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Carving and Preserving a Jack-O-Lantern

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Pumpkin Carving Tips & Tricks

  • Start with the right tools- buck knife, ice cream scoop, X-Acto knife Dremmel, wood carving tools and/or linoleum cutters will all help make the carving process easier.
  • Lighter equals softer- Choose lighter pumpkins which are easier to carve for children, however they won’t last as long.
  • Cut the hole on the bottom- Instead of cutting your hole around the stem; try the bottom for a cleaner look and more stable jack-o-lantern.
  • Don’t toss the seeds- Trashed seeds end up creating tangling creeping plants in landfills. Instead roast them for a great seasonal snack.
  • Create an air freshener- Place fragrant herbs or spices inside the pumpkin to have your Jack-O-Lantern pulling double duty as a light and air freshener.
  • Not just for pumpkins- Try carving gourds, squash or even melons in addition to your pumpkins for a great holiday display.
  • Throw a carving party to get everyone in on the fun!

How to Make Your Jack-O-Lantern Out Last the Rest

  • Soak carved pumpkins in cold water with a splash of bleach for several hours. Towel dry inside and out. This will prevent mold and deter insects while keeping the pumpkin looking fresh longer.
  • Rub a thin layer of petroleum jelly over the cut edges to seal in freshness. Water evaporating out of the pumpkin will cause it to look shriveled.
  • Revive shriveling pumpkins with an additional soak or spray of water. Remember to towel dry afterwards.
  • In warmer climates refrigerate your pumpkins during the day or store in a cool dark place. Simply spray with water and wrap in plastic wrap before storing.
  • In colder climate don’t let your jack-o-lanterns freeze overnight. Bring indoors, keeping them in the refrigerator, garage or cellar.

What tricks do you use when carving up your Jack-O-Lanterns?