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Tips for Carving the Perfect Pumpkin

Peyton Garcia
Peyton Garcia
Posted on October 25
a carved jack-o-lantern

Perfect your pumpkin masterpiece. (Alberto Jose Moreno Jurando / Getty Images)

Halloween is next week! Now’s the prime time to carve your pumpkin so it stays fresh and festive looking for trick-or-treaters. Use these creative carving hacks to perfect and preserve your pumpkin masterpiece.

Choose the Right Pumpkin

If you haven’t picked your pumpkin yet, make sure you go for one that is firm and ripe (it should sound hollow when you knock on it).

Gut Your Gourd

Consider using an ice cream scoop instead of a regular spoon to get the guts out of your pumpkin. Trust us, it will save you a little elbow grease. Also, the thinner you make your pumpkin’s walls, the easier they will be to carve!

Design Hacks

Use a dry erase marker to sketch your design (instead of a pen or Sharpie) so you can wipe away leftover markings for a cleaner look. Or, tape a stencil to your pumpkin face, use a thumbtack to poke holes along the outline, then remove the stencil and cut along the holes.

Keep It Fresh

Rub petroleum jelly along the cut edges of your design to help lock in moisture. During the day, keep your Jack-o-lantern out of direct sunlight. And consider an LED candle or string lights instead of a traditional candle, which can dry out your pumpkin quicker.

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