Is it too early to carve Pumpkins?

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It's that time of year again, it’s starting to get darker earlier, the leaves are changing colour and our kitchen stinks of pumpkins. In an effort to bring you some inspiration for your own pumpkin carving we’ve tried out a few different designs and have some tips to help you out too. We bought our pumpkins cheaply from Sainsbury's and Tesco, and got an assortment of sizes including a giant monster one and a cute mini one- which we didn't carve because it was too perfect to cut open.

We picked up a carving kit from Poundland, and didn't have high hopes for the little plastic tools but the serrated knife was really useful, especially when cutting off a lid. So we’d recommend picking one up. Cutting the lid can be tricky, try drawing an outline before you start and cut at an angle as the top will have to sit in the pumpkin without falling in. When hollowing out your pumpkins make sure you remove as much pulp and seeds as you can, this will prevent mould from forming and allowing it to dry out quicker. Make sure to save the innards because we’ll be doing a recipe next week where you can make use of the seeds and insides!

 
 
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We chose to go with standard faces for two of our pumpkins, a scary one and a silly one. It’s a good idea to draw your design out a few times before you lightly draw it onto your pumpkin in biro or pencil. You can wash off the pen with warm water.

 
 
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Inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s famous pumpkins, we used a drill to carve out alternating holes in the medium sized pumpkin. This worked really well and was very easy to do as using the drill makes for light work. Again, you probably want to mark out where you want the holes to go, the natural lines in the pumpkin make a good guide.

 
 
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For our final design we went with something more Deal themed. We made a template out a picture of The Regent, and traced it onto the pumpkin. You can download this template for free below. We used different knives and tools to hollow out the windows and doors, then carved along the lines for the outline of the building. We'd recommend using some linocutting tools to get good lines, you can get these on amazon or at an art store. Be sure to cut out the outline before sticking it on with sellotape, as the paper moved a lot and created odd lines for us, and we put it on wonky. If you make a regent pumpkin or any pumpkin you tag us on Instagram or Twitter, we can't wait to see what you create!

 
 

When you’re done carving give them a wash down to get rid of all the pulp and mess. We mixed a tablespoon of water with bleach, and wiped the insides. We wanted ours to last for a long time and read that this stops any mould forming. You can also coat the cut edges with vaseline or plunge it into an ice bath to revive if you wish.

So get creative with some designs of your own, or use our ideas to start you off. There's no end to amazing effects and characters you can create. Then pop a tea light inside and enjoy the orange glow.