M&M pumpkinBy Bonnie Mentel

Do you groan when you think about carving that Jack-o-Lantern? Maybe you’re like me and you put it off as long as you can. (I feel the same way about Easter eggs.) I’m not an artist, so even drawing a sharpie outline on the pumpkin scares me. Last year, I put whole pumpkins out on our porch – I thought they looked great!
I’ve noticed some alternative carving methods recently on Facebook and Pinterest. These are ideas that might just work for me.

One method is to use cookie cutters and a mallet to hammer the cutters into the pumpkin, making a nice image. You might need a small carving knife to push the cutter through and, of course, you still need to have a removable top so that you can scoop out the pumpkin seeds and place a candle inside.

Spongebob pumpkinAnother idea is to carve the pumpkins with a drill. How about a Van Gogh “Starry Night” design? I’m pretty sure that I could at least handle the swirls. The options are endless! Random holes around the pumpkins light up nicely, too.

There are still more creative ideas that don’t include carving.

Some people use stencils and paint to decorate their pumpkins. This sounds like the least messy plan, yet!

Minnie Mouse pumpkinMy friend Beth Smiley says, “I like the pin prick method where you tape the paper design on the pumpkin and prick it with a safety pin or something similar all along the outline and any important lines on the design. It’s a cool effect when you put the light in the pumpkin.”

She also suggests scraping down the inside with a large scoop or spoon to make the pumpkin thinner and easier to carve.

There are plenty of examples online and free patterns to print and use. Maybe this Jack-O-Lantern carving season won’t be as stressful as years past!

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