Halloween will be here before you know it. That means it's time to sharpen your pumpkin carving knives and get ready for action.
Begin by deciding on a design for your pumpkin. You'll want to do this before you visit your local pumpkin patch so you will choose the right shape pumpkin for your project.
Look for a pumpkin with a firm stem attached. Leave the stem on after you carve your pumpkin. The stem provides nutrition to help keep your pumpkin fresh longer.
Don't carve your pumpkin too early or it will rot before Halloween arrives. Carved pumpkins normally last for less than a week. You can help your carved pumpkin last longer by keeping it cool and out of direct sunlight.
Use sharp tools for carving. Martha Stewart's website recommends using a keyhole saw or miniature saw for carving through the surface of the pumpkin.
Cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin if using a candle to light or in the bottom if using a string of lights. Gut the pumpkin, removing the flesh, seeds and pulp.
Download a template to use or draw your design on the pumpkin. Transfer the design to your pumpkin and carve it. You can buy a carving kit or use small hand or power tools.
You can make very intricate designs using a power drill and assorted drill bits. For extreme pumpkin carving, visit ExtremePumpkins.com to learn more about carving pumpkins with power tools and to download templates.
Get the whole family involved in pumpkin carving. Kids enjoy choosing a pumpkin and carving it into their own unique creation.
Line your family and their pumpkins up on your porch or deck for some great Halloween photos you'll treasure.