As the leaves turn crisp and the nights draw in, it’s safe to say that Autumn is officially upon us and that can only mean one thing – it’s nearly Halloween! With trick-or-treating on the cards and Halloween parties a plenty, there’s a lot of pressure when it comes to one vital decorative addition for the spooky season- the humble pumpkin lantern. If you’re a bit worried about how to pull off your own carved masterpiece, then worry no more as we’ve put together some top tips to help you create spooktacular pumpkin lanterns.

preparation-tips

useful-tools-appliances

carving-inspiration

Preparation Tips

Pick of the Crop

As soon as October rolls around, it’s always tempting to immediately opt for the biggest, brightest pumpkin you can find when you’re at the supermarket. If you want yours to last however, it pays to be picky with your pumpkin.

Choose-Your-Pumpkins

Whether you’re going for homegrown or shop-bought, there are a few characteristics to look out for to ensure that you grab a good one. You want a pumpkin that is a consistent colour all the way round and that feels firm and heavy. Avoid any with obvious cuts, wrinkles or soft spots. If you’re still unsure, turn the pumpkin upside down and apply pressure with your thumbs. If it flexes or feels soft, it could be on its way out.

Make It Last

Once you’ve scooped and carved your way to pumpkin perfection, you’ll want to make sure that your spooky masterpiece remains the talk of the neighborhood. If you’re planning to showcase your pumpkin lantern outside, there are a couple of things you can do to keep looking as fresh as the day it was carved.

Water-Pumpkin

After you’ve created your spooky masterpiece, try placing your pumpkin in a large bucket of water – enough to submerge the pumpkin entirely. Don some rubber gloves, drop in a couple of teaspoons of household bleach and let the pumpkin soak in that solution for about 2 minutes before removing and allowing to air dry. The bleach kills off any micro-organisms that can cause your pumpkin to rot, keeping it much fresher for longer.

Useful Tools & Appliances

Fix Up, Look Sharp

Sharp knives are essential when it comes to carving, especially when making those first cuts through that tough outer skin. As with most kitchen tasks, different knives are suited to specific jobs, so make sure you have an array of knives to choose from.

Knives-with-Pumpkin

When cutting out the bigger elements of your design such as the lid, a larger knife with a serrated edge is best, while smaller utility knives are great for tending to the more intricate details. The Tower 5 Piece Knife Set with Acrylic Stand includes a wide variety of knives from an 8-inch bread knife to a 3.5-inch paring knife.

Get the Scoop

You’ll want to empty your pumpkin of as many of the inner fibres and seeds as you can. A range of different utensils can be used for this but it’s best to go for something like a serving spoon or ladle.

Goop Scoop

The Tower Cerasafe 6 Piece Utensil Set and Carousel features both of those along with a range of other handy scooping tools which will make your carving experience less tricky. The utensils’ long handles make this tricky task a lot easier, allowing you to reach even the most awkward areas.

Waste Not, Want Not

The beauty of making pumpkin lanterns is that they not only look great but are very economical too. The innards that are usually thrown away over the Halloween period actually make a tasty ingredient for loads of different meals.

Pumpkin Soup Maker

Pop your pumpkin leftovers into the Tower 1.5L Soup Maker for a delicious and warming soup, or get your bake on with a classic pumpkin pie. You can even roast the seeds for a delicious and healthy snack!

Kitchen Clean-Up

If you’re all pumpkin’d out and  can’t be tempted by a steaming bowl of healthy soup, then Tower’s range of sensor bins will take the hassle out of the kitchen clean-up operation.

Bin-Goop-Shot

Featuring infra-red technology the Tower 58L Stainless Steel Square Sensor Bin senses when your hand approaches, automatically opening the lid and leaving you with both hands free to get rid of any carving debris.

Carving Inspiration

BrianPumpkin

Jack-o-Lantern 

We’re starting simple with this classic face design that’s perfect for beginners. If you’re not feeling brave enough to freehand your design, we’ve even included a handy printable template to help you out.

  • First, you need to make the lid by drawing a hexagonal shape around the stalk, then cut all the way around at a 45° angle using a large, sharp serrated knife. The hole needs to be large enough to fit your hand inside. Remove lid and set aside.
  • Using a serving spoon, hollow out the pumpkin, removing all seeds and fibres. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pumpkin until clean and smooth.
  • Choose the best side, then tape the template onto your pumpkin.
  • Using a cocktail stick, poke holes around the lines of the template to mark out the design on the pumpkin’s outer skin.
  • Next, take a sharp serrated knife and begin to cut along the lines in a sawing motion. It’s better to start with the simple straight lines of the eyes and nose first then move onto the mouth.
  • Once you’ve cut out all of your shapes gently push them through into the pumpkin and discard.

happy-pumpkin“Click me to download the Jack-o-Lantern template!”

BooPumpkin

Boo! 

Let your pumpkin do the talking with this spooky phrase design. You can use our handy template or get creative and choose a phrase of your own if ‘Boo!’ isn’t scary enough for you.

  • First, you need to make the lid by drawing a hexagonal shape around the stalk, then cut all the way around at a 45° angle using a large, sharp serrated knife. The hole needs to be large enough to fit your hand inside. Remove lid and set aside.
  • Using a serving spoon, hollow out the pumpkin, removing all seeds and fibres. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pumpkin until clean and smooth.
  • Tape the template to the best side of your pumpkin and using a cocktail stick, transfer the design using small holes made along the lines of the image.
  • Using a large serrated knife, cut along the lines of the speech bubble in a sawing motion.
  • Use a smaller serrated knife to cut out the more intricate sections.
  • Carefully push the cut out sections through the pumpkin and discard.

happy-pumpkin“Click me to download the Boo! template!”

We think we’ve covered just about everything  when it comes to creating your perfect pumpkin lantern but if you have any of your own tips you would like to share, hit us up on Twitter or via our Facebook page.

You also might be interested to learn that we’re running an exciting competition to give you the chance to win your very own Tower Ultra Xtreme Nutrient Extraction System worth £499.99. To be in with a chance of winning this amazing prize, make sure you’re following the Tower Instagram account then share your own pumpkin carving pictures using the hashtag #TowerTrickorTreat. For details of how to enter, check out this blog post.

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