Pumpkins and pumpkin carving are a big part of October, November and the entire fall season. They are wonderful fall decorations and can be a great deal of fun for the whole family. In this blog post, we will be going over the best ways to carve pumpkins, preserve them, and some tips on how to display them to increase your curb appeal.
Choosing the best Pumpkin
First of all, choosing the right pumpkin might end up being your children’s decision more than yours, but either way, there are some things you should look for. Make sure to inspect pumpkins for any cuts or bruises because that could mean they are already rotting or will rot soon. If you are looking to carve the pumpkin, look for a pumpkin that is not too heavy and is slightly lighter in color as that makes them a bit easier to carve. If the pumpkins are being picked strictly for decoration, you should try to find some different shades that look nice together as well as a bit of variance in size.
If you are not carving your pumpkins, feel free to skip this section, but if you plan on creating some beautiful art, there are some things to keep in mind. Picking up a pumpkin carving set is always a good idea but if you would prefer to work with what you have at home, a serrated knife is good for the initial hole and any sharp thin and pointy variant of a knife is best for creating the artwork itself. Removing the seeds and “guts” is best done with a big spoon, perhaps an ice cream scoop, or your hand for the bulk of it. Once the main parts are out, scrape the sides with the spoon to reveal the inner flesh of the walls and you are ready to design.
Lighting and Aftercare
We have all experienced the disappointment of working on a pumpkin, carving a masterpiece, setting it out on the front porch and having it rot before Halloween even arrives. There are some ways to slow down the rotting process. One way is to coat the carved portion and entire interior of the pumpkin with petroleum jelly to slow down the dehydration process. You could also spray the pumpkin daily with a bottle of water mixed with a small amount of bleach or go to the store and purchase a pumpkin preservation spray. This will extend the life of your pumpkin a bit but a cut pumpkin still will only last a little over a week at most so plan accordingly!
Lighting your pumpkin with candles is a bit risky so we will be giving you a couple of alternatives you could choose to go with instead. Strobe lights are sold in a number of different colors, there are some pumpkin specific lights that are offered as well as battery-operated LED and tea lights. A nearby outlet can give you some more flexibility with Christmas lights or a lamp.
Whether you are decorating with carved or uncarved pumpkins, they can really boost the curb appeal of your home. Placing uncarved pumpkins and flowers along your front steps can be very aesthetically pleasing. Feel free to paint your pumpkins to match the color palate of your home and flowers as well. Another great and easy way to decorate with pumpkins is to simply place one or two of them at the base of your mailbox or in a basket either next to the mailbox or on your porch or step. Carved pumpkins are decorations in themselves so keep it simple. Placing them on an outdoor chair or a small haystack can make them a great accent to your home.
Pumpkins are a great Fall tradition but also make great decorations. Picking the right pumpkin, carving it correctly, lighting it correctly, preserving it and setting it outside nicely can give your home a wonderful Autumn feel. Pumpkins offer some beautiful decorations that upgrade the curb appeal of your home!