Tips for an Organized Halloween: Pumpkin Carving

It’s that time of year. I spent hours (okay minutes) searching for the perfect pumpkin design, carefully drawing it onto my hand-selected gourd, and painstakingly carving out the fine details. I was happy with the finished design and set it on display – inside, of course, because I’d carved it a few weeks in advance of Halloween.

Post-8-Punpkin-Fox

“A few weeks in advance?” you’re thinking? Yes, I was functioning under a delusion that pumpkins only rot when they’re outside and exposed to freezing night temperatures, then balmy fall sun during the day. It turns out that that does indeed speed along the pumpkin decomp considerably, but sitting indoors for two weeks will get the job done, too.

Post-8-Punpkin-Fox-Frown
Poor Foxly. Scary…not in a good way.

Carving several weeks before Halloween was a breach of pumpkin carving etiquette, but I learned some good lessons for my next carving – Thanksgiving table display, anyone?

Post-8-HGTV
Maybe I’ll go the HGTV route with a no-carving method.

Pumpkin Carving Tips

  1. Cover the table with a disposable table cloth to make clean up a breeze. You can put all the pumpkin guts right there on the table, rather than dangerously darting your hand over the carpet to the nearby trash can.
  2. Grab battery-powered tea light or votive candles to put inside your pumpkins. This eliminates the risk of Pumpkin-Lid-Scorch, especially with the smaller/shorter pumpkins.
  3. If you want to preserve your carved pumpkin, keep it damp after carving. Suggestions I’ve heard since my failed early carving include misting it with a spray bottle, draping it with damp paper towels overnight, and keeping it in the fridge when not on display.

BONUS Pro Tip: Get your Halloween candy at Costco. You already knew this, right? The Costco near me even has a decent supply of bulk organic candy, in case you feel bad about poisoning the kids in your neighborhood with assorted corn syrups and red dye 40. Looking at you, mini-packs of Swedish fish.

Post-8-Swedish-Fish
Image courtesy of swedishfish.com

Happy Haunting!

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