Pumpkin Templates and How-To Spruce Your Gourd

Quick and Easy How-To for Halloween

Still looking for pumpkin templates to help decorate for Halloween? Heidi Braley of eHow has a simple how-to for your carving delight! (Photo: flickr.com)

Still looking for pumpkin templates to help decorate for Halloween? Heidi Braley of eHow has a simple how-to for your carving delight! (Photo: flickr.com)

This past weekend, I sat down at the dining room table with my children to decorate a Jack O’ Lantern for Halloween. They’re a bit too young to handle the sharp carving implements, but I had them take the pumpkin innards out and draw designs. It was a simple, wholesome affair that provided us with the kind of daddy-daughter-son bonding time we cherish.

And Guess What? It Wasn’t Expensive!

That’s right, no short term loans were required to fund our holiday merriment. This isn’t to say that you can’t use them if you want to go all-out in your Halloween decorating, just that you don’t have to break the bank. That’s something wallets carved up by the recession can appreciate, am I right?

eHow Has a Great How-To for Your Pumpkin-Carving Needs

Heidi Braley gives a simple, step-by-step summary of how to carve a pumpkin. With some simple tools and perhaps pumpkin templates of your choice, you can make your pumpkin scream like there’s no tomorrow.

Cutting, Cutting, Cutting

First, take a sufficiently sharp knife (Braley suggests a boning knife; I used a “pumpkin carving” knife I bought at a craft store) to cut a hole in the pumpkin. Then reach in and rip out the guts! Contrary to popular method, Braley says it’s easier to cut the hole from the bottom of the pumpkin. I’ve never been one to go easy, so I cut a hole in the top. What a fool I was! It’s much easier to place and light the candle if you’re dealing with the bottom of the pumpkin.

Oh, don’t forget to save the insides, even the seeds. There are lots of nifty dishes you can make! Braley suggests this recipe for the pumpkin seeds.

Paste on the Pumpkin Template

I used tape, but of course I’ve already told you what a mechanically declined fool I am. Stick it right on there and carve through the template and the pumpkin wall. Or if you’re artistic and don’t need pumpkin templates, draw right on that gourd with a marker and cut into that. It helps if the pumpkin is dry so the marker ink will stay.

I included one of Braley’s recommended pumpkin templates links above. Here’s another.

Carving Apparatus Recommendations

A Dremel is nice, but I said you didn’t necessarily need short term loans for this project. But if you bring in the power tools, set them to low for tracing purposes and high to bite into those larger areas. A sharp tool you can poke with also works.

Get that Paper and Marker Out of There

What are you, a slob?

OK, I am. I confess.

Most people will want to get the excess paste, paper from pumpkin templates and marker ink off the finished product. Scrub it all off. To stave off shriveling (because the chill touch of the grave spares no pumpkin), soak your gourd in water. Make sure to put the pumpkin in water, too. Then air-dry it and rub petroleum jelly over the cut areas. Otherwise, the edges will go dry. For your own gourd, the edges are going to go dry eventually, so just submit to the ravages of time and get on with it.

Set a Fire in its (Pumpkin) Flesh

Tea candles and glass votives work quite well here, suggests Braley. And like the rest of this project, they are inexpensive and free of the need for short term loans. But if you do need a short term loan to clean your house after the paint has been damaged by all the egging and wet toilet paper, Personal Money Store will keep a loan on for you.

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