Carving a Jack O’Lantern has become a staple part of the Hallowe’en experience for many of us every year. Here are some handy hints to keep you busy, and safe!
- Choose a pumpkin. Obvious? Me? Never! Well, here’s the hint. Think about the shape and size of the kind of design you want and how it will fit on the pumpkin. Also, consider how you will light the finished lantern. Check it for lumps and bumps and squidgy bits too. Don’t forget you can cut off the grotty bits in your design, but don’t choose one that’s too ripe to start with – choose a smooth one that sits well on a flat surface. Originally, turnips were used to create Hallowe’en lanterns, but these are tough to carve (especially if you have little hands)
- Cut a lid for your pumpkin. Adults should do this with children supervising only
- Gouge out the gooey insides until they are ALL on the outside – this will prevent accidents with candles and rotting brains and zombie attack (that got you paying attention didn’t it?)
- Draw your design on the pumpkin carefully. Traditionally, this would be a scary face to warn any wandering Hallowe’en spirits to keep away from your place, but this is your design, so get creative
- Cut out your design, using an awl to create a hole first. Cut carefully. Blood stains and makes a terrible mess
- Always take care with lighted candles. If you choose to put a candle inside your pumpkin and pop the lid on, make sure the lantern has nothing flammable close by and is in a safe position. Follow safety instructions or it could be you that’s being kept away by pumpkin lanterns next year.