If you’re planning a Halloween event this year there’s one thing you can’t go without: the pumpkin! There’s no great secret to making a perfect pumpkin. With a little practice, you can carve yours like a pro and show off your Halloween skills to all your work colleagues, friends and family.
Find a large work space
You’re bound to make a little mess when carving a pumpkin, so make sure you have a large work space ready. Consider covering it with some newspaper so you can easily discard any leftovers once you’re finished. This will help keep cleaning to a minimum, giving you more time to do any last-minute touches to your costume and décor.
Cut off the crown with a sharp knife
Draw a circle on the pumpkin crown, then cut with a sharp, preferably serrated knife, which will help keep the cut as smooth as possible. A useful tip is to slice at a 45-degree inward angle, as this will make it easier to reposition the crown later. You might be tempted to use an ordinary kitchen knife, but this won’t be sharp enough to cut through the pumpkin and will make the job much more difficult than it needs to be!
Next, scoop away the seeds and flesh so you can create enough space for the tea light inside. Use kitchen roll to clean the inside, then discard the flesh or use it to create a delicious pumpkin cake, curry, chutney or another recipe. You can also roast the pumpkin seeds with some olive oil and spices to create a tasty appetiser, or place them in a container to store them for another day.
Carefully mark the face
If you have never carved a pumpkin face before, this can seem a bit tricky at the beginning, but with a bit of planning you can easily get it right the first time. Use a marker pen to create an outline of the mouth, nose and eyes, making sure you cut away from your face to avoid injury.
Take your time, but don’t worry if the face is not perfectly symmetrical or if one eye is slightly larger than the other. After all, this will prove that the pumpkin has been made by a human, as opposed to a machine or robot!
Cut the eyes into a pyramid shape, then cut a smaller pyramid shape for the nose. Next, draw and cut the mouth so that the pumpkin appears to be smiling with jagged teeth, then put the tea light in. Reposition the crown on top, then voilà! Your Halloween pumpkin is ready to take pride of place at your Halloween party.