The kids are back in school and the beach towels have been packed away, so Fall must be fast approaching. Pumpkin carving parties with friends and relatives are a great way to celebrate the change of season and have your own festive creations for October 31 when the little ghouls and goblins come trick-or-treating.
Start by planning your guest list so you will know how many adults and children will be attending. This will allow you to choose the right number and sizes of pumpkins for your carving party. Be sure to pick up a few extra pumpkins in case of accidents, mistakes or last-minute guests.
Pumpkins can be expensive, so shop around for the best prices and ask sellers if they offer bulk pricing. Another creative option is to host a BYOP or ‘Bring Your Own Pumpkin' party, where the guests can choose their own type and size of pumpkin to carve.
Your guests will need the proper tools for creating their designs. Pumpkin carving tools can be purchased at discount stores and party shops. You may even have enough small cutting tools, kitchen knives, and utensils around the house. Make sure small children have safe and proper tools and are well supervised.
When the carving party date arrives it is best to work outside if weather permits, as carving pumpkins can get quite messy. Place plenty of old newspapers around the carving area. Wash all dirt and residue from the pumpkins and dry with paper towels.
Cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin that is large enough to allow your hand inside so you can scrape out the innards, but not so large as to remove the entire top. Remove the strings from the top and set aside.
Take out the stringy insides with your hands and a large spoon. Kids especially love this part of the pumpkin carving process. Be sure the insides are completely scraped clean of all seeds and residue.
Pick which side of the pumpkin you want to carve and use a stencil or draw your own design on the pumpkin face. Use a small knife or cutting tool to carve out the design or face. Place a small votive candle inside the carved pumpkin and light with a long match or lighter. Place the top back on the pumpkin. Discard the pulp and seeds in rolled up newspaper.
Children too small to use carving tools can decorate their pumpkins with paint or stickers.
Never leave lit pumpkins unattended.
Award prizes for the most creative and best-designed pumpkins. Accentuate the party by serving pumpkin bread, pie, cookies or cheese cake to your guests.