Leanne has been designing pumpkin carving patterns for the site and I have been carving them for over a decade now. This year is no exception and I have decided to tackle a new pattern, the scarecrow.
Before diving into my pumpkin I like to gather the required tools. I print the pattern that I have chosen from DLTK’s Halloween pumpkin carving patterns. The outside of the pumpkin is cleaned and I grab a couple of serrated knives for the long straight cuts. I purchased some pumpkin carving tools at the local craft store a few years ago which includes a couple of detail carving knives, two marking tools and a scraping tool for the inside of the pumpkin.
After cutting an access hole in the top, gutting and scraping the inside I pin my pattern to the pumpkin using toothpicks. I also use a little cooking oil on the back of the pattern to help the paper stick to the pumpkin. The oil is optional…you might not need or want it. (I used oil because it does not make the printer ink run.)
Then I carefully poke holes around the entire pattern to transfer the pattern to the pumpkin. I had a tool for this but a toothpick would work just as well. Once you are sure you have outlined the entire pattern you can remove the toothpick and take the pattern off the pumpkin to reveal your pattern of small holes in the pumpkin flesh.
At this point I will take one of the larger serrated knives to cut some of the longer straight lines. Then you can use the finer blades to cut the curves and short lines. The general rule of thumb to follow when carving your patter is to work from the centre of the patter to the outside. The more intricate the pattern the more important it is to do this.
When you are all done you will have a pumpkin that will look something like this. Stand back and take a moment to admire your handywork. I took this photo with tea light candles inside the pumpkin but when we actually set it outside as a decoration we use faux candles that are battery powered to keep our trick or treating visitors safe.
But I am not finished yet. My reward for carving pumpkins is eating the roasted pumpkin seeds. It takes some time to sift through the guts and pick out all the seeds. Then I rinse them, prepare them and roast them according to the recipe on our sites. Mmmmmm…pumpkin seeds!
Visit DLTK’s Sites for more Halloween activities. Our Halloween index page can be found at http://www.dltk-holidays.com/halloween/index.html. To see our collection of Halloween pumpkin carving patterns please visit http://www.dltk-holidays.com/halloween/mpatterns.htm. If you would like more recipes like the roasted pumpkin seeds you can find them at http://www.dltk-holidays.com/halloween/recipes/index.htm.
Happy Halloween everybody!