We love Halloween! Here at illooms® we love our pumpkin carving! Every year we have a staff contest to see who can create the most spectacular pumpkin. It gets very serious! Lots of planning, research & endless hours spent carving & sculpting to win the coveted prize.
Lee, our Head of Operations, won last year’s carving award.
So we asked him to share his top tips for carving his masterpiece.
- Research some ideas & sketch something original as a plan.
- Choose the right pumpkin. Once you have in mind what you want to create – it’s important to choose one that will work for you. Lee’s top tips – look for one with a stem (preferably green) as will be fresher. Bigger pumpkins are easier to carve due to the size, but check the weight – lift it. The heavier ones have thicker flesh, lighter ones hollower. Don’t dismiss a weird shape one these can work better for some. Check the flesh over for color/bruises. Lighter pumpkins are easier to carve, bruises show that it’s already started to deteriorate.
- Tools. Ensure you have a selection of tools to carve. There are lots of pumpkin carving kits available which are great to use with children or you can select a few different sized knives.
- Decapitation? Many people opt for cutting the top off 1st, but you can always cut an area out from the back instead & leave the stem intact.
- Scoop. Once you access the inside – scoop out the gooey pulp & seeds using a spoon or ice cream scoop. Here at illooms® we are very healthy – so don’t throw the seeds away – rinse the seeds & bake in an oven, for a healthy snack. Scrape the inside of the rest of pumpkin completely to expose the light-colored flesh, which reflects more light.
- Create your Masterpiece. Either sketch your design on paper to lightly trace onto the surface or directly onto the pumpkin itself with a dry wipe pen or water-based marker.
- Once carving, work quickly as the pumpkins dry out, use a water to spray to moisten if you find it drying out too quickly. Once finished – cling wrap & store in a cool dry place if it’s a couple of days before it’s needed.
- Light up your pumpkin!! Rather than using a naked flame – try out one of our illooms® to add a great long lasting light but also a colorful glow. Simply place inside the pumpkin before inflating! Find out more here.
Also, check on our blog next week for this year’s 2017 staff pumpkin winners (& losers)