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Pumpkin Carving Kits
Pumpkin carving kits make it so easy to carve a pumpkin these days. I remember when I was a kid, all I had was a spoon and a dull steak knife. Not the best pumpkin carving tools to say the least. Last year when it was time to carve our pumpkins, we bought a Halloween themed pumpkin carving kit to try out. Let me just tell you, the pumpkins turned out fantastic! The kit is designed for people like myself that lack ability in the artistic department. Each kit consists of a few tools and some design sheets. What you do is tape the design to the pumpkin, and then cut along the lines just llike you are tracing a picture. It really is that easy! If you bought a large enough pumpkin, you can even carve a design on the backside as well.
How to use a pumpkin carving kit
The kit is pretty straightforward, and the instructions may vary a bit from kit to kit, but the principle is the same. The first thing you need to do is tape your stencil to the pumpkin. Here is my only grief with the kit instructions. Have you ever tried to wrap a piece of paper around a pumpkin? It does not work so well! I recommend trimming the excess paper off of the corners before you attempt to tape it to the pumpkin. This will help to minimize the wrinkles in the paper. If your paper is still wrinkling up, you can make small incisions into the paper where the wrinkles are forming. The less wrinkled the paper is, the easier it will be to cut out the design later.
The first thing you need to do is clean out the pumpkin guts. Draw a large circle around the pumpkin stem. Then using a sharp knife, make an angled cut into the top of the pumpkin. Follow this angle around the top of the pumpkin following the circle you drew. It is very important to keep your cut angled! This ensures that the top of the pumpkin does not fall into the center when you are done carving it. Either dispose of the guts or clean the seeds off if you intend to bake them.
Pumpkin Kits from Amazon!
Once you have the stencil taped on good, it is time to use the roller tool that came with your pumpkin carving kit. Roll the tool along the lines of your design making sure not to tear the paper up. What this does is makes little holes into the pumpkin skin for you to use as a carving guide. Take your time here, the better job you do on this step will determine the end results of your pumpkin.
After you have finished tracing your design with the roller punch tool, it is time to carve out the design. These kits come with a small saw and a tool that looks like an awl. Use the awl tool to make a starter hole for your saw. Make sure the hole is big enough for the saw to fit through. To be on the safe side, you can make a hole in a part of the design that will be removed and then cut towards your outline with the saw. This will eliminate the chance of your starter hole being outside the outline.
Now all that is left is to cut along your dotted line with the saw tool. Just be careful not to bend the saw blade, it is not very sturdy. It's small size does allow for some very precise cutting though so I would not recommend swapping it out for a steak knife. As long as you take your time, the pumpkin should turn out fine. After that, all that is left to do is light the candle or use a pumpkin light and put it outside for all the trick or treaters to enjoy. Happy Halloween!