Few easy steps to make your own spooky pumpkin this Halloween

With Halloween fast approaching, porches and driveways across the country will be covered with luminous big orange pumpkins.

The squash plant is incredibly popular this time of the year and 18,952 tons of pumpkin are sold across the UK and US during the spooky season - enough to make over 40 million pumpkin pies.

Halloween has its origins in a pagan Celtic festival related to the Irish and Scottish festival of Samhain and the Christian festival of All Saints' Day, where prayers are made for the souls of the dead.

The tradition of carving and lighting up pumpkins comes from the Celts, who conducted the same ritual but with turnips to ward off evil spirits. This merged with the North American custom of carving pumpkins, to give us our yearly tradition that many of us love so dearly.Whether you’ll be dressing up for a Halloween party or just simply giving treats to innocent trick-or-treaters, one thing is for certain making the perfect jack-o-lantern to impress the neighbours is easier said than done.

1. Choose the right pumpkin. This is obvious but important. If you’re carving a face you need to choose the right pumpkin. Tall, short, wide or thin, it’s important to get the perfect combination. The pumpkin also needs to be heavy to provide a lot of dense material to work with.

 
 

2. Wash the pumpkin before you start carving, but make sure you wait until you have finished carving before you clean out the inside of the pumpkin. This ensures there is more structural integrity while carving and makes it easier to produce the excellent designs you’re hoping for.
 

3. Use an erasable pen. If you’re drawing a face or an intricate design before cutting it out it’s a good idea to use an erasable marker. If the design doesn’t work out exactly the way you wanted, you can just wipe failed attempts away.

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4. Consider using power tools to carve your pumpkin. You can make your designs with a standard carving knife but if you want to save time a power jigsaw to remove chunks (like scary eyes and the mouth) can save a lot of time. For big areas using an angle grinder can help remove the pumpkin skin and shape the exterior sharply.
 

5. Sprinkle cinnamon onto the inside of the lid. When lit you will get a lovely pumpkin pie smell.
 

6. Show it off! You’ve gone to all the hard work of making the masterpiece, don’t leave it in your dining room, hang it up and let the world admire. Make sure you routinely mist the pumpkin while it is on display to prevent it from drying up and coat the edges with petroleum jelly to capture the moisture.

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