After 9 years of pumpkin carving with my little, I feel like an expert. Over the years, we’ve fine tuned our pumpkin carving tactics. We have always tried to make sure she gets to do as much of it by herself as possible while preventing the possibility of the cutting off a finger. Which is always a daymare I have while watching her use that little saw thing that comes in those kits. We recently started doing a combo of real pumpkin and craft pumpkin. We have just as much fun with the fake pumpkin, but mostly because she has a new love of the glue gun. I think I’ve created a monster.
This year, in all her 4th grade glory, she has a super fun pumpkin project. Her teacher assigned a “Scary Book Report” where she has to bring in a pumpkin decorated as one of the characters from her scary book. She chose Frankenstein! Luckily there is a children’s version (who knew!) Its an abbreviated version with a bit less of the psychological thrills and gore. I’ve talked her out of doing the actual monster in favor of Dr. Frankenstein himself. So she will be doing a pumpkin with crazy hair and a few other characteristics from the boom! It should be amazing. I’ll be sure to post a picture once its complete.
Here is her finished product
On that note, over the last few weeks I’ve been shopping for our most needed pumpkin supplies – we plan to have our marathon pumpkin session next weekend. Here are a few of the things we can’t live without;
We don’t do tea lights anymore. They burn out, and you always have to have them on hand if you’re going to light your pumpkins more than just one night. Also, why do we do so many pumpkins? I remember as a kid, the whole family only did one. Now, we each get one, plus one more to do as a fam. I hope thats not just us? Is it? Please tell me its not.
Anyhow, these lights are remote controlled, and we absolutely love being able to turn the pumpkins on without having to go outside! Now, if I could only turn the pumpkin on with the Alexa!
The Pumpkin Carving Kit is a necessity. We bought one in a little case, so that we don’t lose it and don’t have to re-buy one every year. I like this one because it comes with a bunch of other stuff besides just the knives, and saws. If your kiddo is into using those templates, these other little pokers and such make it a lot easier.
The pumpkin scooper is also one of my favorite items here. You can also get one by itself too. Or just use a big ole spoon from the drawer. The only thing is that spoon is never the same. Its bent then someone tries to reshape it, and well, its just never back to its normal shape. For this reason, my family is not allowed to use a spoon from the drawer to scoop pumpkin guts.
We use a sharpie for a couple of different things. We trace the top so we dont cut it off all wonky, we also use it to draw the face or whatever. Usually my dad or husband try to get fancy and do some kind of template, so they’ll use it for that too.
Carvable Craft Pumpkin
There are a bit pricey, but we started buying these last year. I actually get them at Michaels Craft Stores. I wait for the 20% off your whole purchase even sale items coupons and then buy as many as I can. In fact, I bought a few yesterday and they were already 50% off, so they were a bargain. They also come in orange, black and cream. Which is super fun!
I figure in a few years, we’ll have enough of these to do a pull pumpkin exhibit on the front lawn. I have yet to try my hand at actually carving one, but maybe this is the year.
Acrylic paint works best on the craft pumpkins. So be sure to have lots of colors on hand so you and your kids can express your creative side on your pumpkins. If you want to buy separately, the colors we’ve used most are black (obviously), green, red, and orange.
Be sure to have lots of brushes handy, of all shapes and sizes.
If you don’t have one of these already, its time to get one. Seriously. I let my daugher start using one on her own about a year ago – she just turned 9. She goes a bit overboard, but its definitely let her get have some autonomy on her craft projects. The other day I received a “trivet” made from wine corks. Yes I drink a fair amount of wine, so she found what was available I guess. But its cute and functional, so I’m not complaining.
Have fun decorating this year. Please send me any pictures of your crazy pumpkins! I can’t wait to see them.