Tools

Pumpkin carving tips from photojournalist Kirk Tupaj

By KIRK TUPAJ

Halloween is just around the corner, but if you haven't found that perfect pumpkin yet, it's not too late!

If you're a first time carver, take a stab at these creative tips from photojournalist and pumpkin expert Kirk Tupaj.

Cut out a hole at the top, bottom, or even the back of the pumpkin, so you can remove the insides. Kids love removing the guts of a pumpkin.

Draw out your design with a grease pen or erasable marker. If you plan on carving out your pumpkin, here are some tools that will make the job move along smoothly: a large knife for cutting out a hole. An ice cream scoop works great for scraping out the guts.

An assortment of knives or an exact-o-knife work well for intricate cuts. Drill bits are great for making small eyes, freckles, or any round openings.

Some tools designed for clay are excellent for scraping off the outer layer of skin.

Cut out big areas first, working your way down to smaller areas. Some areas, like teeth and eyes, can be accentuated by removing the outer layer of the pumpkin.

Decorating the outside of a pumpkin is a safe and fun way to include your kids. Use non-toxic paints with a water base for easy clean-up.

There's a whole gamut of possibilities for the eyes: gourds, ping pong balls, plastic baseballs. Use your imagination and have fun.

Cut out a small hole for inserting a carrot or piece of corn for the nose.

Wigs are an easy way to cover a good amount of area on a pumpkin while adding a clever look. They also work great for pumpkins that loose their stems.

Illuminating your pumpkin can change the overall look. Candles are traditionally the choice for lighting pumpkins. However, a flashlight can give excellent results. Also, try using tinfoil to line the inside of the pumpkin for a different look.

One last thing to keep in mind: the more detailed the design, the longer it will take to carve out your masterpiece.

We would like to thank Candella's Farm for providing the pumpkins used in the video.

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