Pumpkin Carving – Stencils Are Your Friend

With Halloween right around the corner, we’ve already started pulling out our decorations and working on crafts here at the house and now we’re talking about what we’re going to do with our pumpkin carving. Last year, my daughter and I picked out two or three pumpkins and had ourselves a regular good time with pumpkin carving.

I’m not the greatest artist, but we picked out some really good stencils that we could press onto the face of the pumpkin after we cleaned out the guts and then followed the stencil lines carefully to make a ghost with eyes and a cat against a crescent moon. They were a pretty neat looking and since I’m usually an artless talent in these areas, I had a great time. My daughter loved the idea of the stencils so this year – we’re stencil hunting.

Stencil Hunting

That’s right, stencil hunting. We’re looking for different designs and ideas to make a great pumpkin design. Our goal is to make four pumpkins this year. She’s agreed that at least one pumpkin can be the standard design of eyes, nose and mouth. That will be the easiest one to do in my opinion. But then, I am only the instrument of her creation!

So far, in the running for our stencils we have a little woodcutter’s cottage (she’s really a big dreamer) and a Cinderella along with a Mickey Mouse – though she alternates to Pluto now and then. The idea of picking out the stencils I think is more exciting to her than the actual pumpkin carving. Last year, we did our pumpkins about three days before Halloween and they were already rotting by Halloween night because it was so warm here.

This year, we’ll do all the carving on Halloween and put them out that night so that we can really appreciate the effect and show them off and then get rid of them before they become green and fuzzy – they are supposed to be funny and not truly terrifying and I personally find fuzzy mold pretty terrifying.

Stencil Sites on the Web

There are plenty of stencil sites on the web – you just have to do some searching. Be sure to look for stencils that don’t have a lot of thin wobbly pieces that you’ll have to push out around. Because the more delicate and refined the image is, the harder it will be to get the pumpkin piece out in tact and to keep it from doing any serious kind of curling.

Unless the temperatures around you are pretty frosty around that time of year – say hovering around 45 degrees, add some ice packs to the inside of the pumpkin to help it hold its shape during the warmth of the day. I’ll be bringing you some more pumpkin carving tips and pumpkin care tips as we head more into the Halloween season.

What is your favorite part of pumpkin carving?

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.

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