Trading tips for gutting, transferring, and carving the real thing.
User avatar
By amandap80
With my real ones I start MAYBE 5 days ahead. One thing I used to do when I carved 15 for the big night - I gutted and thinned them ahead of time, coated the insides with Vaseline, then left the tops on and sat them someplace cool. Then when I was carving I just grabbed a thinned 'kin and was ready to go. Coat your cut edges with Vaseline after carving. Another tip is I keep a kiddie wading pool behind the house with water and a little vinegar in it. Every day the babies get a soak to plump for the night. I can get 5 solid nights, sometimes more.
User avatar
By Bravo020
I typically carve around 25-30 pumpkins the last few years, and I mainly start 2 days before Halloween. This year is a little different as I'll only be carving on Thursday and Friday, and keeping the weekend pumpkin free. That should give me the opportunity to get photographs completed late on Friday night and/or Saturday night, and spend more time preparing for our Halloween party on Sunday.

Once I have carved a pumpkin I give them a good soak in water and then wrap them in cling film, then when they are ready to be photographed it's off with the cling film. I use tea light candles for the photographs only, and then once the photography is completed, they get another soak in water and wrapped in cling film once more.

On Halloween afternoon they all get put out on display outside our home and then I use LED lights instead of tea lights.

I used to use a 'Pumpkin Gutter' to start the process of gutting them, but it was always a right pain lifting and moving pumpkins around, cleaning the gutter and switching batteries on the drill, and the drill is quite heavy. By the time I'd gutted a bunch of pumpkins, I was exhausted before I'd even start carving.

The last couple of years, I've stopped using the 'Pumpkin Gutter' altogether, and have just switched to a large serrated spoon (the sort designed for pumpkins), and this does a great quick job of gutting without anywhere as near the effort of using the 'Pumpkin Gutter'.

To thin the interior walls then I use a pear shaped clay loop, which is probably the single most important change I've made to my workflow in the past 3 years. It really gives me a lot of control over the thickness, it's a game changer for me.

For the carving itself, then I still use Stick 'n Carve which I've been using for quite a long time now. It still has its challenges when it sometimes wants to dissolve too quickly, but I know what to expect from it now, and I've not yet ruined a carving to date.