What do you get when you drop a pumpkin?

Squash! I apologize for the bad pun but that was the best pumpkin joke I could come up with. When you read this article give us your best pumpkin jokes and tips on our Facebook page. I do think this time of year is a lot of fun. Each year my family celebrates the fall season and Halloween by decorating pumpkins. I rounded up some tips to help the creativity flow and keep everyone safe. LSS Pumpkin

  • Encourage children to participate. One way to do this is to choose paint over carving. Another option is to have the child draw the lines on the pumpkin and the adult do the cutting.
  • Use the right tools. There are many carving tools that are good for both safety and precision.
  • Wash and dry the pumpkin- Even if you are carving, be sure to wash and dry the pumpkin as a slippery pumpkin can be hazardous when combined with a knife.
  • Don’t be afraid to choose the pumpkin shape that fits with your planned design or to use your pumpkin sideways or upside-down.
  • Cut the top out at a 45 degree angle so that the lid doesn’t fall in. Before opening it cut a small vent that goes through the lid and the pumpkin. This will both show which way the lid fits and act as a chimney.
  • Consider flameless candles but if you intend to use a tea light or votive candle sprinkle the bottom of the lid with some cinnamon to add a great smell to the view of your beautiful pumpkin.
  • To make your pumpkin last longer soak it in bleach water (approximately 2 tsp to 1 gal) and/or rub all cut and exposed edges with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly.
  • When carving, start with a simple pattern with large shapes. There are free patterns available online. Metal cookie cutters hammered into a pumpkin are a quick and easy way to cut shapes into a pumpkin.
  • For painting, let your imagination be your only limitation. Glitter, fake bugs, rhinestone stickers, tape, push pins, felt, pompoms, yarn, fabric, ribbon, wire, natural items like sticks and leaves, paper, sticky eyes, fake flowers, buttons, etc work well for adding some fun to your pumpkin designs. Tacky glue works well for most of these fun materials.
  • There are a few kinds of paint that work well on pumpkins. Spray paint, puffy or dimensional paint and acrylic paint work well.  Children’s paints or poster paints work as well but they typically aren’t waterproof.  You can even combine carving and painting together if you want. A great way to get a nice look without a lot of artistic skill is to use tape to cover parts of the pumpkin then spray paint. When you pull the tape off it leaves your design.

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