Pumpkins - To Carve or Not To Carve

  • September 28, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

What would Halloween be without a great carved pumpkin?  To me it never really feels like the Halloween season until you see that big crate full of pumpkins at your local grocery store.  I’ll see costumes, candy and plenty of Halloween decorations, but that first pumpkin sighting means it’s officially Fall for me! 

We love going to the pumpkin patch in October.  Being able to pick out that perfect pumpkin becomes a mission that usually takes my daughters about an hour to complete!  But the look on their face once they find it is priceless.  Finding that perfect pumpkin is the easy part, it’s deciding between the 10 perfect pumpkins that they’ve found that’s the hard part.  It’s funny, but I find that I’m the same way.  Wouldn’t it be nice if this really was the biggest decision that we had to make in our day to day lives?  Anyway, pumpkins do come in every shape and size imaginable.  That’s what makes carving them so fun.  Never carry a pumpkin by its stem, it may break.  If it does break-off you can use toothpicks as a basic patch.  If you find a perfect pumpkin but it's missing its 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, just sit your light source on the cleaned bottom piece and sit the pumpkin over it.  This works great and you don't need the stem for a lid handle.

Many centuries ago, October 31st was a magical night when glowing jack-o-lanterns, carved from turnips or gourds, were set on porches and in windows to welcome deceased loved ones, but also to act as protection against malevolent spirits. Burning lumps of coal were used inside as a source of light, later to be replaced by candles.  Soon after, it was the Irish who decided it was much easier to use pumpkins since they were much larger and easier to carve.

I was looking through a Halloween magazine the other day and couldn’t believe all the cute pumpkin decorating ideas that are out there.  I absolutely love the idea of carving small holes all over your pumpkin and pushing each bulb from a small strand of white lights through each hole.  When lit up the pumpkin looks amazing – and it’s so simple.  Another idea would be to let your children “paint” their pumpkin.  My youngest daughter, Olivia wanted nothing to do with gutting her pumpkin last year, so instead I had her paint a face on.  She loved it!  And even if you have a child that is younger Halloween Express has a “pushpin” pumpkin kit that works just like a Mr. Potato Head.  You just push in the eyes, nose, mouth, ears etc… and you’ve got the perfect no mess pumpkin!  You can find it at Halloween Pumpkin Push Pins

Other great ideas include our Witch or Vampire Pumpkin Stand.   These are great if you want to carve your pumpkin with a witch or vampires face because the stand looks like the rest of their body.  You can see these, our stencil books, carving tool sets and much, much more at Halloween Pumpkins