Carving the Perfect Pumpkin

October 30, 2018

Blog written by Elle Tomaszewski

How to Carve the Perfect Pumpkin

Growing up in the South, you definitely learn a thing or two about pumpkin carving. I've had my fair share of trial and error and let me tell you -- pumpkin carving is a true craft. So, if you want to learn how to master the art of pumpkin carving then keep on reading!

1. Pick out a GOOD pumpkin.
How do you know if it's a good pumpkin? Well, does it have a sturdy stem? Is it nice and round? Does it have any bruises? (Usually, they all have an ugly side, but try and make sure you have one really good side for carving!) Does it have a flat bottom? (A flat bottom is essential, not only to carving, but to showcase your pumpkin after it's carved. If the bottom is round, then it will roll over!) If your answer to all of these questions is yes, then you're ready to move on to step two!

2. Preparation.
There are a few things I always make sure to have prior to carving. You'll need a few different types of knives, two trash bags, a spoon with ridges on the edge (like the kind they give you in the carving kits), a really large kitchen spoon, a pattern (if you're going to use a pattern), some toothpicks or push pins, a white colored pencil or a non-mechanical pencil, and finally...a good, old painting shirt. HINT: Use one trash bag to place underneath while you're carving. It will help with clean up! Use the other trash bag to discard any pulp and pumpkin pieces.

3. ALWAYS cut out from the bottom!
This is so important! There are so many positive things I can say about cutting from the bottom, but I'll just name two. It will prevent your pumpkin from caving in AND it will prevent the top of your pumpkin from dropping inside. I think it's also easier when it comes to putting a candle inside your pumpkin. That way, you have a flat base for the candle to rest on and you can place your pumpkin on top like a lid or a cover!

4. Scrape out ALL of the more.
I've learned that you can never scrape out too much pulp. Chances are, if you get enough out, you won't see any of those strings inside when your pumpkin is lit. Also, you can use the insides for other things later on OR you can make a tasty snack by roasting the seeds. 

5. Sketch out your design on paper first, THEN on the pumpkin. (Or you can pin your design to the pumpkin with toothpicks or push pins.)
This will help prevent mistakes! I usually just sketch my design directly onto the pumpkin, but this step is really whatever works best for you. Everyone is different and every pumpkin is different! Figure out your rhythm and...just go with it!

Additional Tips:
I usually have a halloween movie playing on my iPhone while I'm carving! It's also fun to have an unscented candle lit to really set the mood!

I also try to find short, stocky candles to use for pumpkins. They make candles specifically for pumpkins and you can probably find them at your local Target, but if you can't find them, then go for short, thick and round! Don't forget to trim the wick!

Have fun, happy carving and Happy Halloween!

If you use any of our tips to carve your pumpkin, post a photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag us so we can see!

The Ocala Pumpkin Patch will be open today from noon-8pm and tomorrow from 10am-8pm.

Blog written by Elle Tomaszewski |

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