to Carve a Pumpkin
By Nancy Cavanaugh
There is nothing more
fun than carving a pumpkin at Halloween. You can be really
creative and make an elaborate design, a silly design or go
with something more traditional. The possibilities are nearly
endless. You can make your own designs, use
one of ours or
buy a book with designs. The books typically come with a pumpkin
What you need:
Ice cream scoop
Wax crayon or awl
NOTE: Unless the
kids are older, parents should do all the cutting with the
1. Cover the work surface
2. Use the knife to cut
out the top of the pumpkin around the stem. The hole needs
to be big enough for you to put your hand and the ice cream
scoop inside so you can scoop out the gooey insides. Cutting
a round circle will work but typically a five- or six-pointed
star shape will work the best. Cut with the knife at an angle
towards the middle of the pumpkin.
3. Scoop out all the gooey
mess inside the pumpkin. Put the mess in one bowl and have
the kids pick the seeds out and put in a separate bowl, then
set aside to bake them later.
4. Choose the side of
the pumpkin that would be best suited to carving. You can use
the wax crayon to draw an outline for the face. If you're using
a pattern, hold the pattern in place, then use the awl to make
small holes in the pumpkin so that you can follow them like
a dot-to-dot to cut out the pattern. Use the knife to cut out
the pieces following the crayon markings or the dots. Be sure
to cut all the way through the shell.
5. When you're done, carefully
push the pieces out to see your design.
6. Make sure the pumpkin
will sit flat. Add a candle. You can use regular candles or
get a flashlight-type light to put inside that runs on batteries.
Put outside or in a window and light the candle when it gets
Wait to carve your pumpkin
until a few days before Halloween.
To make your pumpkin last
longer you need to slow down the dehydration process and not
allow mold to set in. If your pumpkin begins to shrivel up
you can soak it in water overnight.
You can also coat all
the cut surfaces with petroleum jelly, including the inside
of the pumpkin. This will seal the moisture inside the pumpkin
Keep the pumpkin in a
dry, shaded area during the day to help extend the life of
your carved pumpkin.
Nancy Cavanaugh, is
a stay-at-home mom and avid crafter. You can find lots more
fun crafts for kids, ages three to seven, at her site: Kids
Holiday Crafts www.kidsholidaycrafts.com