A couple weeks ago we shared photos of some of the couples’ costumes we’ve created for Halloween over the years. It’s obvious that we enjoy creating costumes, but my wife and I also enjoy the tradition of carving pumpkins. We’ve made some pretty awesome pumpkins over the years, at least in my opinion. We’ve also learned how to easily carve intricate pumpkin designs with the use of a common craft tool.
Now pumpkins are just one of many decorations my wife and I tend to adorn around and throughout our home. Most of our store-bought decorations were amassed by waiting until the week after Halloween to buy new decorations. That’s when retailers tend to slash prices on all that spooktacular gear. We’ve also made some fun party-themed decorations over the years, but admittedly we prefer spending most of our time creating our costumes and pumpkin designs.
The secret to carving intricate pumpkins is in the tools. Yep, that’s it. I use an x-acto knife to carve out the fine details. I do not recommend using this tool unless you have experience because you can easily cut yourself… and children should certainly not be permitted to handle an x-acto knife. That’s our secret though. My wife does not use the x-acto knife because she’s not confident in its handling, but she does freehand draw many of our designs and she also cleans out the guts of the pumpkin. It’s my least favourite task in pumpkin carving, but my wife honestly enjoys it. She says running her hands through slimy pumpkin innards brings back fond memories of her childhood. That’s good enough reason for me not to have to do it.
Of course, you need to find a really great design too. Sometimes we’ve decorated our entire house around the theme of a party we hosted. One year we went all out and created a Wonderland themed party. Our costumes, decorations, pumpkins, and even food all had elements of Alice’s adventures. That was also the year that we had a line-up of parents on Halloween night taking pictures of our Cheshire cat pumpkin. I can’t blame them… it was awesome!
Here’s another secret about really great pumpkin designs: sometimes simply and clever win out over intricate and flashy. A couple years ago, we decided to carve something a bit more simplistic, and we were surprised by how well received it was. The adults especially enjoyed the play on words, and the kids were just confused (except for one young girl who gleefully exclaimed, “Look it’s pumpkin pie!”).
In our last installment of Halloween Tricks & Treats, we’ll be sharing some of our favourite Halloween party recipes. Stay tuned.
Gregg & Mae