Oh, October: the time for woolly knitwear weather, autumnal cool air, changing leaves and of course, Halloween decorations. Whether sitting on your doorstep or as a spooky centrepiece in your house, pumpkins are the ultimate Halloween decoration. To celebrate the season’s festivities, our very own Joules pumpkin carving professional, Stacey, has been carving some familiar famous faces and shares how to carve a Halloween pumpkin with a Joules touch.
An image/template of the design you want on your pumpkin
1 Large knife
1 Carving knife (small and good at cutting)
1 Large bowl
This is the fun part, as there are endless options! From spooky to jolly, you can be as creative as you like. If you’re having trouble finding inspiration, here are some ideas to get you started:
A spooky face (the bigger the grin the better),
Your pet’s face,
A spider web,
A haunted house.
Step One: Carve a lid
Making sure the pumpkin is on a secure base, carefully cut a circle at the top of the pumpkin to form the lid. Make sure the hole is large enough for your hand to easily fit in and out of.
Step Two: Scoop out the insides
Using a spoon, scoop out the pulp and seeds, ensuring a smooth finish to the bottom and sides. The bottom of the pumpkin will need to be flat so that your candles balance. You can save the pulp and seeds to make tasty soups and snacks with later.
Step Three: Choose your canvas
Decide which side of the pumpkin you will be carving into and use the spoon to scrape out the inside wall of this wall. It is easier to carve through a thinner wall, especially for designs that involve intricate details and also the light will shine through thin walls so you can create some great effects.
Step Four: Prep your pumpkin
Wipe the pumpkin all over, removing any residue so that you have a clean and dry surface to carve from.
Step Five: Outline your design
Securely attach your stencil or image to the pumpkin using sticky tape. Then using a small knife slowly cut into the lines of the stencil onto the pumpkin to create an outline that you can use as a guide.
Step Six: Time to carve
Once you have cut the outline of your stencil on to the pumpkin you can remove it (otherwise it will start to get wet and in the way). Check over your stencil guide, double-checking you haven’t missed any vital lines, and then carefully go over it again to ensure your pumpkin is cut all the way through.
Step Seven: One piece at a time
Starting with the most intricate areas start to push through the pieces so you will begin to see the cut out. Try and remove the areas in small sections to ensure that you do not accidentally break it.
Step Eight: Tidy up your lines
Once all the pieces are removed, step back and check the carving ensuring you have smooth lines that are evenly cut all the way through.
Step Nine: Light it up
Place a tea-light within the pumpkin and carefully light it.
Step Ten: Place your pumpkin in pride of place
Finally turn out the lights to reveal your masterpiece! Then put it in view of passers-by, so they can look on in awe.
Do you have any more pumpkin carving ideas? We’d love to know!