Pumpkin carving tips and a sunflower template make the perfect Halloween home accent for any country woman.
- Tracing paper and pencil
- Paring knife or pumpkin carving saw (available in grocery and craft stores during autumn)
- Short-handled spoon
- Serrated knife
- Push pin
- Small candle
- Small candle holder or aluminum mini muffin or tart tin
- Download and print pattern.
- Choose a pumpkin without visible cuts or bruises. One with smoother, flatter sides makes transferring a pattern and carving easier.
- Use a paring knife or carving saw to cut a 4-in. circular hole in the bottom of the pumpkin. Clean out the pumpkin, removing as many seeds and strings as possible by hand.
- Use the short-handled spoon to scrape the inner walls clean until they are about 1 in. thick. Be sure to level off the bottom of the pumpkin with a serrated knife so it will sit flat.
- Trace the pattern above onto tracing paper. Tape the pattern to the smoothest, flattest side of the pumpkin. Use the push pin to lightly poke holes through the pattern into the pumpkin 1/8 in. to 1/4 in. apart, following the lines of the pattern. When the design is complete, remove the pattern.
- If you have difficulty seeing the dots, rub flour over them to turn them white for better visibility.
CARVING THE PUMPKIN:
- Place the pumpkin in your lap or on a table. Holding the knife or carving saw like a pencil, insert it straight into the pumpkin and begin sawing in an up-and-down motion, connecting the dots of the pattern.
- To cut around a curve, do not twist the knife or saw. Continue sawing up and down while gently turning the knife or saw in the direction you wish to carve.
LIGHTING THE JACK-O’-LANTERN:
- Light the candle, drip wax onto the center of candle holder or mini muffin or tart tin and affix candle to it. Place the pumpkin over the candle.
- After a few minutes, you’ll notice a blackened area inside the top of the pumpkin. Lift the pumpkin off the candle and cut a 1-in. hole in the blackened area to serve as a vent. Reposition the pumpkin over the candle.
To make pumpkin carving safe and fun, follow these hints:
- Keep your non-carving hand away from the carving tool to prevent injuries.
- Start carving the smallest areas first, or carve from the center of the design outward. This will prevent your hand from pressing down on already carved areas and causing the pumpkin shell to break.
- Carve larger areas into two or three smaller pieces for easier removal.
- Remember, children should be supervised by adults when using carving tools or lit candles.
Carved jack-o’-lantern craft originally sent in by Lisa Berberette of Kilmarnock, Virginia.
Pumpkin Carving Tips Photo by Country Woman Magazine.