1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are grown each year in the U.S.A., and the vast majority (over 80% of it) become conveniently ripe and available just in time for Halloween.
You know what that means…
October is upon us, and it is time to celebrate our favorite holiday of ghouls, goblins, and ghosts. And what better way to do so than to carve pumpkins! An activity that kids and grown-ups alike can enjoy.
And the more pumpkins, the better. Any front porch looks frightfully empty without one or two perched on its steps come Halloween night.
And guess what? You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to make ‘em look good with these tips and tricks.
8 Pumpkin Carving Tools To Make Your Jack-’O-Lantern Grin & Grimace
Ice Cream Scoop
Scooping out a pumpkin’s innards might be everyone’s least favorite part of the pumpkin carving process. But an ice cream scoop makes a great pumpkin scraper, and it tends to do the job far better than the ones included in store-bought kits! Not only are they easier for kids to grip with ease, but they are perfectly shaped to reach in and scoop out all those messy innards.
And doing a thorough scraping is important, so don’t skimp here! Here’s a pro tip: the better you clean out the inside, the longer your pumpkin will stay fresh. So keep scraping all those tiny bits and pieces away!
Pssst…. don’t forget... those pumpkin seeds don’t need to be tossed in the trash. They make a delicious traditional Halloween treat!
Cookie Cutter Carving Kits
Carving kits come with a wide variety of tools. But if you want to go for a classic jack-o’-lantern look, why not try the cookie-cutter method? These pumpkin carving tools are exactly what they sound like: cookie cutters. Only, in this case, they’re pumpkin carvers.
When pieced together, they work like a sort of puzzle, creating various eyes, nose, and mouth formations for your classic jack-o’-lantern. Check out this pumpkin carving kit on Amazon for a great example of what we mean. They make the job easy without entirely erasing the creativity.
Pottery Sculpting Tools
Some people use X-Acto knives to complete intricate designs on their pumpkins. We find the use of sharp blades altogether scary. Especially if kiddoes are around!
A much safer alternative is pottery sculpting tools. These can help you refine the teeniest tiniest details that go into creating true masterpieces.
CatTongue Grips Gription® Pad & Gription® Roll
What happens when you are carving a pumpkin, and it slides off the table? It shatters into approximately 10 billion pieces. Ask us how we know.
If you want your pumpkin to avoid such a wicked fate, use one of our Gription® Pads to keep it securely in place. Not only will this ensure everything stays put (not just your pumpkin but your pumpkin carving tools as well), but it will also make clean-up easier.
And here’s another bonus to using our Gription® products: add a bit of our Gription® Roll to your tools’ handles to help you get a better grip on things. Then, you can really get down to the detail on those googly eyes and witchy warts.
Pumpkin Design Printable Stencils
Not all of us are handy with sketching perfect artistically accurate representations of Jack Skellington or Mickey Mouse. So for those of you whose sketching abilities are limited to stick figures, never fear! Many free online pumpkin carving stencils are available to you. You simply print them out and use them to trace the design straight on the pumpkin.
Is it cheating just a little bit? Sure. But we promise not to tell.
A power drill is NOT a pumpkin carving tool recommended for the kids. But for adults, a power drill can sure make short work of a jack-’o-lantern carving contest. You can create eyeballs, noses, and mouths faster than you can say “Boo!”
For great tips on exactly how to use a power drill to carve your pumpkin, check out this pumpkin carving tutorial from CNET. They created a Dia De Los Muertos jack-’o-lantern using a power drill, and it is simply stunning!
Bleach Water & Vaseline
Carving a jack-’o-lantern is a deeply rewarding crafting activity, at first. Then, your pumpkin starts to wither and turn into something that looks more like smooshed produce you might find in the “Manager’s Special” section of your local supermarket.
Keep your carving fresh for as long as possible with this trick: wiping the inside with bleach water (for complete instructions on how to do this, check out this article from Smithsonian Magazine) helps clean the pumpkin and keep it looking vibrant and colorful for longer. You know, so it can have the staying power it needs to survive an entire month of visits from trick ‘r treaters and the undead.
Add petroleum jelly to the exposed edges of your jack-’o-lantern, and your painstakingly carved pumpkin will last even longer!
Sure, there’s nothing quite like a traditional flame to give your jack-’o-lantern that spooky Halloween feel. But if you ask us, the risk of fire is too frightening a proposition. Especially if you use the preservation trick mentioned above (petroleum jelly and open flames simply do not mix.)
LED lights are a better choice. Not only do they last longer, but they are safer. And another benefit? They tend to be much brighter! Opt for lights that have an orange or yellow glow to better mimic the look of a traditional candle. Although, we don’t know… a jack-’o-lantern grinning in bright purple or green doesn’t sound like such a terrible idea, either!
Pumpkin Carving Tools That’ll Leave Your Jack-’O-Lantern Grinning
How did your jack-’o-lantern turn out? We would love to see your creations! Please tag us on our Instagram page, and share a spooky pic or two!