Whether you get your pumpkin at a rustic pumpkin patch or the local grocery store, the question remains the same: To carve, or not to carve. For the past two years, mostly for the kids sake, I’ve gone for the messier option #2. (Yes, the picture featured in this post is indeed my 2008 Jack-O-Lantern attempt!) In my opinion, the end result, plus the candid pictures of my kids scooping pumpkin goop into a bowl, is worth it!
For those of you adventurous enough to get carving, check out Pumpkin Patterns 101 for help with your future Jack-O-Lanterns. They offer a step by step tutorial on how to carve a pumpkin using a pattern.
Search Google for Pumpkin Carving Patterns and you’ll get plenty of results online. If you’re purchasing a Pumpkin Carving Kit at your local grocery or craft store, many of them come with a CD of patterns as well. Lastly, take a look at this website by a talented woman known as The Pumpkin Lady, she has lots of great patterns, priced at $1.49 to $2.49 each. She also offers a small number of free patterns on her site.
If you’re not into carving, but still want to upgrade from a plain pumpkin, try the Mr. Potato Head Pumpkin Decorating Kits ($12.99 at BuyCostumes.com, but I’ve also seen them in Target stores for $5.99). They come in a few varieties, like pirate, princess, clown, witch, and more. The kits are adorable, and make it easy for younger kids to make their own pumpkin creation!