In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Check out these tips for carving a next-level pumpkin

We're sharing our tips for how to carve your next pumpkin!

Get Pickin’: Pumpkin patches in the BR area to visit Fall 2019

October is basically a month-long celebration of fall and Halloween, and one popular activity is pumpkin carving. Whether you're a beginner or expert, we've got some tips to help you carve your next masterpiece.

Have a plan

This may seem obvious, but the best thing you can do before you ever get started is to have an idea of what you want to carve. Pumpkin carving can be as easy or difficult as you want to make it, so if you know ahead of time what you’re going for the process will be much easier.

Find the ‘right’ pumpkin

Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, so once you have a design in mind, the next step is to pick out your pumpkin. Pumpkins grow on vines and rest on the ground, so you’ll want to make sure your pumpkin has a sturdy, greenish stem and a flat bottom. This ensures it’s as fresh and sturdy as possible. Also, make sure your pumpkin doesn’t have any bruises.

Cut from the bottom

Okay, this one is a debatable tip, but the self-proclaimed pumpkin carving professionals say cutting from the bottom prevents the sides from caving in later. So, may as well take all precautions to make your masterpiece last as long as possible.

Use an ice cream scooper

Once you’ve cut your hole, the next step is to scoop out all of the pulp. Make sure you get out all of the seeds and stringy goodness that’s inside. Using an ice cream scooper to scrape the walls really thin will help out a lot. If you leave any pulp inside, you can pretty much guarantee it’ll quickly turn into moldy mush.

Trace your design on the pumpkin

You worked so hard on step one to pick out your design, so now’s the time to perfect it. Grab a pen and complete your design before you ever consider cutting into it. This will help guide you when you’re carving to make sure your carving stays on the right track.

No tools are off limits when carving

Once it’s time to actually start carving, there are no rules on what you should or shouldn’t use. Anything ranging from a pumpkin carving kit to a lemon zester to a kitchen knife will work. Your tools will all depend on your design and how intricate you want to go. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box and get creative. Different tools will create different designs and imprints.

Enter to win our Pumpkin Carving Contest

With these tips, you’re pretty much set up for a great result. So snap a picture of your pumpkin and enter to win the East Texas Now Pumpkin Carving Contest. Finalists will be selected based on their photo submissions then compete in a LIVE competition at the KLTV News Studio on October 30th. The grand prize winner will win Fright Fest tickets to Six Flags! Enter here!

Make sure you send us your final pictures! We love seeing how creative people get with their pumpkins!

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