One thing many dads love to do is to carve Halloween pumpkins with the kids. And using a pumpkin carving pattern can make carving an awesome pumpkin pretty easy. Follow these instructions for carving a pumpkin your kids will remember for a long time.
Time Required: 30 minutes to an hour
- Select the right pumpkin. Get one that is large enough for your pattern, is shaped like a pumpkin should be, sits square on the ground and has a bit of a stem.
- Clean up your pumpkin. Make sure it is clean of any mud and dry. It will carve easier if it is clean and dry.
- Cut off the top. Using your larger knife, cut a circle about as big in diameter as your hand. If you cut a bit at an angle toward the bottom center of the pumpkin, the lid will fit better and seal tighter, letting less light out of the top. If you cut a small notch in the lid and the pumpkin on the back side, you will put the lid back on right when it is all done.
- Scrape out the contents of the pumpkin. Inside, you will find lots of wet, fibrous material and seeds. Using a metal spoon, get all of the insides out. Scrape the inside surface until it is clean. And you can also separate the seeds out, wash them and then bake them for a great treat later.
- Attach your pattern. Pick a favorite pattern, print it out to the right size, and then tape it on to the pumpkin where you want to carve.
- Transfer the pattern. Then using a toothpick or a small finishing nail, poke holes along all the lines where you will be cutting to transfer the pattern to the pumpkin. Make a hole about every 1/8 inch so that the pattern will be easy to follow.
- Cut out the pattern. Using your small knife, cut out along the lines, leaving the parts you want dark on the pumpkin and removing any parts you want to see light through. Work carefully, as most patterns have small parts that will be removed or retained.
- Light your pumpkin. When you are finished, put a votive candle, a battery powered small lantern or a glow stick inside and watch it glow. If you are using a candle, make sure it is out of reach from the kids and in a safe place.
What You Need
- Large kitchen knife
- Small carving knife (best if it is serrated)
- Pumpkin carving pattern
- Masking tape
- Toothpick or small finishing nail
- Votive candle, glow stick or small battery lantern