing my pumpkin carving tutorial with you. As usual, all opinions are my own and do not reflect Walmart. 

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