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Pumpkin Carving is Easy!

Posted on 25th September 2013
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Blog Banner for Karnival Costumes entry Pumpkin Carving is Easy!

Clown Logo of Karnival Costumes your Halloween specialists for Fancy Dress and Costume AccessoriesAlthough there are many people who create beautifully carved pumpkins every year, you don't need to be an expert to have a great time and end up with something you can be rightly proud of and that you will want others to see.  There are many pumpkin carving pattern sites around and the trick is to pick a pattern that has been designed to keep pumpkin carving fun and easy for your level of ability.
One of our favourite sites for patterns is PumpkinPie and if you follow these simple step by step instructions you’re sure to create a beautifully carved pumpkin in no time. As with all activities that involve sharp implements, youngsters should have adult supervision.
Step 1
Pumpkin Carving Set including patternsChoose a suitable pumpkin carving pattern. Most have a rating system which will help you choose one to match your skill level. There are hundreds of patterns available to choose from including lots of Disney characters. Find a pattern that you really like and print it off. If you find the pattern is too big for your pumpkin, most printers will allow you to scale the page before printing and using this function will enable you to get a pattern that is right for your pumpkin. At Karnival Costumes, we also have Pumpkin Carving Kits complete with Pumpkin Patterns.
Step 2
Make sure you have a good and stable working area and that it’s covered appropriately. Assemble all of the Carving Tools that you will need including a bowl for the discarded pulp. Take your pumpkin and using the largest of your pumpkin carving saws from your Pumpkin Carving Kit, cut a hole on the top of your pumpkin around the stem. As this will be replaced when you’ve finished carving the pumpkin, we usually angle the cut so that the ‘lid’ simply rests back into the top.  The hole needs to be large enough for you to be able to your hand inside. Grab your pumpkin scooper, or a large spoon, remove all of the innards including the seeds which can be retained and roasted if you want, everything else can be thrown away. Once the inside of your pumpkin has been cleaned out, clean and dry thoroughly the outside ready to fix your chosen pattern.
Step 3 
Having thoroughly dried your pumpkin, tape your carving pattern to it.  Choose the best side of the pumpkin for carving and position the stencil so that the design will show correctly once the pumpkin is set in place. Be sure to use plenty of adhesive tape to make sure it doesn’t slip. You may find it easier to cut some of the unwanted paper off making it easier to handle and position the actual pattern.
Step 4 
Using either a "push pin" or “pin wheel” as supplied with your carving kit, poke holes around all of the highlighted areas of your pattern.  Ideally the marks should be close together every 1/8 inch or .5 centimeter. Dependent on the complexity of the design chosen, this will be a long process but its vitally important to the overall quality of the finished carving so resist the temptation to rush through it. Once you’ve finished are done poking holes around each of the pattern areas, remove the pattern and tape from your pumpkin.  You may want to rub over the holes with some chalk or flour to make them stand out a bit more thereby making them easier to follow.
Step 5 
Now the real transformation can begin with the cutting of your design. Although it’s tempting to start with the biggest areas for instant impact, you need to take your smallest carving saw and start cutting out the smallest areas first leaving the largest areas to the end. Make sure you cut along the dotted line and take your time.  Work slowly and methodically and if it helps make with a pen the areas to be cut out.
Okay, we all make mistakes and accidents can happen.  Rule one when this happens is not to panic as it’s wonderful what bits of pumpkin can be held in place with half of a cocktail stick or matchstick! That said, if you take your time you shouldn’t need to resort to these methods!
Step 6 
You're Finished!  Congratulations and all you’ll need to do now is clean out all of the little pieces of pumpkin that fell inside and then add either a tealight candle or one of the battery alternative pumpkin lights and display.
If you’re carving your pumpkins early, then keep them dark airy place with a damp cloth over the top of them or as an alternative, you can wipe all of the cut surfaces with petroleum jelly to stop them drying out.  Lastly, if all else fails and they’re looking poorly, plunge them into a bath of cold water.
Have fun!
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