Jazz Up Your Jack-o’-Lanterns for Halloween
Do you have a hard time deciding which pumpkin to purchase at Halloween?
There are short fat ones, tall skinny ones, great big ones and little cute ones.
So why choose just one? You can create an exciting Halloween display for your porch, driveway and sidewalk with a variety of jack-o’-lanterns.
With an assortment of kitchen tools you can create unique shapes, ghostly silhouettes and spooky-faced jack-o’-lanterns.
You can line your driveway, front sidewalk and porch railing—or even hang them from a tree in your yard.
They’ll knock the socks off all your Halloween trick-or-treaters.
- A variety of pumpkins or acorn squashes (smaller ones are better for hanging lanterns)
- Wide metal spoon
- Serrated knife
- Drill with assorted bits
- Apple corer, carrot peeler, melon baller
- Votive candles
Halloween Pumpkin Preparation
Take your pumpkin or squash and cut around the top at an angle to create the lid.
Open the top and scoop out the seeds and stringy insides. You can clean the seeds and roast them in the oven later for a healthy, warm snack on Halloween Night while you wait for trick-or-treaters.
- Carve the design of your choice into each squash: a face or patterns such as stars, squares, triangles, stripes or polka dots.
- Drill a hole on each side of the squash just below the cap. Thread your twine into one hole from the outside and knot it on the inside. Do the same on the other side with the other end of the twine, to create a hanger.
- Insert your candle into the squash and hang your jack-o’-lanterns from the eaves over your porch or patio—or from the branches of a tree in your yard. Try varying the height of the lanterns, as well, for visual interest.
- Draw a face or some other image onto your pumpkin with a marker.
- Take a melon baller or carrot peeler and carefully dig out shallow sections of pumpkin skin, making sure not to pierce all the way through.
- Every few minutes, put a lit candle or flashlight into the pumpkin to see how brightly the silhouette glows. In areas that aren’t glowing enough, continue to gently scrape away the meat of the pumpkin until you are happy with the illumination.
- When you are satisfied with the glow, carve a small opening in the back of the pumpkin so the candle flame can get enough oxygen to stay lit. This will depend on the size of your pumpkin. Begin with one small hole and light your candle. If the candle’s flame is weak, enlarge your opening or carve another. You may want to create holes in the cap as well, or leave the cap off entirely while the candle is lit.
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