Want a perfect pumpkin to complement spooky Halloween decorations? From the traditional grinning gourd to the uncouth and unconventional, there are plenty of ways to make this year’s pumpkin stand out.
First things first: Pick the perfect carving pumpkin. Keep the design in mind.
“It’s all in your personal preference,” said John Bartic of Al’s Melons, a farm market and green house in Meadville. “People prefer different looks, size. There’s no wrong or right way.”
Second: Get creative. It helps to look at inspired creations. Surf the net and browse images of “creative pumpkin carving ideas” on Google. ThisOldHouse.com also offers great ideas and images of stellar chiseled creations.
Third: Pick your poison. What design will you attempt this year?
Templates help finalize designs before plunging into pumpkins. Sketch ideas on paper, then transfer the chosen design onto a piece of wax paper. Pin the wax paper to the pumpkin, and poke holes through the paper to generate an outline to carve. Pre-made templates also abound online for the artistically challenged.
Who says the stem goes on top? Work with this natural protrusion: turn the pumpkin on its side and use the stem as a nose. Or, cut off the top altogether. Position the gourd upside down and work with its unique curves.
A big trend in extreme pumpkin carving is 3D carving. Instead of that iconic lantern look, 3D carvers use the pale fleshy part of the pumpkin to create creepy and realistic sculptures. While thinner pumpkin walls aid traditional carving, which removes full pieces from the rind, 3D pumpkin carving favors thicker walls, providing more material with which to work. 3D pumpkin carving artist, Scott Cummins recommends on his site PumpkinGutter.com buying larger pumpkins for their larger, thicker rinds.
Who says all carvings need to be pumpkins? Gourds come in all shapes and sizes. Try using the multihued varieties found at farmers markets and stands, and play up their unique coloring. Turn a white gourd into a ghoulish ghost. Or, incorporate smaller gourds into larger carvings as appendages, like ears or arms.
Are you utilizing all of your pumpkin? Use the “pumpkin guts,” the stringy insides, to create a spooky look on the outside of your carving. Pull large strands out of a carved mouth or have them spill onto the ground.
Do you have any pumpkin carving photos? We want to see them! Just click on “Submit photos” on GoCrawfordCounty.com!