Top Pumpkin Carving Tips

Kick start your imagination with these top tips for creating a pumpkin with ghoulish panache.

Every holiday has challenges, and Halloween is no exception. It might be the fiendish pressure of finding an imaginative costume or carving a pumpkin with some ghoulish panache.

For those who need to kick start their imaginations, there’s help through a Halloween how-to internet sites such as Halloween Online Magazine or There’s lots of interesting free advice as well as the option of shopping online.

Create pumpkins with artistic flair

Gone are the days when you could get by with the standard grinning Jack O’Lantern. Now, the pressure is on to create pumpkins with some artistic flair. Weird or exotic is also good.

Halloween experts say it’s important to select the right pumpkin that’s up to your creative urges. A few tips:

– Knock on the pumpkin. It should sound hollow when ripe.

– A pumpkin will rot faster if damaged around the stem. Never pick up a pumpkin by the stem.

– Don’t buy your pumpkin too early, as you want it to be in good shape when Halloween arrives.

– In carving, add a small notch in the back of the lid. The notch will remind you how the lid is positioned, allow the smoke and heat to escape, and ensure that the candle inside gets enough air.

NEXT: Fancy Stuff

Fancy stuff

There’s an easy carving trick that will give a translucent glow to a pumpkin once you light the candle inside.

– Remove the tough orange outer skin by peeling it away carefully with a paring knife or peeler. You get a contrast between the white underskin and the exterior. And the candle glows through the white skin.

Another idea is to gather interesting flowers, leaves, berries, pods, petals, cones and vines.

– Use peanut butter to “glue” these to your pumpkin.

– Attach heavier objects with toothpicks or a glue gun.

Get creative with vegetables

Cucumbers impaled on toothpicks for eyes; green beans for eyebrows; carrots for noses; peas for teeth.

– Anchor these with toothpicks.

– Cabbage leaves make a stunning hairdo. Or attach long beans or raffia. Cut the ends off any exposed toothpicks with garden secateurs