Choosing The Perfect Pumpkin

Selecting the perfect pumpkin can be a tough task considering the different shapes, sizes, and colors. So here are some tips to help you choose the right pumpkin to carve.
Photograph of pumpkins on a vegetable stall at...Image via Wikipedia

  • When choosing a pumpkin to buy, select a ripe pumpkin (it should be uniformly orange) and avoid ones with bruises, cuts, nicks or moldy stems; these will not last as long.

  • Select a pumpkin about the size and shape of your design. You have to pick pumpkins according to what you want to carve on them, so you need to choose the shape you'll carve before buying the pumpkin.

  • Medium sized pumpkins work best for most stencils that you'll make or buy. Select a pumpkin that is large enough and as close to the same shape as the pattern you're going to carve. It should be as smooth as possible, and free of scratches, dents or gouges.

  • Very large pumpkins can be carved with elaborate designs and used as "center pieces" on your porch or tables. Try carving a giant pumpkin, it is easier to carve than a regular pumpkin.

  • You can also try to select a lighter-colored, softer pumpkin. These don't last as long, but they are easier to carve.

  • Choose a pumpkin that is evenly colored  and smooth so your design transfers clearly.

  • Avoid carrying the pumpkin by its stem or else it may fall and break.

  • For standard carving without a stencil, decide if it should be tall and narrow, or more rounded, based on your ideas.

  • Look for a pumpkin that is flat from the bottom so it is stable when carved and sits upright.

  • If your pumpkin stem breaks-off you can use toothpicks as a basic patch.

  • Take care not to bruise your pumpkin during transport or storage, as this will shorten it's life-span.

  • If you find your perfect pumpkin but it's missing it's stem, Don't worry! You can still use it! Just carve the bottom out  for the opening  the same way you would do the top.
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