Halloween! My sweet tooth always gets satisfied at this time of the year. For most of us, it is the only time of the year we get to eat pumpkin. There are plenty of delicious recipes available to enjoy this fruit from the squash plant family. But we’re not going to talk about a new recipe here.
What says Halloween louder than Jack-o-Lanterns? There is no Halloween without them. There are plenty of designs you can carve on a pumpkin, traditional and contemporary ones, happy faces and scary faces, and it always makes kids happy to participate in this activity. However, the rind is so thick and hard; it’s easy to injure yourself and should always be done under adult supervision.
You will need to first locate a few tools. You will need a drywall saw, a drill, a Dremel (if you have one it can be very handy). Bring all these tools in your kitchen. Then, get a mixing bowl, an ice-cream scoop, a utility knife and a dry erase marker. Forget about the pumpkin carving kits sold in grocery and retail stores. The tools in these kits are never strong enough to handle the job without you risking an injury. Beware, this can get messy.
First of all, you need to empty your pumpkin. Make sure you place your pumpkin on a stable flat surface, such as a large wood cutting board. Using the drywall saw, cut the top of the pumpkin at an angle of 45°, like the image on the right shows. You can also make a notch somewhere so it is easier to put the cap back in. Then, using the ice cream scoop, scrape the goop off the pumpkin sides. You might be tempted to throw it away one scoop at a time; however, you’ll keep a cleaner working space by scraping off all the guts on the inside sides, and then turning your pumpkin upside down over a mixing bowl if you want to roast the seeds later.
Then your pumpkin is design ready! Using a dry erase marker is a smart idea to draw your design. You’ll need to use a dry rag to erase if you make mistakes, which makes it more convenient than a permanent marker to rectify your design and makes a neater finish when you’re done.
Using a drill with a spade-shaped drill bit or a hole-saw will allow you to make neat circles easily, and a utility knife will let you sculpt any other shape. There are various Dremel bits you can use to finish your shapes or add texture.
There are a few options for you to light your piece of art for the big night. Of course, you can light a candle inside of it. In that case, I would recommend leaving the top of the pumpkin off so the candle has enough oxygen to burn properly the whole night. Also, you want to make sure there is nothing hanging in there that could catch fire. Even though there might be some small firemen knocking at your door that night, you don’t want to call the real ones.
If playing with fire is not your thing, there are plenty of battery powered gadgets you can buy to light up your jack-o-lantern, with led lights, strobes or even changing colors.