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How to carve a pumpkin for Halloween

Create your own Halloween lantern with a step-by-step pumpkin carving guide and video

Have you bought your Halloween pumpkin yet?

It won’t be long before spooky lanterns will be glowing on windowsills and doorsteps across Huddersfield.

To help you get into the spirit of All Hallows’ Eve, we’ve produced step-by-step instructions on how to carve the perfect Halloween pumpkin.

Watch the video above for a demonstration, then follow the steps below.

Remember to supervise children — some may be too young to use the knives or carving tools.

How to carve your Halloween pumpkin

You will need:

  • A carving pumpkin
  • Pumpkin carving kit, comes with a scoop, a pin prick and a serrated mini carving tool - if you don’t have a kit, a sharp knife will do, plus a spoon
  • Stencil - Design your own, or you can download some here: http://www.pumpkinlady.com/
  • Sticky tape
  • Tea light
  • Spare newspaper or plastic bag to sit pumpkin on
  • A bowl for the waste
Create your own spooky Halloween lantern

Method:

  1. Choose your pumpkin — larger pumpkins are better as it makes carving easier.
  2. Cut a circular lid around the stem of the pumpkin, then cut it out and pull it off.
  3. Scoop out all of the seeds and flesh in the centre of the pumpkin, using a spoon or scoop.
  4. Choose your design — and remember, simple is best as it’s easy to mark out and easy to carve, Print or create a template for your design.
  5. Use tape to stick your stencil onto the pumpkin.
  6. Poke dots through the stencil so the shapes are outlined on the pumpkin.
  7. Using a knife or carving tool, cut out the shapes — and reveal your spooky design!
  8. Place a tea light in the centre of the lantern then replace the lid. Your Halloween pumpkin is ready to go on display!

Halloween in Huddersfield: Bumper half term guide for your little monsters

Top tips

  • The easiest shapes to work with are triangles — use the shapes to make a face, or an interesting pattern.
  • For the best results, use different knives/utensils for each job — a serrated knife to carve into the pumpkin, an ice cream scoop or metal spoon for removing the insides of the pumpkin, then a paring knife to carve your design.
  • Look for an unbruised pumpkin to carve — and bigger pumpkins are easier to work with.
  • Don’t carve freestyle — draw on your design with a marker pen, or tape on a paper template and carve around it. Use a cocktail stick to mark holes around the design then remove the paper.
  • Keep sharp knives away from small children — a safe alternative for little ones is to let them draw their designs on the pumpkin with a black marker then colour in the shapes with black paint.

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