The best tools for carving your Halloween pumpkins and tips to preserve them longer.
It’s getting towards the end of October and the Pumpkin Carving Craze has officially begun! To be honest, I have never successfully carved a scary looking Halloween pumpkin in my life. I tried it a few times when the kids where little, but even they told me to give it up after my last attempt that looked like a mixture between a winking ghoul and a lopsided mole.
My carved pumpkin creation ended up rotting and stinking on our door step within a day or two. Scroll down to learn how to preserve your pumpkin masterpiece.
Fast forward ten years and I’m looking at the coolest pumpkin carvings I have ever seen.
Oh, how I wish I had just a little bit of carving talent. Take a look at the Photo Gallery at Villafane Studios and you will be amazed.
Pumpkin photo courtesy of Villafane Studios.
For most, myself not included, it will be easy to start carving pumpkins and gourds with just basic tools you have in your kitchen. Here is a list of pumpkin carving tools that you most likely have on hand already.
Basic Tools for Carving Pumpkins
- Serrated Knives –
Depending on the size of your pumpkin or gourd, you will need a large serrated bread knife, steak knives, grapefruit knife or utility knife. A serrated edged knife is a must for safe pumpkin carving. The flesh of a pumpkin is too dense to safely and comfortably cut into with a straight edged knife.
- Large Spoon –
A large metal spoon is very handy for scraping out pumpkin seeds and pulp. Of course you can also use your hands if you like the slimy feel of the seeds and pumpkin guts. A large flat spoon works well for smoothing down the inner walls of the pumpkin in preparation of the carving. Some specialty spoons have a wider, flatter edge and are ideal for this task, but a regular spoon will work just fine.
- Cookie Cutter –
You can use cookie cutters as templates for tracing patterns onto your pumpkin or use them as punches. Push or gently hammer metal cookie cutters into the pumpkin flesh to make interesting patterns. I wish I knew about that one years ago.
- Toothpicks –
Use toothpicks to help you transfer a pattern on to your pumpkin. Tape your pattern on the pumpkin and poke tiny holes through the paper. After you remove the paper you will see the little dots of the pattern and can cut along them. To help you see the toothpick dots, sprinkle a little bit of flour over the pumpkin and rub it into the holes to make them stand out better.
We would love to see your pumpkin carvings!
Leave us a comment below and post your pictures to our Facebook page. Scroll down to learn how to preserve your Halloween pumpkins!
Tips To Preserve Your Carved Pumpkin Masterpiece
Soak the pumpkin in a bucket with bleach and water for about an hour after you removed the seed. This will kill any bacteria and will keep your pumpkin looking great.
If your pumpkins starts to wilt anyway, simply fill up a large bucket or bath tub with cold water and add a couple table spoons of bleach. Soak the pumpkins in the cold water overnight to re-hydrate them and make them nice and firm again.
Do you know of any other pumpkin carving tools that work well? Please share in the comments below.