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How to become a Pumpkin Carving Master

How to become a Pumpkin Carving Master

Since their grassroots  beginnings, Pumpkin Masters® has helped families around the world  celebrate the Halloween tradition of pumpkin carving and decorating. Along the way, their team has picked up a few tricks of their own. Here are a few of those tricks & tips:

Pumpkin Carving1 

Choosing a Pumpkin to Carve

 

Selecting the perfect pumpkin can be a tough task considering the different shapes, sizes, and color. Each pumpkin has unique characteristics and, for many people, a personality all to itself. While personality is important, a pumpkin's carving features is another factor to consider.Here are a few helpful hints for picking the right pumpkin to carve:

 

 

  • Select an unbruised pumpkin about the size and shape of your design.
  • Choose one that is smooth and evenly colored so your design transfers clearly.
  • Make sure the pumpkin has a flat bottom so it sits upright.
  • Watch out for pumpkins with mold around the stem. This may indicate potential rot.
  • Do not carry a pumpkin by its stem to prevent it from breaking.
  • For children, try to select a lighter-colored, softer pumpkin. These don't last as long, but they are easier to carve.

Pumpkin Carving Tips

 

The Pumpkin Masters makes it faster and easier to carve your pumpkin masterpiece. Here are some proven tips to help you carve that perfect Halloween jack-o'-lantern:

Draw and Cut Bottom of Pumpkin: Draw a circle on the bottom your pumpkin. Very carefully, cut along lines with the carving saw. Angle the blade towards the center of the pumpkin to create a ledge that supports the cut piece and remove.

Clean and Scrape: Clean out the seeds and strings with the Pumpkin Masters Scraper Scoop™. Scrape inner pulp away from the area you plan to carve until the pumpkin wall is approximately 1 inch thick.

Attach Pattern: Trim the pattern, leaving a ½ inch border around the design. Tape the pattern to your pumpkin. Make the pattern fit smoothly with small folds at black slash lines. Tape folds in place.

Transfer Pattern: For long lines, roll the Super Poker™ along design lines from end to end. Use the longer, middle tip to poke along tight corners. When all the lines are transferred, remove the pattern.

Sawing your Pumpkin: Use the Detail Saw. Hold pumpkin in your lap. Hold the saw like a pencil and saw steadily with a continuous up-and-down motion. Saw at a 90° angle to the pumpkin. Use gentle pressure. These saws are breakable if used incorrectly.

 

Pumpkin Preservation

 

There are several effective ways to preserve your jack-o'-lantern. If you can carve 2-3 days before Halloween, we recommend the following preservation techniques:

  • Prevent your pumpkin from drying out by placing petroleum jelly on the cut edges of your carving.
  • Spray your pumpkin with water, cover with plastic wrap, then store it in the refrigerator when it's not on display. This helps prevent premature decomposition.
  • Soak or spray the pumpkin with water mixed with a little bit of bleach. This will help ward off mold and kill insects.
  • If your pumpkin is showing signs of shriveling, soak it in water for several hours. The more shriveled the pumpkin, the longer it needs to soak. When the pumpkin is removed from the water, dry the inside with a towel as much as possible to impede mold growth. Dried-out pumpkins and melons can be revived almost completely with this technique.

 

 Illumination Tips

 

Pumpkin Masters offers a number of techniques to effectively illuminate your pumpkin carving. Here are a few tips for lighting up your jack-o'-lantern this Halloween:

  • When using a candle, cut a hole on the upper, back part of the pumpkin. The hole will work like a chimney by allowing the candle's heat to escape.
  • If you create an opening from the bottom of the pumpkin, attach the light source to the bottom lid and place the pumpkin over it. Try drilling a hole to secure the candle. This provides a little more stability, safety and balances the flickering effect.
  • A flashing light is ideal for spooky pumpkin carvings. The lighting effect delivered by 3 flashing bulbs brings the pumpkin to life.
  • Create the smell of Halloween spice. Just sprinkle a little cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice on the bottom of the pumpkin lid. Once the pumpkin is lit, it will create a wonderful seasonalscent.
  • Cast shadows from the back of your pumpkin by carving a unique pattern. It's a unique effect that will get the neighbors talking.

For more help in how to carve the perfect jack-o'-lanterns, watch this video, courtesy of Pumpkin Masters.

Ready to create your own jack-o'-lantern? Stop by Fiesta Mart and pick up your Pumpkin Masters Carving Tool Kit plus the perfect pumpkin in our Produce Department today!

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