Just like the perfect luxury vacation begins with careful planning, so does a creative pumpkin design. So before you even buy your pumpkin, come up with a unique idea that will stand out from the rest.
Once you’ve created a plan, choose a pumpkin that complements your design – maybe you want one that’s tall and narrow or fat and round or one with a nearly flat face. Make sure there are no soft spots and that the stem is secure.
Prep your pumpkin
Start by washing your pumpkin to remove dirt and debris. Then trace your design using a marker or pencil. Keep in mind that pencil is less visible if you have a hard time staying within the lines.
The right tools are everything
Having the right tools will not only save you time, but it will ensure a better end result. Make sure you have these essentials:
- Ice cream scoop (or something similar)
- Large, sharp knife for the rough carving work, like cutting off the lid
- Smaller, sharp knives for detail carving (i.e. boning or pairing knives or a keyhole saw)
The guts of it
Most people cut the lid around the stem of the pumpkin. But if you want to be more creative, you can even cut it at the bottom or the side. Also, be sure to cut the lid at an angle, so it won’t fall through when you replace it. And if you make a notch in it, you’ll always know which way to put it back on. When you’re through, clean out the pulp and seeds with your scooper.
Set aside the seeds for a tasty snack – toss with olive oil and salt, and bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Using your smaller knives or keyhole saw, cut out the pattern you’ve traced onto your pumpkin – remember to cut on the outside of your lines. Then rub cooking oil on all exposed edges to prevent browning.
The big picture
Pay off all that hard work with a great photo. Here are some helpful tips:
- Take a picture at the same level as your pumpkin.
- Pay close attention to the background. Use a solid backdrop or pick something appropriate like leaves or an old door.
- Make your photo as large as possible, and let your pumpkin fill the frame.
Image is From Portico