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Pumpkin CarvingPumpkin Carving

Carving a pumpkin can be a fun and creative thing to do before Halloween. Check out these tips for both before and after carving to make the experience as rewarding as possible.

Before Carving:
1) If you have small children, try painting the pumpkin instead of carving it. That way everyone can be a part of the process. It’s also potentially much easier to clean up after.

2) If you go the carving route, make sure an adult cuts out the top of the pumpkin and any areas of the face. Encourage the kids to pull the seeds from the innards if you want to roast them later.

3) Consider using a carving kit, which comes with scoops, small saws and other tools. If children use the tools, make sure they understand how to use them, and be mindful of everyone’s safety as they work.

Kits may also come with many fun designs that will make you and your family into pumpkin carving experts in no time at all.

4) Wear gloves. This is particularly helpful when cleaning out the pumpkin, but working with small implements can be difficult if you choose an intricate design. Gloves can help prevent blisters.

After Carving:

1) Use a little bleach to sterilize the interior of the pumpkin. Add a tablespoon of bleach to a spray bottle of water, and spray the inside of the pumpkin and let it dry before handling.

2) Spread a layer of petroleum jelly inside the pumpkin as a sealant. Both the bleach and the petroleum will help the pumpkin stay fresh for a longer period.

3) Try battery-powered lights inside the pumpkin instead of a candle. They are safer and can throw more light than a single flame.

4) If you want to use a candle, let it burn inside the pumpkin for two minutes, and mark the spot where the lid blackens. Use that as the location for a hole to let smoke escape the top of the pumpkin.

Never leave the candle unattended.

5) Keep your carved pumpkin out of intense heat or direct sunlight. Also move it out of the way of foot traffic, especially on Halloween night.

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