We've all carved a pumpkin using standard kitchen knives and a big spoon, but everyone knows specialty tools are the way to go if you want to create a more impressive masterpiece. But you don't have to buy a fancy pumpkin carving set just to make something you're proud of. In fact, you can create something wonderful with things you already have inside your home -and some of these ideas will make the process fly by in no time too.
Powertools and pumpkins are a match made in heaven. In fact, fitting a drill with a pumpkin gutter attachment is by far the easiest way to clean out your Jack-O-Lantern prior to carving. But your drill can do a lot more than clean your pumpkin for you. It's also a great way to carve your pumpkin in no time. Just select your bits and drill through the pumpkin flesh for even-sized holes throughout the Jack-O-Lantern.
Using a drill to add in small holes to your pumpkin can also give you a great way to light up your pumpkin as Martha Stewart demonstrates with her Celestial Pumpkins. Just string your Christmas lights through the inside of the Jack-O-Lantern, letting a little light pop through each tiny hole.
Like a drill, an apple corer can be used to punch even-sized holes through your pumpkin. While this manual tool takes a lot more elbow grease, it provides one major advantage -you can keep the pieces you pop out of the pumpkin. This gives you the opportunity to reuse those cool pumpkin plugs for all new purposes -like these polka dot pumpkins featured on Meaningful Mama.
Unlike a drill or apple corer, a melon baller won't go all the way through your pumpkin's flesh, making it a great option for putting nice round holes just in the outside of your squash. Like the apple corer, this technique also leaves you with perfect pumpkin pieces that can be reused for a fun effect -like the playful monster eyes seen on Woman's Day.
In this case, the peanut butter itself isn't going to do much to your pumpkin, but if you live in an area with raccoons, squirrels and/or mice, it can be a great way to get a critter to do all the work for you. Just put a few guide holes for your fluffy friends using a drill and then fill the holes with peanut butter. Leave your pumpkin in a critter-filled piece of your property and come back in a day or two to find your "self-carved" pumpkin filled with nibbled holes. You can even guide the progress by adding more peanut butter in places you'd like to see chewed on more.
Want good, exact shapes in your pumpkin, but have a hard time carving evenly? Then grab some metal cookie cutters and a plastic mallet and get whacking! That's right, you can use cookie cutters to cut exact holes through your pumpkin. Modern Parent Messy Kids shows how simple the process is and how great the results can be.
This video shows that a little potato peeler can go a long way when it comes to carving your pumpkin. It's a perfect tool for more detailed creations as you can shave off just a little of the flesh at a time, giving you a quick way to remove just enough skin.
If you can't get enough from your power tools, try adding a dremel into your carving routine. The different tips are a great way to carve, shape and smooth your detailed pumpkin piece. If you want to practice doing more artistic creations that don't pierce all the way through the skin, the dremel is a perfect tool for the job as Simply Designing demonstrates.
Even a pretty basic pumpkin carving can look ten times cooler when you add a little bit of brains to the mix. Just spray expanding foam insulation into the cavity, letting it expand out the top into beautiful, bulging brain shapes. Remember, it will continue expanding as it dries (as these Extreme Pumpkins images show), so don't fill it up too high on the top.
Want your Jack-O-Lantern to have some kooky hair to match his crazy face like this one from Southern Living? Then poke (or drill) some tiny holes into the top of his head, then boil some water. Dip spaghetti halfway into the boiling water for a few seconds until it starts to get bendy and then poke the uncooked half into the holes in his skull. Who knew a pumpkin could have such luscious locks?
If you'd like to minimize mold growth on your pumpkin, bleach is a great way to go. As My Science Project points out, it will cause a little rot, so you should flip the pumpkin over and let it drain before setting it out on the porch. Also, Pumpkin Fresh (a commercial pumpkin protector) will let your pumpkin last even longer than bleach, but if you don't want to buy a specialty product intended for only one purpose, bleach is probably your optimal solution.
Looking for a few more fun decorating ideas? These terrifying tactics can leave visiting monsters running the other way, these interior ideas are sure to put the "boo" in your booutiful dinner party and if you're running out of time, you can still try these last minute tricks and treats.