Selecting the pumpkins you'll
carve for your Halloween Jack-O'-Lanterns is very important. You'll need to pick pumpkins
according to what you want to carve on them. Whether it's simply carving a pumpkin to sit on the door step or holding
pumpkin carving parties and contests, this age old tradition is a main event for
young and old alike.
Depending on the variety, pumpkins
can range in size anywhere from tiny to humongous. Medium sized ones work best for most
stencils that you'll make or buy. Very large pumpkins can be carved with elaborate designs
and used as "center pieces" on your porch or tables. Small pumpkins work fine
for carving traditional faces, they can be done fast and you can have many of them
scattered about for parties, haunts or up your sidewalk as a lighted pathway.
planning is the key to your pumpkin carving success
First, decide before buying your pumpkins
what designs you will be carving into them. This will allow you to create a shopping list
or at least a mental idea of the shapes and sizes of pumpkins you'll need.
For standard carving without a stencil, decide if it should be tall and narrow, or
more rounded, based on your ideas. Select
pumpkins that are uniformly
orange meaning that are ripe, have no bruises, cuts or nicks.
If you will be using a stencil to carve your
pumpkin, select a pumpkin that is large enough and as close to the same shape as the
pattern you're going to carve. It should be as smooth as possible, and free of scratches,
dents or gouges.
Never carry a pumpkin by its
stem; it may break. If it does break-off you can use toothpicks as a basic patch. Care
should be taken not to bruise during transport or storage, as this will shorten their
If you find a perfect
pumpkin but it's missing it's stem, have no fear! You can still use it! Just carve the
bottom out for the opening the same way you would do the top. Then, you just
sit your light source on the cleaned bottom piece and sit the pumpkin over it. Works great
and you don't need the stem for a lid handle!
What do you get when you take the circumference
of a pumpkin
and divide it by its diameter?