Safely carving a masterpiece

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 19, 2016

In the spirit of fall, many houses line the streets, decorated with creatively carved pumpkins.

For most, carving a pumpkin is a time for families to get together and enjoy a whole day dedicated to something outside their normal routine.

Carving a pumpkin can be fun for children, but caution should always be used when customizing your doorstep decoration.

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Before you get started, pick out the perfect pumpkin.

Find a fresh pumpkin with a sturdy stem and no bruises. Fresh pumpkins provide the best canvas.

Also, look for one with a flat bottom so it won’t roll and a semi-flat side to make carving easier for beginners.

When carving, adult supervision is necessary for children under the age of 14. However, children can still be involved in the activity by drawing the design on the pumpkin and scooping out the pulp.

Feel free to dig right in with your hands kids, but to save the mess, an ice cream scooper works perfectly.

After you have gutted the pumpkin, the carving can begin.

The use of a knife to carve a pumpkin should be avoided, to evade the risk of injury. Stores have carving kits specifically for pumpkins and are extremely safe.

The difference is that the carving saws in the kits are very small and serrated. You do not need a sharp tool to carve through the pumpkin.

A smooth edge blade can get jammed in the outer layer of the pumpkin, requiring the carver to yank and pull.

Also, keep your other hand out of the path of the blade at all times, and avoid putting it inside the pumpkin. To achieve more accurate cuts, secure the pumpkin on a table.

Also, carving is not the only way to decorate a pumpkin.

A pro tip for those that want to have a distinctive pumpkin can use a lemon zester to create a 3D effect.

The tool will not carve all the way through the pumpkin, but will peel enough of the skin away to allow light to shine through the thin layer of pumpkin tissue, complimenting your front porch with a unique look.