Pumpkin carving tips and tricks

Hannah Heger, Trending Editor

The glowing pumpkin faces on front porches and window sills have become staples of the Halloween season. But do you ever wonder where those shining faces come from? 

The first step comes with knowing where to find your perfect pumpkin. With all the local farms, it is difficult to determine the best pumpkin but having an understanding of what the different types of pumpkins and how to best use them will put you ahead of the other carvers.

“There’s a huge variety of pumpkins… some are better for carving than others,” Angela Britt, co-owner of Britt’s Garden Acres said. “Some are more designed for decoration, like the ones that have a hard shell and are all bumpy or the ones that were more designed for food, like some of our ‘Cinderellas’ or ‘Turks turban.’ Either way, they can all be used for decoration.” 

With all the types of pumpkins, the uses could vary greatly, you have pumpkins such as the ‘Sugar Pie’ pumpkin that has a sweeter taste and is most commonly known for being baked into cakes and pies. Then you have the Atlantic Giant pumpkin which is joked to be the mother of all pumpkins because of its massive size. 

But looking past the multitude of pumpkins while all pumpkins can be used for carvings, there are some types that make for better carvings.

“Jack o’ lantern [variety], make the best carvings because of the depth of the flesh. So when you cut into a pumpkin, you want it to be the skin to be thin enough that you can cut into it and create a face,” Britt said. “Some of the other varieties are a lot thicker and so you’re going to have a really hard time trying to carve those.” 

After making a selection of what pumpkin that will bring your carving to life, planning the carving comes next. Planning out and outlining how the pumpkin carving will look can affect the pumpkin choice.

“You’ll have to think about what you want to carve on that face,” Britt said. “Do you want a really tall skinny one and sometimes folks will lay that on their side to kind of have like that become the witch’s nose or something with this, or a flat squaddie one, or just the giant, the biggest pumpkin you can find and you could make two or three carvings on that if you wanted to, you know, so it really depends on what you’re looking for, when you go to choose them.”

But with all the important choices out of the way is when the fun will begin. Being creative is the best thing that comes with pumpkin carving, it doesn’t matter what type of pumpkin you choose or how it’s shaped, all that matters is your imagination and how willing you are to get messy.

“You want to prep your area a little bit because pumpkin carving can be a little messy,” Britt said. “Roll up your sleeves, because you’re going to get to dig into the guts a little bit to get those seeds out, but enjoy coming up and being creative with it, and then roasting those seeds as well, it’s lots of fun.”