It’s finally October which means Halloween is on its way and the season brings along all sorts of family fun. Pumpkin carving, for example, has been a staple of the holiday for many years and is a great way to get everyone involved in decorating. Here are some fun and helpful tips to enhance your pumpkin carving and to help your finished pumpkins last longer.
Pick the right pumpkin. You’ll have a lot of trouble creating the perfect pumpkin decorations if the pumpkin is not up for the task. Look for a pumpkin with:
- A flat bottom so that it sits up straight
- A stem of at least 1 to 2 inches (pumpkins without stems don’t last very long)
- No preexisting holes, cuts, or soft spots
Color is key. It’s helpful to know pumpkins that are a lighter shade of orange will be much easier to cut into and therefore might be a better option for children. However, dark orange pumpkins keep better and last a bit longer.
Store your pumpkin someplace cool. A pumpkin kept in a cool place until it is carved will last longer after it’s been carved. Do not freeze your pumpkin or it will get mushy.
Clean your pumpkin. Before you start carving, wash your pumpkins with warm water and let them dry.
Make it last. To prevent your pumpkin from deteriorating after you’ve carved it follow one of these tips:
- Coat the cuts with petroleum jelly
- Spray the pumpkin with a solution of 1 tbsp bleach and 1 qt water
- Submerge the whole pumpkin in white vinegar
If at any point your pumpkin starts to deflate, soak it in cold water for a few hours until it pops back into shape.
Placement is essential to presentation. Try to keep your newly carved pumpkins out of direct rain or sunlight as these will shorten their lifespan. Also, the heat from real candles will cook the pumpkin from the inside and cause it to deteriorate, so use electric tea lights to keep your spooky friends looking good as new through the holiday.