Pumpkin carving has come a long way. When I was a kid, my dad would use a steak knife (because the other choices were a little paring knife or my mom’s big Chinese meat cleaver)! And in more recent years, I’ve always wondered how to make those pumpkins where they just carve the surface to make a cool design. But, for years, I never dared to carve a real pumpkin because I thought it would be difficult. But this year, I finally carved REAL pumpkins using these super easy to use pumpkin carving kits from Pumpkin Masters and had a fun family pumpkin carving day.
We received all of these different types of kits from Pumpkin Masters. Each came with several types of tools, attached to a booklet of design patterns. So I was really excited to try these pumpkin carving kits from Pumpkin Masters, which make carving real pumpkins easier, as well as safer. My girls looked at all the kits and decided on these two. Sarah has been learning about spiders in her class, so she chose the Surface Carving Kit with the spider pattern. Sophie loved the polka dots, so she chose the Decorative Punches kit and the pattern with the striped dots. Note: we did receive a kit geared towards kids, which we will try some other time. So for these two kids that they chose this time, Dada and I did most of the carving, but they helped when they could do so safely. First, we headed to the pumpkin patch to buy our pumpkins. They chose large ones to carve, and of course they couldn’t resist some baby pumpkins and stripey pumpkins. Hey look what the pumpkin patch was selling…more Pumpkin Masters kits! We were just coming from ballet class, hence the theatrical poses! I too was excited to try out the Surface Carving Kit. I tore out the spider pattern and taped it to the surface of one of the big pumpkins that we got. Where it said to fold and tape, I did just that, to help the pattern lay flat along the curved surface of the pumpkin. Then Sarah helped to trace the pattern along the lines with the tracing wheel. I did go over it again myself to make sure the lines transferred over to the pumpkin surface. Now time to carve the surface. I used the tool in the kit that looks like a razor. There are three attachments in different shapes. To draw the outline of the spider, we use the V-shaped carver that slides into the tool. Here’s the outline of the spider. Then we use the square shape or the round shape (I liked the round shape more) to carve away the inside of the spider. That was so easy! As for Sophie’s polka dot pumpkin, Dada first used one of the little saws to cut open the pumpkin at the bottom. He said that you need to really saw up and down straight, or the blade would bend. But it was easy to bend it back and keep going. He used the scooper tool to help pry out the pumpkin bottom. Then he used the little scooper to scoop out the insides of the pumpkin. We again taped the pattern onto the pumpkin. Then Sophie used this poking tool to mark the pumpkin with dots that were marked on the pattern. These will serve as guides to place the decorative punches. It was difficult to press the punches at first. We used the scooper to further thin out the inside of the pumpkin, which seemed to help. I do wish the handle was a little bit shorter. I was sometimes worried it would break if I went in at the wrong angle. After a while, I got the feel of it and things and the tool would slide in a bit easier. It did take some elbow grease though, since we chose a pumpkin which such a thick skin. I wanted to try the Surface Carving Kit with butternut squash. So I free-handed some letters with the tracing wheel, then I used the surface carving tool to carve out the letters. It was cute, but the butternut squash were quite juicy. So I probably would not carve these out until very close to Halloween. Hmm, I may even do a leaf design for Thanksgiving! Here is everyone on the front porch. I did take away the butternut squash. These became dinner. Will buy more later for Halloween night. I like how they look like little ghosts! And I love all the other pretty pumpkins around our carved ones. The polka dot pumpkin might also not last until Halloween, since there are still a few weeks to go. I will try to spray it with a vinegar solution to keep the mold away, but if not, I’m sure we will happily carve another one as it was so fun as well as easy. Then, since we carved the polka dot one open in the bottom and hollowed it out, we put one of Pumpkin Masters’ strobe lights that they sent us for a super cool candle-like effect, way safer than actual candles. I will feel better about going trick or treating with the girls and leaving a lighted pumpkin unattended on our porch. If you try one of the many Pumpkin Masters pumpkin carving kits, be sure to enter the annual Pumpkin Masters Carving Contest! Share a pic via your Pinterest or Instagram account with the #PumpkinMasters2013, share your pumpkin via the Facebook app, or email a picture to email@example.com to enter to win one of six prizes, including $5,000 for the best pumpkin! Click here for the Pumpkin Masters Carving Contest official rules. Thank you Pumpkin Masters for creating these easy to use kits, so that we could safely carve real pumpkins together as a family. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Linking: Share It Sunday