- The pumpkin. Choose one that is fresh, with a sturdy stem, no bruises and a flat bottom so it won’t roll.
- The lid. Cut it on an angle, not straight up-and-down. This way it won’t drop inside when you replace it.
- The pulp. Scoop out all the pulp with an ice cream scooper and thin the inner wall of the “face” area to 1 ¼-inch thick, so it will be easier to pierce the shell.
- Your lap. It’s easier to carve features when the face is gazing up at you. Clean up-and-down slices look best, not slanted ones.
- The face. Use dry erase markers so they can be erased if you need to redraw the features. This also helps after cutting to remove the lines you didn’t follow.
- The tools. Don’t be afraid to use an actual saw or power tools. A pumpkin’s skin is tough. If used safely, this cuts down on time and energy spent.
- The scraps. Be creative and make a tongue or ears out of a discarded piece of pumpkin shell.
- The props. Use Twizzlers for dreadlocks, wood chips for teeth, taffy for tongues, home insulation for brains, etc.
- A chimney. First, leave the lid on for a few minutes while the candle burns. Then make a small hole where the lid has blackened.
- The scent. Sprinkle a little cinnamon inside the lid, so when you light the candle, your jack-o’-lantern will smell like pumpkin spice.
- The preservation. Slow down the pumpkin’s decay by spraying it with bathroom cleaner containing bleach. This keeps bugs, mold, and animals away.
If you are using real candles, don’t forget to blow them out when the night is over.
Above all, have a safe and happy Halloween.
The Atronic Alarms, Inc. Family