Jack o’ lanterns are a great family activity for Halloween. Everyone in your family can decorate their own pumpkin and light it up. It’s also an option for socially distanced events on Halloween night.
The Basic Jack O’ Lantern Carving Principles
Generally, jack o’ lantern carving begins with a whole pumpkin. You then cut a hole around the stem and remove as much of the guts as possible. If you have small children, you should cut the hole for them, but allow them to play with the pumpkin guts. Then, use dry erase markers to sketch out different ideas on the pumpkins before making the cuts.
The Funny Face Option
Faces are a staple in jack o’ lantern carving. While many choose a scary look, funny faces can be just as much fun to carve. These add a lightness to your outdoor Halloween display, making it unique on your street.
The trick to making an excellent funny face on a pumpkin is the mouth. This is the most expressive feature on the pumpkin since eye carving takes a lot of practice. Try going for something broad, expressive, and out of proportion for maximum effect.
The Cannibal Jack O’ Lantern
Fall also means there are many pumpkin varieties available, not just the ones you carve up. This availability opens up the opportunity to do your jack o’ lantern eating another pumpkin. You need to be precise while carving, and voila, your jack o’ lantern is chowing down.
The pumpkins you would use for this display are called ornamental pumpkins. Varieties like Jack Be Little, Baby Boo, Munchkin, and Baby Bear are great to pair with your larger jack o’ lantern in a magnificent display.
Incorporating Other Vegetables
For effect, you may also want to make various other vegetables and fruits available for carving. Common choices include turnips, apples, and butternut squash. All of these take carving well and provide contrast to your jack o’ lantern. You may even seat them inside the pumpkin for added effect.
Favorite Pop Culture Characters
Your family enjoys pop culture, so adding it to your Halloween plans is a great option. You can let your family members choose their own or specify what piece of pop culture the designs should come from for a coordinated display.
When looking at this option, it’s crucial to pick the character’s two or three distinguishing features. That way, the jack o’ lantern will be recognizable from a distance.
The Scenic Jack O’ Lantern
A scenic jack o’ lantern captures an entire environment in pumpkin. This choice can be as micro or macro as you like. However, you should do extensive planning of cuts and be aware that creating the perfect jack o’ lantern will take time.
The Complex Jack O’ Lantern Design
Complex jack o’ lanterns take a lot of time to carve, primarily since they often rely on your ability to gauge carving depth accurately. However, the results are beautiful, regardless of what design you choose.
Nikki is a full-time homemaker with a love for plants, nature, and the outdoors. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in education, combining her talents and favorite hobby to write educational material for other plant and backyard enthusiasts. Co-founder of Backyardville, Nikki seeks insight for her blogs through reading along with hands-on research in her own yard and garden. Her experiences as a child growing up in a farming community and spending time with her gardening grandmother sparked an interest in growing plants and seeking ways to beautify the spaces around her. Nikki lives in a quiet suburb in Iowa with her husband and their two outdoor-loving children.