Towards the moment of Halloween, you will often find pumpkins everywhere. Usually, this orange fruit is carved with a scary face and made into a lantern.
Maybe the question in your mind is, “Why do you have to pumpkin?”
The pumpkin is carved in a creepy face, inspired by horror fairy tales in Ireland.
Starting from the Fool’s Fire phenomenon
Pumpkin, this one fruit is synonymous with Halloween. According to David Emery, an urban legend expert told About.com, this carved pumpkin is Jack O’Lantern. Who is she?
The name Jack O’Lantern comes from England. This figure became known in the 17th century. Jack O’Lantern is a creative designation for Jack of Lantern, which means ‘lantern man.’
Jack committed many sins during his life. But he managed to trick Satan into not putting him in hell when he died. When Jack died, he was refused entry to heaven.
Then he descended into the afterlife and banged on the gates of hell, asking Satan to be placed in hell. The devil refused to break his first promise. Instead, she cursed Jack to wander the earth for good. He was equipped with a burning fire to illuminate the paths he traversed. Since then, he became known as Jack O’Lantern.
This legend was so popular with British citizens that they started making Jack O’Lantern a part of Halloween, a festival for the dead in the 1800s.
Initially, Jack’s carvings were made from radishes, potatoes, or beets. British citizens who migrated to America brought the tradition of carving Jack O’Lantern to America.
America is a large pumpkin producing country. And the creators of Jack O’Lantern realized that this fruit was more suitable for making lanterns than potatoes. Finally, Jack O’Lantern’s head was made from a pumpkin.
How Do You Carve Halloween pumpkin?
Carving pumpkins is a fun Halloween tradition and is popular with both children and adults. If you want to cut a pumpkin yourself, you must first purchase it from a market, convenience store, or pumpkin plantation. Set up a clean and comfortable work area. Then, make a design pattern on one side of the pumpkin before starting to carve it. Remember, you also need to get all the seeds out of the pumpkin. Be sure to keep the knife out of reach of children and supervise those who wish to carve the pumpkin themselves.
Create Design Patterns
1. Choose a design before you start carving. Before you begin cutting pumpkins, decide what kind of design or face you want to engrave in the past. You can carve a traditional “spooky” face plus a grin, a haunted house, or a silhouette of a cat or bat.
Many pumpkin lantern (jack-o’-lantern) designs can be found online. Try to come up with more ideas. Or, you can go to a local library and borrow a book with carving ideas. You can also find a variety of pictures that can inspire you to develop your design.
2. Choose an engraving method. A standard way is to empty the flask before carving it from the outside in, but other techniques allow the pumpkin to last longer and require less work with a knife. Here are some of the most popular methods:
• Engrave traditional jack-o’-lantern designs. You will need to engrave the eyes, mouth, and possibly the nose. This design is the simplest and is suitable for beginners.
• Carve out a silhouette. Select a shape, such as a ghost, and create a “negative space” around the ghost shape. Then, measure features such as eyes or mouth. The result is a halo around a dark form with delicate details.
• Carve it through the pulp. To make a daytime pumpkin lantern that won’t be lit, use a craft knife to scrape off the pumpkin’s skin and expose the pulp—no need to carve to the center of the pumpkin.
3. Draw a design on the pumpkin. To create traditional carvings, silhouettes, and pulp, use a permanent marker or a non-permanent marker to outline the pumpkin’s plan. Non-permanent markers can be erased if you make a mistake. If you don’t want to draw your design, you can search the internet for designs and trace them onto a pumpkin.
If you decorate pumpkins with children, allowing them to draw designs will be a fun experience.
1. Prepare a spacious work area. Pumpkin carving activities can make a messy work area. So, it’s better to do it on the floor or kitchen table. Lay some newspaper or brown paper (the former shopping bag) on a flat surface. Place the utensils and bowls to catch the inside of the pumpkin that was removed.
It will help protect the floor and tabletops and make it easier for you to clean them after the job is done. When you’re done carving the pumpkin, you can scoop up all the newspaper and throw it in the trash.
2. Choose a sharp knife. To carve a pumpkin effectively, use a serrated bread knife, a jab saw used for cutting gypsum, or a multipurpose serrated knife designed for carving pumpkins. If you don’t have a serrated knife or prefer a knife with a straight blade, choose a carving knife or filet knife.
3. Cut off the lid. Measure a circle with a radius of 5 cm from the stem. You will be cutting this part to make a lid. Don’t cut vertically. Instead, position the knife at an angle towards the center of the circle. This way, the cover will rest against the bowl-shaped hole and prevent it from falling into the center of the pumpkin.
You don’t have to make the lid round. Try making a square, star, or another shape of the cover. Just make sure you tilt the knife towards the circle’s center when carving the flask and the opening.
4. Remove the contents of the pumpkin. Use a large spoon, ice cream trowel, or your hands to pull the filaments and seeds from the pumpkin’s inside. Place the seeds, pulp, and other ingredients in the large bowl you prepared in advance. Match the pumpkin’s contents as much as possible so that later the light can shine out maximally.
You can skip this step if you only want to carve through the pulp without intending to empty the pumpkin.
5. Make carvings according to design. Use a gentle back and forth motion to cut the pulp. Do not rush. Make sure that you make the cuts accurately, following the plan you made on the surface of the pumpkin. Pull the knife back and forth while maintaining steady downward pressure. Follow the design until you’ve finished it all.
If you can’t quickly get the cut design out, try running the knife around it one more time, then pushing the amount from the inside. You may be able to use a toothpick inserted into the design piece to help pull it out.
Be careful when using the knife. When cutting, point the knife away from you. Never pull the blade through the pumpkin towards you.
13 Unique Pumpkin Carving Ideas
• Anatomy Pumpkins – Carve out a skull, ribcage, and heart using these templates and instructions.
• Cannibal Cutie Pumpkin – Creepy calling this “cannibal” pumpkin cute, but you be the judge.
• Mummy Pumpkin – Use a white variety to create a fun mummy pumpkin.
• Pumpkin Skull with Exposed Brain – This “brainy” project is a two pumpkin project.
• Pumpkin Anatomy Skull – Another fun exposed head project is featuring a cutaway jack-o-lantern and skull underneath.
• Scarface Pumpkin – Use Q-tips to create a jagged scar running across your pumpkin’s face.
• Pumpkin “Bonfire” – Create a pumpkin “bonfire” by using stencils to cut “flames” into your pumpkins. Use votive candles or flameless candles for a safer option.
• Fanged Pumpkins – Plastic vampire teeth can be used to take a bit out of your pumpkins.
• Drilled Pumpkins – Use a drill to create decorative pumpkins.
• Cookie Cutter Pumpkins – Not into the whole carving thing? Use cookie cutters and a rubber mallet for a more comfortable alternative to pumpkin carving.
• Owl Pumpkin – This carved and painted owl pumpkin is stunning.
• Puking Pumpkin – Use the pumpkin “guts” for a super gross pumpkin.
• Owl-O-Lantern – Another cool owl idea.
Terrifyingly Scary Halloween Pumpkins
Halloween is about fun. Most people spend money on decorations, costumes, and going to lavish parties. But what you should be doing for Halloween is carving out some pumpkins. Don’t waste all your time carving out cute smiley faces though, learn the craft of pumpkin carving and make it scary. Not just dangerous, creepy. Nobody wants to approach a home with pumpkins that could have been carved by a two-year-old; they want to see art. The following pumpkins have been selected as the scariest pumpkins you will see this Halloween.
Pumpkin is thought to be the oldest plant on earth. It is evidenced by a professor from Saint Louis University in Missouri.
He found archaeological evidence showing that people had been growing gourds as early as 10,000 BC. The first cultivated pumpkin was a small gourd which probably originated from the Oaxaca highlands in Mexico.
Can You Cook and Eat the Flesh of Carving Pumpkins?
Technically yes, but you may not want to.
Carving pumpkins tend to have thinner walls that are more stringy, grainy, and woody in texture, which unfortunately doesn’t taste very good. They are edible, but they would need a lot of help from other ingredients because of the surface, so proceed with lowered expectations if using for dishes.
But you can always save the seeds, however. You can toss them in olive oil with seasonings like garlic salt or cumin and roast them in the oven for an easy seasonal snack.
Carving pumpkins are often displayed outside in front of grocery stores, while pie pumpkins may be located in the produce section with other common winter squash varieties.
The fact that carving pumpkins don’t make the best ingredients may seem like a big problem from a waste perspective, but the good news is they’re compostable and make good livestock feed.
How Do You Make a Halloween Pumpkin Out of Paper?
Use several orange paper strips to make a wonderful three-dimensional paper pumpkin.
Orange cardstock (A4 or Letter size) or orange construction paper (9″ x 12″)
Green construction paper
Green pipe cleaner
1. Prepare the orange paper.
Start with either:
A4 or Letter size orange cardstock – two sheets
9″ x 12″ orange construction paper – one-sheet
2. Make 12 paper strips.
a.) A4 or Letter size cardstock – cut one sheet into eight equal strips about 1″ x 11″. Use half of the 2nd sheet to create an additional four strips, also about 1″ x 11″, for a total of 12 paper strips.
b.) 9″ x 12″ construction paper – cut into twelve 1″ x 9″ strips.
3. Glue two pairs of strips together.
Take four paper strips. Grab a pair and glue them together on one end to create a super long strip. Similarly, glue a remaining couple of strips to create a second long strip.
4. Make a cross with the two long strips.
Position the two long strips perpendicular to each other and glue them together at the center.
5. Glue 4 short strips.
Take four of the eight short strips. Glue them at 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 4 o’clock, and 5 o’clock positions on the cross.
6. Glue 4 more short strips.
Glue the four remaining short strips at the 7 o’clock, 8 o’clock, 10 o’clock, and 11 o’clock positions.
7. Punch a hole at the tips.
Punch a hole close to the tip of each of the twelve paper strips.
8. Make a stem.
Cut green construction paper or cardstock into a small rectangle (mine is about 2 x 2.5 inches). Roll this into a cigar shape, with one end a bit smaller than the opposite end. This smaller end should be able to fit into the holes you made in the previous step. Glue or tape the edges of the paper in place.
9. Position the stem.
Lift the 1 o’clock strip. Insert the smaller end of the stem from under the hole. Push the branch in until it fits snugly into the hole.
10. Put glue on the adjacent strip.
Lift the 2 o’clock strip. Put glue on the area surrounding the hole.
11. Bring the two strips together.
Bring the 1 o’clock strip with the stem over the 2 o’clock strip. Insert the stem through the hole on the 2 o’clock strip.
12. Press to glue in place.
Press on the area around the stem to glue the two strips together.
13. Bring the 3rd strip under the stem.
Next, lift the 3 o’clock strip and apply glue around its hole. Similarly, bring this strip under the first two, inserting the stem through its hole. Press to glue in place.
14. Gather the rest under the stem.
Work your way from one adjacent paper strip to the next, as shown in Steps 9 to 13, until you’ve gathered all the paper strips by the stem.
Once you’ve positioned all the strips under the stem, you will have a pumpkin-looking shape.
• You can purchase supplies for carving pumpkins in most stores.
• Keeping the squash outdoors in cold air will help it last longer.
• If the pumpkin begins to wilt, fill a deep sink, and soak the carved pumpkin for a few hours. The squash will return to its hydration and swell a little, and be fresh enough to last for a few more days.
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