October 3rd 2009
Fall brings the pumpkin harvest and the opportunity to carve them. There’s nothing like a jack-o-lantern to get everyone in the Halloween spirit. Bright orange, haunting white, even spooky blue varieties all liven up your house – inside or out.
Depending on the area of the country that you live in, or the temperatures this year, you need to carefully time when to carve your pumpkin. Having smelly, moldy pumpkins all over you porch is not the kind of creepy you’re going for. If it’s a long Indian summer where you are, carve your pumpkins no sooner than a week before Halloween.
Funkins are also popular now. They are carvable fake pumpkins. You can get these at any craft store. You can carve them, paint them, decorate them any way you would a regular pumpkin. The best part is you can save and use them many years to come. If you have a little one you can create a collection of their jack-o-lanterns as they grow up.
Nervous that your pumpkin won’t turn out the way you have it pictured in your head? You don’t have to be an amazing artist to carve a detailed pumpkin. Templates make intricate designs easy for all of us. I was surprised at how my first pumpkin carving party went once I brought out some templates for everyone to use. Even the people that had never made one before felt comfortable. And made really amazing ones.
A few sites get free pumpkin carving templates:
Feel like it’s too much trouble and mess to carve? Don’t underestimate the effect of whole pumpkins. Buy in different sizes and in exotic colors like white, blueish-grey and anything else you can get in your area. Your local farmer’s market or Whole Foods store should provide you a wide selection, including heirloom varieties. You can cluster them on the porch and line your walk with them. You can even stack them on top of each other if you can find some with flatter tops and bottoms.